Lincoln, NE - After making five appearances as a true freshman in 2010, much was expected of guard Andrew Rodriguez last fall. But an injury plagued season dampened those plans and the Aurora product was forced to miss the bowl game.
"The conversation I had with him the other day is, it's hard to believe he's a junior," said Garrison. "It feels like almost as a coach he's a freshman or going into his redshirt freshman year or maybe his sophomore year.
"What I think about at night time before I go to bed is how I'm going to get that guy ready to play. Because we got to. He's too darn good. The potential is through the roof, but potential only takes you so far. It's my job to unlock it."
This spring, the Huskers are experimenting with Rodriguez at tackle. A move that has happened because it's the hope of the coaching staff Rodriguez can become well rounded and push other guys at the position.
"We have challenged him physically obviously, he's expected to go out there and play, and play full bore," said Garrison. "But mentally now we have challenged him because we have moved him out. He's done a great job...It's a pretty big overhaul change, and he's done a pretty good with it."
Garrison has seen NFL talent, spending time with the Tampa Bay Bucs and Tennessee Titans. Hearing him describe Rodriguez, Husker fans should get excited.
"He could be really good," said Garrison. "In practice we go through on air and I will stand in front of him as a five technique or whatever, and kind of fit up with him. He punches me, and he's not even trying to punch me, and he rips my heart out.
"He's got heavy hands and he doesn't even realize it yet. If we can get him to put it all together mentally and physically, he's going to be pretty scary."