Pelini to recruit: "Best of luck, you're going to need it"
Bo Pelini’s temper has gotten him in hot water before, and if Dominic Walker’s account of a recent conversation is accurate, Pelini doesn’t reserve his frustration for the sidelines or the post game press conference.
On Friday, Walker, a three-star wide receiver recruit from Orlando, Fla., switched his commitment from Nebraska to Auburn.
Walker originally committed to Vanderbilt back in the summer, but visited Nebraska in late September and flipped to the Cornhuskers a couple of months later.
Walker said his earlier change of heart made the decision to switch to Auburn especially difficult, and he wanted to call Pellini and Husker wide receiver coach Rich Fisher to inform them of his decision personally.
According to the Orlando Sentinel:
“It was a very tough decision. They were [mad]. They were very mad. But I thought I had to call them like a real man shoould,” Walker said. “But yeah, they were mad. Coach Pelini said, ‘Best of luck, you’re going to need it.’ ”
Wide receivers coach Rich Fisher also was in on the call.
“Coach Fisher said, ‘I can’t believe you,’ ” Walker said. “It was really awkward.”
Pellini’s frustration is understandable, but he should’ve kept the snide remarks to himself. After all, Walker de-committed from Vanderbilt before he chose Nebraska in the first place, so it’s hard to believe Pelini and Fisher felt too good about the strength of Walker’s bond.
The Friday decision and phone call wasn’t the first sign that Walker was wavering.
Since his hiring at Auburn in early December, Gus Malzahn made Walker and his high school teammate Tony Stevens (also a highly recruited wide receiver) a priority. The pair bonded with Malzahn and Tiger assistant Dameyune Craig and made official visits to Auburn last weekend. Just after the visit, Stevens switched his commitment from Texas A&M to Auburn, while Walker told reporters that he was torn between the Tigers and Huskers.
Pelini and Fisher made an in home visit to Walker early in the week, and according to a report from AuburnSports.com, Walker hinted that their pitch may have turned him off.
“The visit was about how much of an impact I would make for their class, it was a good visit,” Walker said. “But they were trying to bring up the bad things about why I shouldn’t go to Auburn. They were trying to tell me the bad things — trying to persuade me why I should go to their school. But I didn’t understand that. They can say anything, but it’s been two or three years since Cam Newton and nothing has happened.”
In the end, Walker said that everything worked out for the best. He’ll get to play closer to home, alongside his high school teammate.
“There’s more opportunity for my family to see me play because it’s closer to home and there’s a better chance for me to go in and play right away, which is what I was looking for all along,” Walker said. “Plus, I get to play another four years with my teammate Tony and that’s great … everything is just great.”