Say what you want about former Nebraska coach Bill Callahan, the man sure does speak (and gesture) his mind. Pledging to bring Nebraska into the 21st century with his west-coast offense, Callahan was atop the world after gaining a pledge from tall, big-armed quarterback Josh Freeman. That is, until Freeman reneged on his non-binding oral commitment and declared for Kansas State.
Callahan, predictably, was miffed. Can't blame him, as his list of able-bodied quarterbacks were a bunch of guys who were barely able. Zac Taylor, Harrison Beck, Beau Davis, Joe Ganz, all nothing to build a Big 12 champion around.
Ganz actually ended up a decent quarterback, although way too late in his collegiate career and for a different head coach. You see, Nebraska fired Callahan after four seasons and replaced him with LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pelini.
Would Freeman have mattered? Perhaps. His coach also ended up getting terminated this year, but he was a productive and skilled player in a similar offense. You can't teach 6'-5" with a gun, something the World Champion Pittsburgh Steelers are fully aware of.
Callahan was widely rumored to be near-impossible to play for, and his reaction to Freeman's departure well after the fact gives a hint as to why.
Nebraska coach Bill Callahan apparently hasn't forgiven Kansas State recruit Josh Freeman for reneging on his commitment to the Cornhuskers at the 11th hour before signing day. "We want players who want us because we feel that Nebraska is a special, special situation," Callahan told the Lincoln Journal-Star "If you're a prima donna, if you're a drama queen, there's no room for you at Nebraska. You can go to K-State."
Who knows, maybe he isn't so grumpy if Freeman sticks with the Huskers, pulls a Gary Pinkel and loosens up enough to let the talent do its thing and saves his job. Nebraska certainly might have been farther along in its recovery than it is right now.
Be sure to check out the entire Ghosts of Recruiting series leading up to college football's national letter of intent day
Previously in Ghosts of Recruiting
Ghosts of Recruiting Past: Pac-10 Also-Rans Washington and UCLA
Ghosts of Recruiting Past: Big 12 Slumpers Colorado and Texas A&M
Ghosts of Recruiting Past: Former Masters Miami and Florida State
Ghosts of Recruiting Past: Aging, Embattled Warriors Pitt and Syracuse
Ghosts of Recruiting Past: Virginia and Michigan State Rounds Things Out
Ghosts of Recruiting Present: Steve Slaton, Maryland Terrapin?
Ghosts of Recruiting Present: Ryan Perilloux is Drama for All
Ghosts of Recruiting Present: Houston Nutt, Reality Show
Ghosts of Recruiting Present: Texas Whiffs on the Rodgers Brothers