Arkansas State vs. Nebraska, 9/2/17

Nebraska wide receiver Stanley Morgan Jr. (8) catches a touchdown pass as Arkansas State cornerback Brandon Byner (28) defends in first-quarter action Sept. 2 at Memorial Stadium.

You know what time it is.

1. With Nebraska's rugged start to the season, thoughts inevitably turn to recruiting.

What is Mike Riley's message to prospects, especially the 10 players who have given the Huskers verbal commitments?

How do you keep them in the fold?

Riley's message: "Do they want to be part of it as we come back?" the Husker head coach told reporters Monday during his weekly news conference.

Nebraska's class of 2018 is ranked 37th in the 247Sports Composite ratings.

Riley said he'll continue to sell his vision for the program. Selling that vision and maintaining strong relationships with prospects is the key, he said.

"When you have a bump, you can get through it," Riley said. "That's my experience in recruiting."

Nebraska still has about eight spots to fill in the 2018 class. That can create a measure of stress, especially if losses mount.

I've seen it before at NU in tough seasons. Recruiting can get put on the back-burner. Making sure that doesn't happen only adds to the enormous challenge that Riley and company face in trying to get the program back to an elite level.

2. If all Nebraska players have sophomore linebacker Mohamed Barry's attitude in the wake of Saturday's loss, well, it would certainly help matters for the Big Red.

In addressing the media corps Monday, Barry expressed confidence in a calm and measured manner -- so measured that I wonder if he aspires to be a coach someday.

"If you lose, you have to ask yourself what you could've done to make sure it didn't happen," he said.

"Every person has to focus, do their part ... If we all do that, the pieces will come together and we'll be a much better team."

Husker senior kicker Drew Brown also handled the media session well.

We'll post video later in the day.

3. Stanley Morgan Jr. has been targeted more than any other Nebraska receiver this season, and it's not a close race.

Give him credit. He's producing, hauling in 18 receptions through three games. That's the most catches by a Husker receiver through three games in school history.

4. The broadcast team is set for Rutgers-Nebraska at 2:30 p.m. Saturday on BTN.

Brandon Gaudin will handle play-by-play, and Glen Mason will be the color analyst. Elise Menaker will be the sideline reporter.

5. If you're a Nebraska fan, ask yourself this: If the Huskers played Purdue this weekend, which team would be favored?

That it's conceivable Nebraska would be an underdog tells you plenty. Jeff Brohm, the first-year Boilermakers head coach, has a lot of folks' attention with his early impact on the traditionally moribund program.

Purdue's win Saturday at Missouri, even considering the Tigers' struggles on defense, continued the Boilermakers' strong start under Brohm (click here for story).

6. I think this photo could be a motivator for Nebraska this week ...

Reach the writer at 402-473-7440 or ssipple@journalstar.com.


Husker columnist

Steven, a lifelong Nebraskan, newspaper enthusiast and UNL grad, joined the Journal Star in 1990 and has covered NU football since 1995.

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