Stringfellow Spurns Nebraska, Hurts Future Depth at WR
Super-stud freshman Monte Harrison made a verbal agreement to come to Lincoln. Just in case Harrison got drafted in baseball and decided to go pro, the Huskers landed Washington transfer Damore’ea Stringfellow, who was viewed as the replacement for Kenny Bell.
There’s no way the Huskers were going to end up losing both of those guys, right? Ugh.
Harrison was drafted No. 50 overall by the Milwaukee Brewers and signed a big-money contract a short time later.
Then late last week came the news not many were expecting, and it came in tweet form by Stringfellow. In it was a picture of an Ole Miss jersey and the words “let me eat!!” I don’t know what the heck that means, but I sure know there is a 6-foot-3, 229-pound hole in Nebraska's 2015 scholarship class.
Not so long ago, Stringfellow was chatting on Twitter with Kenny Bell and Ameer Abdullah. He was doing radio interviews with Omaha sports talk stations, telling one host “I’m coming to shatter records”. The fit with Nebraska seemed perfect. Stringfellow went to the same high school as former Huskers Eric Martin and Quincy Enunwa. Then three weeks after saying he’s a Husker there’s an Ole Miss flag on Stringfellow’s Twitter account. So what changed?
We may never know the answer to that question. Stringfellow told one website his recruiter at Ole Miss was former NU grad assistant Chris Kiffin, who also (unsuccessfully) tried to get Stringfellow to come to Nebraska out of high school.
The Omaha World-Herald’s Sam McKewon was able to reach Stringfellow via text message. The receiver told McKewon about the sudden change of heart: “Just getting to know the coaches and talking to the players about what (type) of program it was.”
Um, ok. I’m still confused. But Stringfellow continues. When asked about the reaction from the coaches at NU he said they were "really disappointed, but it's my life, my career, I gotta do what's best for me."
Can someone please translate Stringfellow-ese for me?
But things got a little clearer (maybe) Friday afternoon. In a blog and series of tweets by Steven M. Sipple (@HuskerExtraSip) of the Lincoln Journal Star, Stringfellow said Ole Miss made the best impression on his mom, and that’s what swayed him. You can only imagine what kind of reaction that sparked in the social media world. Even former Husker Fabian Washington got in on the action, tweeting “Mommy doesn't have to live with the decision, he does.”
You know who else has to live with the decision? The Cornhuskers. Losing Harrison and Stringfellow in the course of two weeks has a lot of fans (and I hope the coaching staff) shaking and scratching their heads. Kenny Bell is gone after this year. So is Jamaal Turner. What’s left is a group of guys who are solid receivers, but certainly no superstars.
One incoming freshman looked at to possibly make a big impact is Jariah Tolbert. But in just his first week on the UNL campus, Tolbert was busted for smoking weed just two blocks up the street from Abel Hall. He ran from police but was caught a short time after. There’s a joke there somewhere about if he can’t outrun police how is he supposed to outrun opposing cornerbacks, but I digress. In all seriousness we have no idea what, if any, punishment the police and Bo Pelini will dish out.
The bottom line is if wide receiver wasn’t a huge priority for the coaching staff, it better be right now. The only recruit who had verbally committed for 2015 already backed out. I don’t like the Bill Snyder method, but it’s time to start checking out the junior colleges to add experience and depth. Or maybe there’s a way to quickly clone Kenny Bell. He won’t miss any of his hair, will he?
Listen, I wish no ill-will on Stringfellow. Good for him if he and his mom think Oxofrd, Mississippi, is going to be the best place for his "career". What I wish he wouldn’t have done is left the Huskers standing at the altar with what was already a thin receiving corps.
Let’s hope the Huskers catch on to a couple receivers on the recruiting trail soon.
Jay Saunders is a Big Ten contributor for FanIQ with keen knowledge for Nebraska football. Follow him on Twitter: @JayinMilwaukee