The loose change guy

The battle for the fullback position should be an interesting one this spring.

LINCOLN, Neb. - While most eyes are on sophomore Imani Cross in the Nebraska backfield this spring, the battle for the starting fullback spot is the more interesting one to watch.

Sophomore Andy Janovich, who made multiple starts last year as a true freshman walk-on, is competing for time with senior C.J. Zimmerer, who came on late in the season – making his first career start against Minnesota.

"C.J. is a really smart football player. He's a really mature guy and a very good leader. He has a great feel for the fullback position," said running backs coach Ron Brown. "You have to be a loose change guy as a fullback. Imagine a guy going around and picking up loose change. Anytime someone drops something, anytime a guy misses an assignment, the fullback has to be your cleanup guy. C.J. does that as good as anybody.

"His physicality has really come on. He has had a great offseason. He's squatting over 500 pounds, which is phenomenal from where he came from. He's really made great progress. He had a lot of injuries early on and we didn't know if he was going to make it through. He's become a durable, tough kid, who's gotten better. He's improved his speed a little bit. He's a very sharp kid. The game has slowed down for him. I really trust him."

Brown then went on to talk about his sophomore.

"Janovich has great ability. Who knows how good he can be," said Brown. "He's got the world in front of him as a fullback. We need to keep putting some weight on him because he's so lean, but C.J. has taught him a lot and Andy's really embraced it.

"I feel really good about the fullback position."

Expect the two to be split up on opposite teams for the Red-White game and the battle to extend into the fall.

Josh Harvey has covered college football and recruiting for Fox Sports & Scout.com since 2008. He is now the Publisher of Big Red Report, covering Nebraska athletics.
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