Tom Osborne’s “friendly” call to Matt Rhule includes a conversation about Mickey Joseph

Take a look at Matt Rowley’s playing and coaching career.

LINCOLN — Matt Rule said he crossed an item off his wish list on Saturday morning.

“I spoke to Coach Osborne,” Nebraska’s new head football coach said via ESPN about a conversation with the legendary Husker coach and athletic director.

Osborne said on Saturday that the call was “friendly” and relatively brief. Osborne said he expects the call from Rhule after Trev Alberts, NU Athletic Director, called on Saturday to tell Osborne Roule he wanted to chat.

Osborne said, “I told Matt I would help in any way I could, but would not be an interfering influence.”

Osborne was instrumental in encouraging Scott Frost, Rhule’s predecessor, to become NU’s head coach in 2017. Osborne also backed Frost’s interim replacement, Mickey Joseph, a former Husker quarterback.

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Osborne said: “I spoke to (Roll) a little bit about Mickey and the job Mickey has done in the meantime.

Osborne said when asked if Rhule should try to keep Joseph, Joseph would be a good addition to any crew.

“I think that will be important, of course,” Osborne said. “I can’t go any further.” He’s a good recruiter, gets along well with people and is a straight shooter. It doesn’t give you any bullshit. It pretty much tells you how it is. I love those qualities in him. It would serve anyone well to have it.”

Osborne praised Alberts for his “thoughtful” research. Osborne hasn’t spoken to Alberts much about coaching hunting over the past several months, but he’s received occasional updates, including a sense of who the last six or seven candidates were.

“I just listened because I’ve never met most of these people,” Osborne said. “I’m old enough now that I’m out of touch with the current generation of coaches.”

Due to some “very important” “appointments”, Osborne said he was unlikely to attend Monday’s 1:30 pm press conference at the Hawks Championship Center to introduce Rhule. He said that if Osborne is not there, it is not a reflection of what he thinks of the appointment.

“I don’t want to be an outsider or an intrusive presence,” Osborne said. “This is between Matt Rule and the university and Trev Alberts and the rest of the coaching staff. I’m not part of that. I don’t plan on being there.”

Rhule has done a good job turning two college programs, Temple and Baylor from breakout teams into double-digit winners.

“He certainly took charge of Baylor under difficult circumstances,” Osborne said of Rolle, who became Baylor’s coach in the wake of the sexual abuse scandal within the program.

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