Thursday, July 17, 2008

OWH on Ekeler

The OWH reports on the local boy made good, Husker LB coach Mike Ekeler. Ekeler, a fellow Blair native, played for Bill Snyder at Kansas St, got into coaching with Bob Stoops at Oklahoma, then followed Bo Pelini to LSU and eventually home to Nebraska when Pelini was hired by Husker AD Tom Osborne. Ekeler has some unconventional aspects to his personality, but was noted as a gritty competitor in high school and college. He often modified his hair cut weekly while playing at K St, was the only team captain at the school ever appointed by Snyder - and can quote pretty much the entire dialogue of the movie 'Caddyshack'.

"At KSU, Mike Ekeler carried the razor-toothed fish — named Carl Spackler, after Bill Murray's character in "Caddyshack" — around the K-State football complex, mounted it above his locker and paid homage to it before games.

Occasionally, Ekeler added to the locker room entertainment by reciting direct quotes from "Caddyshack."

"Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac . . . It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole!"

Ekeler knows the entire movie, Hocutt said. He showcased that particular talent last winter during a recruiting trip to Will Compton's house. The Spacklerisms from the 1980 movie likely went over young Will's head, but parents Bill and Kathy nearly hit the floor laughing."

Ekeler's antics and intensity are having quite the impact on the recruiting trail, with new NU quaterback recruit Cody Green being quoted as saying "Have you ever met Coach Ekeler? . . . He's wild. Just talking to him, he got me all fired up." when asked about why Green made the NU his choice over home state Texas A & M.

I may be off base, but I'm expecting a much improved Blackshirt squad this season, particularly with regard to the front seven.

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