All year round, former Husker and NFL veteran Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In the "Carriker Chronicles" video series, he breaks down the latest NU news, upcoming opponents, player updates and recruiting information, and he offers his insight into the X's and O's and more.
On Wednesday's episode, Adam Carriker discusses Nebraska's kicker battle and how the pressure of competition should improve the Huskers this season.
When Adam Carriker talks, you'll want to listen. Get every episode of the "Carriker Chronicles" in your inbox.
Check out a full transcript below:
Welcome to the Carriker Chronicles, the people's show, where we check the pulse of Husker Nation, brought to you by Nebraska Spine Hospital.
Per Evan Bland of the Omaha World-Herald, the Huskers have just added a new walk on kicker to this kicking battle, which is going to be so important come, hopefully fall camp for hopefully a regular football season that we're able to have, hopefully, coming this fall. So they've added another name to that list real quickly.
Before I get into that, right. I just, you know, are kickers really football players like seriously, are they, are they? I'm just messing around, okay, because with the game on the line, all of a sudden, the guy has been forgotten about most of the game all of a sudden becomes the most important player on the field. The most watched player on the field has the most amount of pressure of anybody on the field.
Now I do have to share a story from my senior year at Nebraska. All right, so my senior year, I'll never forget, it's towards the end of the year. So you're beat up. You're kind of tired. You've gone through a long season, and it's a midweek practice. So you got full pads. It's physical. We are doing a 9 on 7 drill, which is nine offensive players and seven defensive players. I know sounds fair right? Anyways, it's all run drill, it's all one play and on this particular day, man, it was just double team after double team after double team after double team. And it was taking on 330 pounds, boom, two guys at a time 650, 660 pounds of humanity and then we went straight to one on one pass rush drills. Now I enjoy one on one pass rush. But in my senior year, man, everything was under the microscope. I'd go up to our meeting rooms in the day before practice was starting to watch film with the scouts in there. And there'd be scouts up there watching the film of the defense, guess who they're watching, or at least one of the guys they're watching. And so every time one on one pass, which would happen, there'd be about 10 scouts over there watching and you do a good job. And then you'd look over and they'd be writing like 11 page novels. You're like, oh, man, did I just screw everything up? Here's my point. I say you got double teams and you got high pressure situations at the defensive linemen. And here's something that I don't know that I don't know if you want to know... but anyways, I really had to go the bathroom. I really really had to go. So I just been through those two drills and I finally said to my d-line coach, hey coach, I really got to go in the bathroom. So it's all right, go ahead and go. Now I had never ever had to do this in a practice before. And only one time in my NFL career did I ever have to do it, oddly enough on a Thursday Night Football game versus the Steelers. Anyways, I'm going the bathroom and it's just a coincidence. I wore this shirt today. My wife told me it was inappropriate. I just think it's funny. But anyways, I like Peter Pan because he never grows up.
I'm going to the bathroom. Okay. And I walk into the locker room and off to the right is that all the stalls and off to the left? I see about seven or eight or nine different people and I can't really tell what they're doing. But I'm like, Oh my god, I think I know what they're doing. But I have to go. So I go. I finished up I come back out. And I got a couple more seconds because I'm not in such a hurry and I look and I'll be damned. They're doing exactly what I thought they were doing. It was the long snappers, the punters and the kickers ... these are the exact stools that were in those locker rooms. Those locker rooms when they switched everything to the other side of the stadium. They didn't take these chairs with them. If you flip the stools over, makes a nice little basketball hoop. They were playing horse with the stools flipped over shooting footballs into them. I could not believe my eyes. I'm out here taking on double teams. I'm out here having everything scrutinized and they're in here playing a horse now. All right. That's a true story.
But here's the deal. I like to give kickers, punters and long snappers a hard time, but here's the truth. When you need three points at the end of the game, I have all the respect in the world. Now physically, their job may not be the most demanding thing in the world. But mentally, the pressure everybody watching game on the line, they have the chance to be the goat and no i don't mean greatest of all time. I mean the bad guy if they miss it, or they can be the hero. And it's all what happens at the end of those games that high pressure situations and for that I have a lot of respect for what they have to go through mentally.
Nebraska seemingly always had really good kickers. You go back through the years. We always kind of took it for granted. A year ago the Huskers struggled, they used six different kickers. They had guys trying out from a club soccer team. At one point they had multiple kicks blocked ... at one point they had back-to-back kicks blocked, that should never happen.
But going into this year, they have four main contenders for the starting kicker job. This year, Ryan Novosel, a walk on from Illinois, the guy who just joined. He's the No. 100 kicker in the country right now he hasn't kicked a ton honestly his senior year 5 for 5 on field goals, made 16 out of 16 extra point attempts. Now the Huskers have three other main contenders: Iowa Western All-American Chase Contreraz. Also a walk on from Oklahoma, Tyler Crawford is in the mix. Redshirt freshmen Gabe Heins also as well.
Barrett Pickering just retired from football, he was a No. 2 kicker in the country when he came out of high school two years ago. All right, so they're trying to replace Barrett. They're trying to find their kicker for this year. This is going to be quarterback battle, wide receiver battle, D-line ... they got to replace a lot of guys up front and the kicker battle ... those are the battles I'm watching the most hopefully when college football resumes on time.
Until next time, Husker Nation. Go Big Red and always remember to throw the bones!
Thanks again to the Nebraska Spine Hospital. Ladies and gentlemen, when it’s your spine, you do not want to mess around. Experience matters. That’s why you can trust the experts at Nebraska Spine Hospital, the region's only spine specific hospital. They are the best at what they do.
When was Nebraska last ranked No. 1? Husker football's entire history in the AP Top 25
How often has Nebraska football been ranked at each position? When did the Huskers first appear at No. 1? When was the last time NU was in the top 10? Check out this photo collection featuring how Nebraska has fared at each spot in the AP Top 25.