Nebraska Football: Confusion follows Donovan Raiola rumors

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

Earlier today, it seemed as though the Nebraska football team was going to make a splash hire for its offensive line coach in John Garrison. On Tuesday night, the talk is that instead new head coach Matt Rhule has landed on Donovan Raiola.

I suppose in a way, retaining Raiola is making a splash. As in the entirety of Nebraska football fandom was splashed with a massive dose of cold water.

Anyone dreaming of being excited about that particular position coach immediately got shocked awake. Instead of a surge of adrenaline and a fist pump into the sky, it appears that most of Husker nation is shrugging, looking around, and wondering what just happened.

It’s not a stretch to say that there wasn’t a coach on Scott Frost’s staff that had people so universally frustrated this past season than Donovan Raiola. There were few who seemed less convincing in their jobs. And yet, the man who has exactly one year as a full-time assistant coach leading his own unit apparently gave a very convincing interview when he spoke to Rhule.

When news that Raiola was the pick for Nebraska football started spreading, there were more than a few reactions on social media.

There are some Nebraska football fans who believe they’ve cracked the code on just why Raiola might have been retained.

With the news that Wisconsin defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard won’t be staying at Wisconsin, some wonder if this hire isn’t a play by Rhule to lure the defensive coordinator to Lincoln.

I personally believe that Rhule has already settled on his defensive coordinator and that it almost certainly isn’t Jim Leonhard. Could plans change with the announcement on Tuesday night?

It’s entirely possible I suppose, but thinking Rhule is hiring a less experienced coach to try and draw a coach who is going to be sought after in a big way seems like a desperation play. And I would hope the new Nebraska football coach isn’t already feeling desperation.