The option running game and Nebraska football, cultivated an incredible love affair for many years in the city of Lincoln--leaving fans, who were fortunate enough to witness this poetic machine, with plenty of lasting memories.
So many memories, some Husker fans think, it's the "only way" Nebraska should run their offense. And for some reason, I kind of agree with this notion--with a few exceptions.
What if your starting quarterback is Santa Margarita high school stand out and redshirt freshman Johnny Stanton? Yeah, I know, he's dubbed a dual threat quarterback. But given Stanton's tremendous skill-set, he would probably be a success in any offensive system, but I'm not sure that will maximize his true design and transfer well at the next level.
Lets look at Johnny's intangibles and see which style of offense is best suited for the California native.
Johnny Stanton is 6'2 220 pounds and played under one of the most notable high school coaches (Harry Welsh) and perennial schools in the country before attending the University of Nebraska. He was developed in a four-wide, one back system. But the kicker is, he wasn't in the traditional gun that normally accompanies this type of spread formation nowadays.
He was actually under center for the most part.
Harry Welsh's system, albeit, a spread formation, prides itself on exemplary quarterback mechanics while under center and extreme knowledge of passing concepts. If you watch Johnny Stanton on film, he is definitely the recipient of such detail and understands the art of being a quarterback--he stands tall in the pocket, very good mechanics and footwork and surveys the field well during his progressions.
This is exactly what makes him special and one of the reasons I believe Tim Beck should jettison the spread (read option) offense and turn to a pro style offense if Stanton gets the nod. I understand offensive coordinators normally don't scrap an entire offensive scheme for one player. But in this case, it would be in Beck's best interest to do so. There are so many options a quarterback with great mechanics and hidden speed can provide in a pro style offense.
Michigan State was the beneficiary of this with Connor Cook.
In no way am I jumping on Sparty's wagon because of one successful offensive season. I just understand what type of quarterback Stanton truly is and what system he is a perfect fit for.
And Johnny Stanton has pro style system written all over him.
The potent rushing attack Nebraska carries will work wonders in a pro style offense with a 6'2 220 pound quarterback with very good mechanics, and an understanding of offensive reads.
And let's not forget his ability to run.
The Gator Bowl will provide Tommy Armstrong with one last stage appearance until he will have to exchange blows in the offseason with Stanton and possibly an unknown player. But if Johnny Stanton gets the nod, I truly hope coach Tim Beck makes the necessary changes to the offense for him.
I would sure hate to see Johnny Stanton sitting in the gun running the spread for four years, when he is truly built for a pro style offense.