Mike Riley recently sat down for a one-on-one meeting with every single one of the players on Nebraska’s roster for about 15 minutes a piece – all 120 of them. When it was all said and done, it took about a week and provided some really valuable insight to the man that Nebraska tabbed to lead ther program.
Annual one-on-ones are something that a lot of head coaches do, but for Mike Riley (who spent the past 12 seasons leading the Oregon State program), it was especially important because he had a whole lot of new faces to get to know, and he also wanted to talk to his current players to find out first hand what drew them to Nebraska. That kind of information is invaluable to head coach in a new environment.
Those one-on-one meetings consisted of conversation ranging from everything from the customary ‘How are things going?’ questions, to some deeper questions aimed at ultimately helping Riley recruit future prospects to Lincoln. Questions like how they decided to commit to Nebraska? And why they chose the Huskers over other programs?
“That’s all helpful information as you recruit, when one of the big issues, one of the big factors for all of them, was when they got to visit here,” Riley told Husker Extra. “Because no matter where the guys are from, it’s interesting … everybody’s friendly here, it’s that kind of place. There’s an atmosphere here I think that is unique to (players), no matter if they’re from Louisiana or Texas or California or Georgia.”
“You’re always looking for fits. There’s a guy you might really, really, really want. But in the end, you kind of get the fit. And they get it about this place. But whether it was a gameday experience that they got to come to visit, or just see the place, meet the people – that was the big selling point.”
It may have taken up a lot of valuable time, but Riley clearly took away a number of things from those fifteen minute conversations with each of his players.