Published Friday, September 14, 2012 AT 9:29 AM / Updated at 4:59 PM
Mad Chatter, Sept. 14
Dirk Chatelain Omaha World-Herald

It’s Friday! That means ten big stories in ten little bites. We have Jordan Westerkamp and Frank Solich, Mack Brown and Mean Joe Greene, Kirk Ferentz and Jeff Tedford. But first, former Huskers sound off.

It’s been a good week for sportswriting at The World-Herald. It’s also been a good week for sports talk-radio shows. I listen to as many podcasts as possible during the week. Today, I pulled a few sound bites from former Huskers who appeared as guests (I didn’t include Jason Peter because his sound bites could fill a whole column.)

Damon Benning on 1620 The Zone’s “Unsportsmanlike Conduct” in Omaha:

“The onus is as much on the staff in terms of preparation and lack of adjustments as it is on what we keep hearing about the fact that Nebraska doesn’t have any talent. You have got to be able to make the adjustment. UCLA ran the same five plays and the same concept route multiple times, time and time again. That is inexcusable at this level.”

Oudious Lee on “Unsportsmanlike Conduct”:

“It’s not just me, but there are a lot of people out there that are just kind of questioning the sanity of not letting your defensive tackle be in a position to do anything but protect your linebackers. It’s nice to protect your linebackers, but it’d also be nice to let those kids go. … I got a 13-year-old here that’s as tall as I am. If he ever figures the football thing out and they were playing this scheme, I would suggest he go somewhere else.”

Jay Moore on 93.7 FM’s “The Drive” in Lincoln:

“I don’t know if it’s Bo or if it’s just the defensive staff in general, I think they’re just petrified of mobile quarterbacks. … They’ve got players, man. I’ve trained with these guys, I’ve seen them. These guys are able to play high-level football. You need to free ‘em up a little bit. They just need to let ‘em, especially the front seven, just let these guys go make plays and not be so concerned if the quarterback is going to scramble. … Watching games — that’s all I really watch is the D-line — I’m kinda of in awe of what they’re doing up front. I know they’re doing what they’re told, but I’d have a hard time staying quiet. I’d want to go eat, man. Let that dog go get a bone.”

Joel Makovicka on “The Drive”:

“I’m in a little bit of panic mode about the direction of the program. I’ve talked to a lot of guys about this. When Ndamukong Suh and Prince Amukamara and some of those guys were leaving, usually on great football teams that reload, or are preparing for a huge run in the future, you can sit and say, ‘Hey, look at that freshman, he played and he looks good. Or this sophomore is going to be a man next year when he’s able to start. And I was never seeing that. … That’s more of my concern. Where’s the light at the end of the tunnel? … That’s where I panic a little bit.”

Matt Hoskinson on 1620’s “Sharp and Peter”:

“We are not even in the ballpark on our talent evaluation. … I believe that Bo Pelini may be one of, if not the best college defensive minds in the country … The problem is he doesn’t have the players to run that defense. And it’s not even close. … They’re asking these guys to do things that physically and mentally they cannot do. … You have to be smart enough to know what you ask of your players.”

That’s pretty heavy stuff from some pretty smart people. As I wrote in a World-Herald column today, this feels like the first time in five years that a considerable slice of the fan base is questioning Bo’s ability to coach the defense.

>> A very interesting breakdown at NFL.com shows which college programs are producing the most NFL players. Here’s the top 10:

USC  44 players on current NFL rosters
Miami 37
LSU 36
Georgia 35
Ohio State 35
Texas 35
Florida 30
Alabama 26
Cal 25
Iowa 25
Michigan 25

The numbers reflect a program’s success over the last 10-15 years, which is why Miami is so high (and Alabama is so low). The bigger surprises are Cal and Iowa. Kudos to Jeff Tedford and Kirk Ferentz for developing talent. But those two programs should be winning more games. Since 2002, the Hawkeyes are 16th in winning percentage. Cal is 27th.

Nebraska, according to this list, has 27 players in the league. But a few were inactive in Week 1, so the NFL likely counts between 20-25. Not bad considering NU’s struggles on the field the past decade.

>> Other interesting nuggets from the NFL’s data: The oldest team in the league is the Detroit Lions, who have 16 players over age 30. I did not anticipate that. On the other hand, Jason Hanson is collecting social security, so he probably screws up the average. The St. Louis Rams, by the way, are the league’s youngest team.

>> What separates the SEC from other conferences? It’s not just speed on the perimeter, it’s defensive linemen. The SEC has 50 D-linemen in the NFL. The ACC is second-best with 33.

>> Last Saturday was Nebraska’s earliest loss of the season since 2004 (Southern Miss). Before that, Nebraska hadn’t been 1-1 since 1996 (Arizona State). Those two seasons turned out pretty differently, didn’t they.

>> I hate to see Jordan Westerkamp burn a redshirt if he’s the fifth- or sixth-best wideout. The receiving corps is deep enough without Westerkamp. Let him sit.

>> Make sure you check out the Big Red Today podcast with Jon Nyatawa and Sam McKewon. They cover the Husker defense, second-half woes and the Big Ten race, among other things.

>> How are the Orioles playoff-bound? They have the highest winning percentage in one-run games in baseball history (.794). They’re also 13-2 in extra innings. Look at it another way. Baltimore’s run differential this year is minus-20. The Yankees’ run differential is plus-95. And they’re tied in the standings. Baseball is crazy.

>> Considering the money the Angels and Dodgers are spending this year, it’s incredible that neither will likely make the playoffs. It’s especially disappointing we probably won’t see Mike Trout in the postseason.

>> Is Frank Solich transforming Ohio into “the Boise State of the Midwest”? This Yahoo Sports writer says so.

>> The 12 best sports commercials ever.

>> We’re only eight weeks away from college hoops season. On Nov. 9, Creighton opens at home against North Texas. The same night, UNO hosts Northern Illinois at the new Ralston arena. Two days later, Nebraska hosts Southern.

>> I love Thursday night NFL. It’s much more entertaining than watching the Big East on ESPN. Jason Whitlock doesn’t agree. In fact, he says the NFL is asking for serious injuries.

>> Mack Brown calls it the most unique story he’s ever heard. His long snapper, Nate Boyer, “went from aspiring actor, to working on a fishing boat, to teaching autistic kids in Los Angeles and then to earning a Bronze Star in the Army — a military decoration awarded for bravery, acts of merit or meritorious service.” Boyer walked on at Texas despite never playing football before.

>> Think that biography sounds fascinating? Check out West Virginia assistant coach Daron Roberts. He only holds a Harvard law degree.

>> Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend.

About Dirk Chatelain

Dirk Chatelain is a staff writer for The Omaha World-Herald and covers Nebraska football and general assignments. You can follow Dirk on Twitter (@dirkchatelain) or email him at dchatelain@owh.com

Comments

  1. Matt says:

    “The onus is as much on the staff in terms of preparation and lack of adjustments as it is on what we keep hearing about the fact that Nebraska doesn’t have any talent”

    Has anyone ever used more words to say less than Damon Benning?

    1. David says:

      I think Damon was right on the mark with his comment(s). Obviously, the coaches aren’t able to make adjustments during a game , and they haven’t really shown they can during the past few years (UCLA, South Carolina, Michigan, etc, etc.). This is Div. I football. Why can they not make proper adjustments?

      1. Matt says:

        I agree with his point. Damon just continues to abuse the English language with his overuse of words. Dude uses 29 words when 10 would suffice.

  2. Arby says:

    Great to hear Frank doing so well. If we keep going in the direction we seem to be heading, I might switch from red to green. A lot of “Nebraska Nobodies” on that team.

    1. A Fan says:

      Not sure why there’s all this love for Solich’s accomplishments at Ohio. His W/L record with the Bobcats is barely above .500. That’s hardly setting the world on fire.

      1. Michigan Husker says:

        Dude, I didn’t like Solich as our head coach either, but what he’s done at Ohio is undoubtedly impressive. After all, he started with nothing — built it from the ground up. It will be more impressive if he can sustain it.

        1. A Fan says:

          Michigan Husker… Solich is 50 – 40 in his 8th year at Ohio. The Bobcats have been to 4 bowls… and lost 3 of them. They haven’t won the MAC… with Solich as head coach. It comes down to what your definition of impressive is. Impressive is winning the MAC a couple times in 7 years, winning most, if not all, your bowl games. Ohio is better than what they used to be… I’ll concede that.

  3. Johnny Reno says:

    Nebraska, according to this list, has 27 players in the league. But a few were inactive in Week 1, so the NFL likely counts between 20-25. Not bad considering NU’s struggles on the field the past decade.

    Does anyone know how many players that Bo has been in charge of recruiting have been drafted? Exclude his year as DC at NU; so since his one year as DC at NU, how many players has he recruited that were drafted in the NFL? I can think of one–Lavonte David. Other than possibly Rex Burkhead, will any other NU players be drafted this year?

    1. A Fan says:

      Gomes is in the NFL… but you’re right. The list is not long. I think this is one, of several, problems with Pelini. He doesn’t recruit enough highly ranked kids to come to Nebraska. His defenses in 2009 and 2010 were great. The question in my mind is… did he suddenly forget how to coach defenses in the past couple years? Or have the personnel changed? That’s where a big chunk of the problem is, IMO.

      1. RedSteel says:

        This is also his 5th year, he hasn’t had many recruits graduating yet so you can’t really say his recruits aren’t making the nfl. I can see 5 players that could make an NFL roster next year, stafford, cotton, reed, compton and obviously burkhead. When Bo got here, it seemed like he moved the best athletes to the defense, now it seems our best athletes are on offense. They better start scoring more.

        1. A Fan says:

          Agree with you about Stafford and Burkhead. I don’t see Reed, Compton or Cotton making it to the NFL.

    2. TC says:

      Bo isn’t hired to put players in the NFL… he’s hired to win at Nebraska. Big difference.

  4. donnie says:

    Yes lets listen to former players because they are obviously experts. Damon benning is such an expert that all you have to do is look st his stellar coaching career. Clueless.

    1. A Fan says:

      Another waste of time. Benning played on championship teams. We’re supposed to believe he’s clueless because… you… say so. Another 55 mph fan chimes in. We did lose to UCLA last week… or did you miss that?

    2. Waskel Wabbit says:

      Speaking of clueless, how are ypou doing?

  5. T. Gates says:

    Love seeing Husker fan panic. Sorry, folks, you can’t win every game 66-0.

    So, when you and the media run Bo out of town, whose the next coach? Also, whose the next coach after that guy is run out of town?

    1. A Fan says:

      Yeah… but we can sure lose to a middle of the pack PAC-12 team. And allow 600+ yards in the process. Everything is peachy… because we can’t win every game 66 – 0.

      1. Homer Sampson says:

        Damn. Fan, you’re on your game today. Right on with the Benning defense. Tommie Frazier was a flop at Doane, so that means he’s clueless? Not. And for the record, I said last spring, how could a sub-mediocre 2011 defense, that lost its 3 best players to graduation, be better this year? It didn’t seem likely. But I was hopeful that the offense could carry them. It ain’t too late for that to happen. But if they struggle with Arky St. this thing will get way ugly.

        1. A Fan says:

          Homer… we played pretty good… except for a very sloppy 3rd quarter (and Pelini’s health scare) today. Watching Wisconsin tonight… I like our chances against them. I think we can get to 9 wins this season.

    2. joey says:

      Why do you mix up panic, with reality? As I see it NU is out of the ranks completely.Bo took over when we were out of the ranks, and now BO put NU right back where he started. 5 years is more than enough time to see better results.

    3. KCorn says:

      We know we can’t win them all but there are enough red flags to be concerned IMO. I want Bo to succeed but many of those player concerns are spot on. Bo has his work cut out for him.

    4. Waskel Wabbit says:

      If only you had a clue.

  6. z23 says:

    So basically, had Calahan kept Bo on as D Coord, we would have had the recruits and the defensive mind to have had some championships in the past few years.

    O.o

    1. KCorn says:

      That’s actually an interesting though since the defense caused much of his demise.

    2. Michigan Husker says:

      Interesting thought. The offense and recruiting WERE in good shape with Callahan left.

      1. Michigan Husker says:

        I meant to say “when” BC left. Sorry.

        1. Waskel Wabbit says:

          The next BC to leave = Barmey Cotton. As worthless a coach as we’ve ever had! EVER

  7. Jeff_Georgia says:

    Looks like the former players are saying what many fans have said for a couple of years. The fans opinion you can take or leave as you like (especially anything I might say).

    But the former players, on the other hand, need to be listened to. They know something is wrong. The coaches know something is wrong. The question is, do the coaches know how to fix it. I’m beginning to believe they don’t.

    I hope I’m wrong, but if Joel Makovicka is worried, I think the fans have every right to get worked up about the situation. We, after all, pay the bills…

    1. A Fan says:

      Agree. Lots of issues with the program right now. The coaching staff is really green. We have talent on the offense… can Beck use that? The defense… yikes. Front 7 needs a lot of work. I imagine MSU, OSU, Michigan, even Wisconsin will look at what UCLA did to us as a game plan.

  8. MikeG says:

    The Matt Hoskinson comment is wayyyy off base. Bo is clearly not a defensive genious. Bo knows a defensive scheme and thats all. If Bo was a defensive genious, he would take the talent he has (which unlike Matt I think is some decent talent, just horrbily underutilized) and develop a scheme that suits the talent. A genious would develp a scheme for each and every offense they face. Bo is no defensive genious.
    Before the year started I had said that we needed more speed at LB. Both Compton and Fisher are too slow for the offenses we face. Bo is playing what amounts to a fancy “prevent” defense. It is designed to eliminate the big play threat by dropping 7 guys back at various levels to play a middle zone with protection deep. But since our line doesnt get any pressure on the QB, he has all day to wait for his guys to run around and find a seam in the coverage. If the QB decides to run, he has a 6 to 4 advantage. Plus the fact that our defense isnt even in a “ready” position when the ball is snapped most times, they are usually lookking to the sidelines and get a step or even 2 behind. Dont give Bo the credit for defensive genious when his team just gave up over 600 yards. A defensive genious makes adjustments during the game and makes a sound gameplan for his defense before the game. Bo obviously is sold out on his one scheme he knows and any team with decent offensive firepower can pick it apart. His scheme works against primarily conventional pro style QB’s which is why we did well against MSU last year but got blown up by every mobile QB we faced. It isnt rocket science, just a little football intelligence. Bo a defensive genious??? Not even close.

    1. Michigan Husker says:

      Great comment. I’m starting to agree, Mikey G.

    2. BrianNU01 says:

      It is genius, not genious. Every defense struggles against mobile QBs. Ask any D coordinator at any level will tell you they are the toughest thing to scheme against. Nebraska struggled against mobile QBs during the glory years in the 90s too. Nebraska played a lot better against UCLA in the second half and only gave up one TD on a short field. That is called making half time adjustments. People need to chill out and give BO some time to get things back on track.

      1. I EAT BADGER says:

        You are right Brian. Adjustments were made at half and they are being made this week. You fans need to sit back and see how it works over the next couple of weeks. for all we know, UCLA may be much better than anyone thought.

      2. MikeG says:

        Brian, do you watch how teams like MSU play Michigan? Or Ohio State plays Michigan? Other defenses play against very mobile QB’s and good teams dont have the problem containing mobile QB’s like we have. Did you watch Air Force play Michigan? They were horribly undersized because they cant openly recruit like other schools, being a service academy. With the exception of a few big runs by Robinson, they played him better than we did last year. Michigan State had no problem containing Robinson last year. They used a heavy blitz package and their DE’s played well upfield to seal the edges. Dont tell me good Defensive Coordinators cant scheme against mobile QB’s.

        1. BrianNU01 says:

          Nebraska did well against Tyrod Taylor and other mobile QBs under Pelini. I am not saying it can’t be done but you have to give something up in pass coverage so it is pick your poison. Also you can execute a play perfectly and a mobile QB can still make you pay. That is what makes them so difficult to defend.

      3. A Fan says:

        No… not every defense struggles with mobile QBs and the spread. There are teams that defense it well (coaching and talent will get it done). Not sure about our coaching… and we have a talent problem with the DL and LB positions.

  9. WA Husker says:

    Dirk -

    Most honest reporting about Husker football – and Bo Pelini – I am seeing these days. Bo, unfortunately, squandered enormous fan support, talent momentum, and promise with a hot temper, questionable recruiting priorities, and “B” league assistant hires (often). He is now left with star recruits leaving the team, a downright angry fan base, a confused defense, erratic offense (with a coach who apologies more than he adjusts), and the nearly open feeling that this may all be the beginning of the end of his tenure here. Sad; but earned!

  10. MikeG says:

    A winning defense:

    DT- Baker Steinkuler
    DE-Jason Ankrah, Eric Martin
    LB-Damion Stafford, Zaire Anderson, David Santos, Trevor Roach
    DB-Stanley Jean Baptiste, Mo Seisay
    Safety-PJ SMith, Cortney Osborne

    A 3-4 without 2-gap. 2 speedier linebackers that can cover backs and TE’s plus 2 speedier linebackers in run protection and blitzing. An increase in tackling performance by moving Damion Stafford to LB.

  11. ghuskerdude says:

    dork you such be the coach…After all your hind site is 20/20.

    1. MikeG says:

      I am a coach, and a successful one at that. And it isnt hind sight, I have said it before we got burned for over 600 yards.I said it last year. Maybe if you had a little football intelligence it would help. Past players see it, commentators (even those that are past successful coaches) see it, even our former coaches see it. So how is that hindsight?

      1. ghuskerdude says:

        I was talking to dork…aka dirk.

        1. ghuskerdude says:

          Easy Coach Mike…Easy fella! Nuff said GBR!

    2. Waskel Wabbit says:

      Kiss my hind sight dude!

  12. Plznotagain says:

    What concerns me, is how Gary Sharp, or television announcers. Report that they watched tape and a certain player is the guy the opposing team likes to go to in the red zone. Then on the next 1 or 2 plays. Sure enough, the opposing team scores with that guy, and the Huskers either forgot to cover, or had a bad matchup on them. If Gary Sharp can pick it up, I would think the coaching staff should have figured that out too.

  13. ThisHuskersaysB.S.--GO BO ............. says:

    …Bo knows what he’s doing. He is the best coach for Big Red. Screw Hawkeye fans. Our coach has heart. Give him time!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Waskel Wabbit says:

      Heart? Yeah, that’ll make the difference Tin Man…if I olny had a heart!

  14. Chris says:

    The writing is on the wall for Pelini. He is in over his head and he knows it. But he became rich tricking Nebraska fans into believing he had the ability to run legitimate BCS football program. Maybe he should join Frank the Tank aka GHB boy in Athens Ohio.

  15. MikeG says:

    If you ask former NU players they will tell you that some of the biggest hits they had were during practices. Bo wont do that because he doesnt want to hurt someone. That to me is a huge problem.

  16. Justice says:

    I was so excited about this season, yet sitting in the stands at the Rose Bowl in decent seats you could see UCLA was running the same plays with that slant route and we didn’t adjust. Part of it was not using fast personnel almost a dime type package against that speed in the spread instead of big slower backers who will do ok in the BIG. So personnel adjustments, but also no floaters on defense. I would have to say that the coaches have to take the blame for that game almost entirely. The old saying all other things being equal the first half is players, the second half is coaching, we got out coached.

  17. Justice says:

    I live in Madison, I would take Bo over Bilimma any day of the week. If he doesn’t work out I wonder how the Boise State coach would do with the Big Red?

  18. Go Big Red Jan says:

    I know I’m old school but George Allen was a defensive genious. Anyway, Dirk, Jason Peter is the one former husker I would love to hear from as he actually played on the defensive line. My opinion is the Huskers are in “free fall” and it will only get worse.

  19. Biginjapan says:

    Bo will kill in his next job. DC somewhere in the SEC. No management issues to worry about. Hes a great DC but is a blue collar, chip on my shoulder, wont ask for big money for assistant coaches dude. Too much pressure for him. In his heart of hearts he probably knows it. But too prideful to admit it. Plus, its money. Start searching D2 for a smart HC that knows power football and get Tightwad Tommy out of the AD box.
    Wy we used to pay Charlie McBride in Hinky Dinky coupons. Im not paying a million dollars to an assistant. Get off my lawn!

    Power football will come back. In 20 years. Till then, NU 31 Ark St 30

    1. MikeG says:

      Hinky Dinky coupons?!?!? Thats too funny

  20. KansaHusker says:

    I think the explayers comments say it all BO is not that good so what does this say about Osbornes picking of a Coach?8/4 or 9/3 seasons are not bad seasons but i honestly do not see that continuing under the current system. I’ll bet Buffalo of the ut i’ve MAC conference would love to have BO or many other schools in weaker conferences. But BO is not a Major conference Coach. But i’ve said this before and i’ll say it again,when Pearlman an Osborne plus the Media came down on BO for his side line temperment he has never been the same Coach he was.

  21. HuskerRebel says:

    Bo is strong-headed and when he comes up with a scheme, he puts
    blinders on, and will not change no matter what. Those young players
    hear Bo constantly tell them they “have a lot to learn”. Meaning, they
    will not get to play for several years. Bo has this hang up about playing
    younger players, which makes me believe he didn’t get a chance to
    start at Ohio St. until he was a junior or senior, and by God no one else
    can start until then.

  22. danbennett says:

    Coach k did an interview and said before he retires, he will make sure the basketball program is in good hands. Osborne just bailed and went to D.C. its been in shambles ever since, so I put a lot of blame on our AD. Plus mike stoops was available but T.O wants to pay cheap labor for a no name staff that can’t recruit. I’m sure stubborn bo had a lot to do with it, but Im starting to blame Tom.

  23. Paul says:

    Oudious Lee made a good point. It’s not just that the results are horrible, but if you are an elite high school DT right now would you really want to play this style of D line? I’ve been a supporter of Bo, but I’m starting to have flashbacks of Frankie and Bill C with the lack of in game adjustments. We are also becoming the king of excuses as we move along (we’re young, we were built to defend the spread therefore we weren’t ready for the physical Big 10 but now we can’t defend a spread either, not enough star recruits) We are lacking in basic fundamentals and we are a mentally soft team that doesn’t know how to handle success or failure. I’ve been watching a lot of other college teams that aren’t loaded with 4 and 5 star players and they aren’t doing some of the crap on the field we are on D.

    1. Jim in Nevada says:

      Many people are finally seeing that Pelini is in over his head. He’s a stubborn guy that fits best as a DC at another school where he doesn’t have to worry about recruiting or the other responsibilities. Osborne has had too much of a “hands off” approach with a head coach with zero head-coaching experience. Osborne should have stepped in and insisted he fill his staff with experienced coordinators instead of guys Pelini felt comfortable with. Pelini will never figure it out and put it all together as a HC, the donors will get him out in the next 1-2 years.

  24. Kevin says:

    Again Wow ! Every bodies an expert when you lose. Husker fans more so than most. I am alarmed by what some ex-players say, obviously they know schemes better than any of us beer drinking opinionated fools, however did they quote any players that think Bo is doing a good job ? Or did they just quote the ex players that fit the mission they r trying to stir up ? Mike G. You might be a coach, and a successful at that, but peewee fball and college fball do not compare. You throw out a line up U think that will work, is that based on something u know, or an opinion ? For whatever reason I believe Bo is going to put the best players out their to win, call me stupid I guess. We absolutely need more pressure on the QB and faster players on D I will leave that up to the real coaches, notthe blog coaches. Now if the D comes back today and plays lights out let me make a bold prediction….. Not one comment will be made.

  25. MikeG says:

    I still disagree with the recruiting comments. I absolutely love our talent level. I just dont like how we use them. When I see a beast like Eric Martin sitting on the bench and a Dline with no punch, you have to wonder. When we see Braylon Heard pounding the ball for good gains on very tough runs only to see him put on the bench for a majority of the second half, you have to wonder. I love Abdullah, but Heard has been the most impressive runner so far. When Kenny Bell and Jamal Turner are 2 of the fastest guys on the field, why wouldnt you throw in a few WR screens or slants to get them into the open field? When we see WIll Compton being run away from by a RB then we need to have someone else on him. Ive been saying it for a year now, I LOVE our talent, just wish the coaches would utilize it better. I am encouraged to see that guys like Seisay, Baptiste, Santos, and Zaire are finally going to get a chance. I hope if they make one mistake that Bo doesnt yank them out. Our normal starters made several huge mistakes, so give the young guys a chance to get into a rhythm too.

    1. A Fan says:

      We’re missing with talent at DL and LB. We have some young guys at LB who might be good. Might not. The DL is really thin. It’s odd that we can’t get a few linemen for the defense and we had Suh as an example of how good we were at that position.

  26. Gumby says:

    Yes, while it would be nice to get more of the “great” D-line prospects to sign with the Huskers, to say that the overall success of a program is reflected in the number of former players in the NFL is short sighted. How about a top ten list of Academic All Americans produced by each school. It just depends on what your definition of a successful program is. Believe it or not, some of those kids are actually playing football for some other reason than trying to get to the “next level”.