JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Nebraska players' first order of business Thursday was to file off the team buses and gather into a conference room so coach Bo Pelini could remind them what's at stake.
They'd spent the afternoon filling social media with photos and videos from their experience on the biggest jet in the United Airlines fleet. Then they had a police escort to the TPC Sawgrass Hotel, a resort surrounded by a PGA golf course and minutes from the beach.
And while Pelini wants his players to enjoy the perks associated with the weeklong stay in Jacksonville, he reminded them Thursday that the main priority is Wednesday's Gator Bowl against Georgia.
“It's a good balance of being able to get your work done, but at the same time, making sure you get to enjoy the experience,” Pelini said.
Pelini said not all players made the trip to Jacksonville, but he declined to identify the ones left home. He indicated that he planned to address the topic Friday. Nebraska practices at 9:30 a.m.
The Huskers reconvened Wednesday after a four-day break, and Pelini reminded them to keep their focus during the next week.
“Come out with a win,” sophomore defensive end Randy Gregory said. “That's what we're here for.”
Pelini didn't bring his golf clubs for a reason. “This is a business trip for me.”
Even so, the Huskers will find a way to have some fun between the meetings, practices and workouts.
They've got a beach party scheduled for Friday, and there's an event at a 50,000-square-foot entertainment center planned for Saturday. The TPC Sawgrass golf course, featuring an island green on the 17th hole, is on the hotel property and has already been discussed as a must-visit by many Huskers.
Live it up during the free time, says Pelini — as long as you're maintaining good judgment.
“(I) just said, make sure you're smart and you take care of each other,” Pelini said. “(We) want to have a good time, but we've got to be smart.”
The Huskers looked to be enjoying themselves Thursday as they paraded through the lobby of their team hotel.
As they do every year, they traveled in style to their bowl site, flying on United's 747 — with a wingspan of 211 feet, 5 inches and a capacity of more than 350 passengers, it's the largest jet used by the airline, according to the company website.
And the vessel had plenty of amenities.
A separate deck for first-class seats. TV screens for everyone. Cup holders on arm rests. Outlets for laptops or other devices.
Players took photos from the cockpit (before takeoff). The 6-foot-6 Gregory particularly liked his chair's 180-degree reclining ability.
“I was laying in my seat like I was in a bed. It was nice to have that much room on a plane,” he said. “I've never seen a plane like that in my life.”
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>> Video: See Bo Pelini, Shawn Eichorst and Mark Richt arrive at a welcome party: