Mike Riley said he's in the process of meeting individually with every single member of Nebraska's football team. For at least 20 minutes. One after the other.
There are 111 players listed on NU's roster. So the process takes a good week, he said.
Riley said he's met with his assistants, his personnel and development aids, the strength coaches, the nutrition staffers, the academic counselors and the athletic trainers — for the sole purpose of developing a progress report that he can share with each individual member of NU's team.
This is something Riley did at the end of spring a year ago, and it went well.
These interactions have gone even better.
"I am so impressed with this team," he said during an hour-long appearance on "Sports Nightly" on the Husker Sports Network on Thursday night. "Their goals and expectations are high. You ask the question about what's the difference between now and a year ago, it is absolutely about (my) knowledge of the players and knowing them.
"It's night and day, that way. I think the comfort level for both coaches and players is vastly different than a year ago. And it wasn't bad. It's just a natural thing in a major transition like that."
Some other notes from Riley's appearance Thursday are below:
>> Nebraska just secured its seventh-known commitment for the 2017 recruiting class (linebacker Avery Roberts). Riley can't comment on specific prospects until they sign a letter of intent. But he did say this: "There's a little bit of a buzz about us right now in recruiting. And that's a really good thing. That momentum can help us continue to build."
>> De'Mornay Pierson-El's recovery process from a season-ending knee injury is on schedule, Riley said. Riley and Pierson-El actually talked for a good while Thursday. At this point, it's unclear how quickly Pierson-El will be fully recovered. But the junior is working hard. "He's running with some change of direction — but not sharp angles," Riley said.
>> Senior Jordan Westerkamp (groin), who missed most of spring ball, will be cleared to run full speed maybe in the next couple weeks, Riley said.
>> Sophomore Mikale Wilbon was "much more detailed" this spring, according to Riley. That commitment to being assignment-sound vaulted Wilbon into the top group, along with senior Terrell Newby and sophomore Devine Ozigbo. ... Riley described Newby as "the most stable, experienced guy" within that trio.
>> NU will have five quarterbacks on the roster when transfer Tanner Lee joins the team this fall. That's an ideal number, according to Riley. Sounds like he'd prefer to take one per recruiting class.
>> Quick reports on individual QBs: Riley likes Tommy Armstrong's athleticism — the runs he had in the spring game were difference-making plays — but they'll continue to work on his footwork. ... If he played a full year, senior Ryker Fyfe would likely finish as a 65 percent passer, Riley said. Fyfe's strength has improved and his release of the football is more consistent. ... Mistakes aside, freshman Patrick O'Brien still left a positive impression on Riley. O'Brien never seemed rattled by the playbook or the level of competition, according to Riley.
>> Riley's feeling good about Nebraska's offensive line — particularly on the interior, which showcased some physicality this spring. Said Riley: "It wasn't long into spring ball that I was getting more and more encouraged by what this group looked like."
>> Riley's already voiced his displeasure with the satellite camp ban. But he sees the silver lining: NU's coaches will be on campus all June long. Which means more time spent with the current players and perhaps a better experience for kids who participate in Nebraska's developmental camps. "We're going to flip this thing around and be very, very productive," Riley said.
>> Just a brief comment from Riley on the fact that some leagues (like the Big Ten in 2016) will play a nine-game schedule and others (SEC) play just eight league games: "That's something that, as this playoff thing goes forward, has to be studied. ... That's not really equitable. And when you're talking about the ramifications of a playoff, this is a big deal."
>> Riley on the NU fans after more than 72,000 were on hand for Saturday's spring game: "I think they're a major, major factor in recruiting. And I really appreciate that."