What about recruiting?
Recruiting will always be the life-blood of any successful athletic program, so having capable recruiters isn't a luxury, it's a must.
In such a short time as the defensive coordinator, Pelini has made a profound impact in at least drawing the attention of some of the best in the country.
Heading to his home-state of Ohio, Pelini's results have yet to be known, but players from that area or one very promising player at least look to be ready to sign on the dotted line the second Bo is named the official and permanent head coach.
In Florida though, this is perhaps the best example of what Pelini has been capable of doing as a recruiter for the University of Nebraska.
Florida, a state amongst the top three every year in regards to states producing more division 1-A talent than any other. Florida, where the kids are seemingly born running 4.4s right out of the womb. Florida, a place that brought to Nebraska such names as current Huskers, Donald DeFrand and Fabian Washington and of course, the one and only, Tommie Frazier.
For teams like Nebraska that reside in areas of the country not known for producing prep-all-everythings by the bushel, recruiting from coast to coast is a necessity.
And amongst those hotbeds of recruiting where you must have at least some success to keep your talent pool deep are Texas, California and Florida.
If you can recruit well in those three states, you are as they say, 'golden'.
As far as Florida is concerned, Nebraska has definitely gotten some quality players out of the sunshine state, but getting any players at all from there is usually considered a feat rather than simply a product of NU recruiters doing their jobs.
The weather is almost always good, the social life, extreme in comparison to the nightlife in the Husker state and oh yeah, the University of Florida, Miami and Florida State aren't exactly chump-change competition.
Why would anyone want to leave?
You can't be just a recruiter if you hope to get any kids out of the state of Florida, especially when you are asking them to go to someplace where it can easily get 40 below zero. You can't be just some guy off the street if you have any hope of luring a super-prep from the sunshine state over the Canes, past the Noles and right by the "Swamp", asking them to leap over about six other states before they even see the borders of Nebraska.
Try doing that with a lot of success.
Point of fact, it never has been for Nebraska. You can pick out a Tommie Frazier or a Fabian Washington, but the success from a state just 90 miles north of Cuba is about as successful as luring Hawaiian kids to the North Dakota State.
Then came Bo Pelini.
Utilizing the almost unheard of, but typically Nebraskan recruiting policy of honesty first and telling it like it is, Pelini's straight-forward-honest and open approach to recruits in Florida has been received with open and even eager arms.
The perennial powerhouse, Lincoln Trojans who average around 9 preps a year sent to the Division 1-A level has no less than 5 kids seriously thinking about going to NU. "He's been a rock of stability in a world of craziness." Father of Trojan lineman, Danny Muy-Scott McPherson said. "He's straight-forward and honest and as a parent you appreciate that."
You could say that Bo Pelini isn't the only straight-forward and honest recruiter out there, but what the interim head coach provides in addition is a charisma all his own. Pelini is honest and blunt, serious, but personally jovial and when people outside of the media talk about back and forths with him, I dare you to find one dissenting opinion.
5 Florida kids in one year, definite possibilities to end up Nebraska Cornhuskers. In one year, folks. That's not just unusual, that's unheard of. Even if NU were to end up with only two, you could still consider Pelini's debut at a Husker-recruiter a bonafide success.
Of course, Pelini has to be named the head coach.
It seems that over the last couple of years, Husker fans can't catch a break. For them at least, they are just coming out of a 'great depression'-like state of mind. Pelini and company were the spark to bring their brains out of the abyss, sparking a fiery defense over most of the entire season this year.
Now, people are wondering and some are hoping that Bo will find himself the captain of the ship, leading the Huskers back yet some more to being the Huskers of old.
It would appear, at least to me that one of the big reasons Frank Solich was let go was simply because as a recruiter, he wasn't the best anyone had seen. Personable yes, but he lacked that something that drew recruits in and kept them there, not able to dismiss the presence of the coach nor the memory of each time they talked.
In short, Solich just never left a major impression.
Pelini does that and then some, thus he hits one of your most important criteria when considering who your next head coach should be. We know the guy can coach and now, we have a pretty good idea he can recruit and in Florida no less. What else is there?
For me, when I looked early on at the possible list of candidates, there were a few that I favored over Bo Pelini. Most of it had to do with the fact that they brought experience to the table. Experience as a head coach, experience with offense and experienced along with success as a recruiter.
Well, you don't need to be a head coach prior to be a successful head coach in the future and as to the offense, I'm sure that someone capable and ready will be there to do the job, so what's left is recruiting and in less than a full calendar year, Pelini has proven his mettle to me.
Heck, Bo Pelini might now be Nebraska's best recruiter on top of being one of the newest guys on the staff to the field of luring preps to NU. If that's the case and what we are seeing is an example of a 'green' or wet behind the ears, Bo Pelini, the future of Nebraska recruiting could be scary.
This time however, that's scary as in scary good.
Forget his prowess on the defense. Forget the fact that his own players say that each and every one of them would go through a wall for him and forget the fact that it would seem that he gets along with most people he's around. Bo Pelini is also an almost-completely-proven recruiter.
The almost comes because there is no such thing as a future Husker until the L.O.I is signed in February. When that time comes, if those Florida boys do end up comin a running, you can take the effect of Pelini and just call it the "Pelini Factor". That's when you know they aren't just good, they are darn good and for your head coach to be your best recruiter, the Pelini factor should end up translating to a Pelini future for NU.