Mike Riley mentioned again Sunday that a positive from the NCAA's temporary satellite camp ban this spring was that he and the NU staff were forced to completely reassess their June plan.
They started talking about the idea of keeping Nebraska coaches on campus, making easily accessible for the new players who just arrived and the returners who're back from a May break. The summer conditioning program begins this week.
Riley said, too, that the Husker staffers had to make a considerable effort to lure prospective athletes to NU's series of on-campus camps, particularly the Friday Night Lights events (June 10, 17 and 24).
So as he stood on the Oak Park High School field under the California sun Sunday, energized by a productive satellite camp inside a key recruiting region for Nebraska, Riley couldn't overlook the importance of what lies ahead for the program's coaches this month.
Sure, Sunday was great. More than 160 athletes (including several top-tier prospects) got instruction from Husker assistants, who in turn had a firsthand opportunity to evaluate. Portions of the staff will be participating as guest coaches in these types of events in the coming weeks. Riley himself is set to travel to Detroit this weekend for the Sound Mind Sound Body camp.
But Riley indicated that satellite camps aren't the only thing Nebraska has going.
"I want to do it all," Riley said. "I want to be there for our team in Lincoln, I want to bring kids to Lincoln and we're going to do a couple of these as we can."
Riley and the NU coaches left California Sunday after their weekend in Los Angeles. NCAA rules prohibit them from directly promoting their appearances at a specific satellite camp, but they hinted Sunday night that their trip was worthwhile.
They'll be back interacting with current players Monday.
The incoming freshmen all reported this weekend. Riley said no one is facing any initial eligibility hurdles. Said Riley: "The academic part of it was all in line."
Riley indicated that he will have an announcement at some point soon regarding team captains. The Huskers released the names of their six captains at this time one year ago. Stay tuned, Riley says.
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About that Calabasas fire ...
Riley said he could see flames from his hotel room window Saturday afternoon. Defensive coordinator Mark Banker said he saw the smoke rising into the cloudless sky as he sat down for a bite to eat in the early evening.
They found out pretty quickly that their satellite camp was in jeopardy.
The fire, which began just after 4 p.m. (local time), raged just a few blocks away from Calabasas High School, which was set to host NU's camp the next day.
But they didn't want to cancel it. So Calabasas coaches and officials worked Saturday night and Sunday morning to develop a contingency plan. They found a new venue. They contacted as many recruits as possible. The final result was a well-run event at Oak Park, about 20 minutes away.
As of Sunday evening, the fire was 80 percent contained, the roads were reopening and families were returning to their homes, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.