Nebraska football analyst unloads on Bob Wager after resignation

Nebraska football head coach Matt Rhule speaks to the media during the Big 10 football media day at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports)
Nebraska football head coach Matt Rhule speaks to the media during the Big 10 football media day at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports) /

While most of the Nebraska football world was worried about the loss of Bob Wager, one analyst believes the Huskers are better off.

Is it possible that Nebraska football dodged a bullet when it had to let its now-former tight ends coach resign on Friday night? At least one man who has been covering the program for years believes that might be the case.

Speaking on his HuskerOnline podcast directly after the big announcement, On3’s Sean Callahan made it clear that it felt as though things ended up working out for the best for Nebraska football.

“You think about it, Matt Rhule gave Bob Wager the opportunity of a lifetime,” Callahan began. “You got an opportunity to be a Big Ten tight ends coach in a room that has Arik Gilbert a former 5-star tight end, Thomas Fidone the number one tight end the year after that, you’ve got some really good tight ends to work with, this was a job that it would be pretty hard to mess up.”

Callahan clearly felt that while it might have been hard for Wager to mess things up, he did exactly that and not just by driving under the influence and refusing to submit to tests at the scene. Callahan believed the “messing up” was coming well before that.

"“As things progressed, you never really had a good feel … it didn’t feel comfortable. Even when we were down in Texas … we talked to every single coach, every single coach other than him, it was almost like I never really got a chance to talk to the guy, and you didn’t hear a lot in recruiting. I know Carter Nelson committed but it never felt like he came here for [Wager], it was Satterfield, it was Ed Foley it was Matt Rhule.”"

When Callahan was asked point blank if he was giving Wager credit for bringing in one of the top recruits in the 2024 class for Nebraska football in Nelson, the analyst made it clear that Wager never put “boots on the ground” in Nelson’s hometown of Ainsworth.

Podcast host Steve Sipple chimed in with acknowledgment that the big tight-end recruit never really seemed to talk about Wager whenever he mentioned what drew him to Nebraska football.

Nebraska football better off without Bob Wager?

It’s clear that Matt Rhule took a gamble on Bob Wager from the get-go. The Huskers’ head coach has talked a lot about wanting to recruit in Texas since he got here and the hiring of Wager was clearly about helping out in that respect.

That gamble clearly didn’t pay off. Wager was a member of the Nebraska football staff for less than seven months. He never coached a game (unless you count the spring game) and is likely now on his way back to Texas.

From a personal stand point, it’s a sad ending to a man’s shot at making the big time. From a professional standpoint, it looks like the first big misstep by Matt Rhule since taking over the reins.

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And from a journalistic standpoint, it’s a situation where once again, a member of the media who had misgivings about a Nebraska football coach, didn’t bother to pass along those misgivings until the coach’s career in Lincoln was over.