08.11.2010 / Annual Husker Fan Day Recap. Blog posting by Mike Babcock, Huskers Illustrated Magazine.

A few of the Husker football players might not have enjoyed the annual fan day, signing autographs for an hour and a half at Memorial Stadium in the August heat and humidity; especially on the day preseason practice began. If there were, however, Jared Crick was not among them.

"The most common question from adults for Crick on fan day was whether he was going to step up and be the next Suh."

The junior defensive tackle from Cozad understands the importance of connecting with fans, and the young ones in particular. “I think it’s good for the kids to see some of their idols that close. I think it’s special for them,” Crick said. “It would have been special for me at their age.”

His size alone, 6-foot-6 and 285 pounds, must have inspired awe in the youngsters who passed by, not to mention his reputation as being among the top collegiate players in the country. The most common question from young fans was how many times he planned to sack quarterback Colt McCoy, presumably when the Huskers play Texas in mid-October.

Right team certainly, but wrong quarterback. “They’re too young, so I don’t really want to tell them Colt McCoy’s not there and go on the whole spiel,” said Crick. Instead of telling them McCoy no longer plays for the Longhorns, Crick simply told them, “I don’t know. I guess you’ll have to wait and see.”

The sacking of McCoy was among the enduring images of last season. The Blackshirts got to him nine times, including five by Ndamukong Suh, who tossed him around like a ragdoll. Crick was credited with a half-sack, in his season’s total of 9.5.

Suh also is gone, of course, leaving the spotlight on Crick, whom the Sporting News College Football Yearbook has ranked as the best college player in the country this season. The most common question from adults for Crick on fan day was whether he was going to step up and be the next Suh. “Again, it’s just kind of ‘whatever,’” Crick said of his response. “I just gave a pretty default answer, signed the thing and send them on their way.”

Crick won’t be drawn into talking about himself. He leaves that to others. “I’ve just got to go out and re-focus every single day, just go out with the same mindset I’ve had ever since I’ve been here, and that’s give it everything you’ve got,” he said. “If good things happen, then great. But at least at the end of the day I know I put everything on the field that I can.” If he does that, good things definitely will happen. You can count on it.

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