In a lengthy, candid interview with former Nebraska star Will Compton and Tennessee Titans Taylor Lewan, freshman Nebraska head football coach Matt Rule dives into a myriad of topics about his job rebuilding the Cornhuskers, preparing to take on Colorado’s Deon Sanders during the season’s opening weeks, Big Ten expansion and methods of name, image, and likeness, among other topics during the “Bussin’ With The Boys” podcast.
Rhule spoke directly about his beliefs regarding leadership and said that, in his opinion, it was necessary for a leader to stand at the front absorbing slings and arrows.
“Do you want to be a leader?” “Get out on top. Take the bullets for your comrades and hope your comrades respond to you.
“I think if I do that, I will have an opportunity to (positively) influence some of these guys.”
Rule was also asked about renewing the Cornhuskers’ rivalry with former conference foe Colorado, which is now managed by Sanders, also known as Coach Prime, and is set to host Nebraska on September 9 at Folsom Field in Boulder, Colorado.
“I believe in our people, and I believe in what we do,” Roll said. “I think it’s going to be a great game. I think it’s going to be a great thing for college football.”
Prompted by the hosts that Colorado Athletics Director Rick George had pleaded with Buffaloes fans not to sell their tickets to Nebraska fans, Rowley remained as “Switzerland”.
“I expect our fans to come,” he said. “When I went out to the western part of our state, and I saw all the bigoted fanatics, these people over there are so excited about Nebraska football. I hope people come from all over [to support Nebraska]. “
Rhule admitted that he and his staff had already encountered Deion Sanders’ influence in hiring. Even in video games. He said when the visitors were playing the Madden NFL video game, one of the options that was traded was Deion Sanders’ likeness and that the screen read “Prime”.
Roll said he told his staff to take that off screen, because “we’re trying to beat these people up when we recruit them.”
Elsewhere, Rhule focused on Big Ten expansion—and made a rather bold announcement in which he predicted the league would send record numbers of participants to the expanded 12-team College Football Playoff.
“I think the Big Ten has become kind of coast-to-coast (the league), almost like college is the NFL,” Roll said. “From Piscataway (New Jersey) to L.A., we have everything in between; this has become a truly national brand. I think that’s good for us. When I look at Texas, I want Nebraska to be a Big Ten team in Texas.
“When I look west from here, all these prospects, from Arizona to Utah in between, have nowhere to go if they want to go to the Big Ten. So like the Big Ten, while we go to 16 teams and the Big Ten (potentially) get I get three to four teams each year to the College Football Playoff, come Nebraska. I think that’s one of the things I’ve seen.”
Rhule has pledged a level approach to his work atop the Nebraska program. He noted that his makeup is inherent in the highs and lows of his training period.
“I was the coach of the year, and I got fired,” said the former Temple, Baylor and Carolina Panthers coach. “Be the same man. … I love football, it’s my passion. My goal in life, I believe, is to be a great man, a great husband, and a great father; so if I say that, I have to live up to it in the toughest moments.”
“The day after the Panthers were expelled (last fall), did I take my kids to school? Or did I just sit at home feeling sorry for myself? Let them see what it’s like to really be a man, to really be the person you say you are in the toughest of times.”
Rhule has had harsh criticisms of himself; He described some of his past coaching work as “embarrassing”.
“It’s my fourth major coaching job in 11 years,” said Roll. “Mistakes I made early on, I’m almost embarrassed by them. The things I did at Temple. But I’ve learned; I’ve sort of perfected that craft in working with guys over time. I hope. I’m going to push them, I’m going to coach them, I’m old school. We’re going to train hard.” , I will train them hard, but I can demand them… I don’t have to belittle anyone.”
A Penn State grad who proudly embraced his old-school reputation, Rhule vowed to try to walk an ethical streak as he struggled with roster management issues at Nebraska — be it via the NCAA Transfer Portal — that blossomed into a very different form than when Rhule was last a college coach. – or the phenomenon of NIL.
“I shouldn’t call a guy on your list saying, ‘Come play for me,’” Roll said. “If he’s happy there, let him be happy there. If someone is unhappy and wants to go to the gate, that’s okay. … Sometimes we (student-athletes) play and we’re responsible for that as adults.
“Hopefully I’m doing it the right way, and it’s really hard. The lines are very blurry right now as to what’s legal and what’s not. I’ll do everything I can to win at Nebraska, as long as it’s legal and ethical. If I can live with it.”
“If I see a junior in high school, I can’t talk to him [on the road in recruiting]. This doesn’t make any sense to me. I can’t do it, but his agent can call me and say he needs $500,000 to come here? “