Coach speak: Luke Gifford

Luke Gifford is a three-star safety according to the ratings. The Nebraska staff have talked to Gifford about playing safety at the next level as well as a number of other positions. Where will Gifford be found this fall for Lincoln (Nebr.) Southeast?

The first player in the 2013 class for Nebraska was hometown grown, Luke Gifford. Gifford, a 6-foot-3 and 195-pound safety, is being looked at as an athlete by Nebraska because he could play so many positions. At Southeast it's very clear where Gifford will be found this season.

"He's very multiple in his abilities and what he can do on the football field," Lincoln Southeast head coach Ryan Gottula said. "Luke plays free safety for us on defense and athletically he is very gifted at that position.

"Luke has started at the safety spot since his sophomore year. That is important because he will make sure that you are in the right coverage, he has a lot of experience and he's great for all of the younger players around him."

The three-star safety has been told by Nebraska that he is also being considered to play tight end. Tight end is something that Coach Gottula had the luxury of doing with Gifford last year. This year Gifford moves back to his real position on offense.

"Luke played some at tight end for us last year. That is where we needed him to play. We needed a player that could line up at that spot and really stretch the defense as a tight end.

"This year Luke will play quarterback. He's always been a quarterback. We have just had some other great players at the quarterback position in recent years that have allowed us the freedom to play Luke as some other spots."

Coach Gottula says that there are always adjustments when you are moving up in competition, from high school to college, and things that you wish you were a little more prepared for. He believes as Gifford understands the position he is asked to play that the game will start to slow down.

"I think that it's just like anything and that you want to be a little bigger, little faster or a little stronger. There is the speed of the game that comes with making the jump to play at any new level. I think that as he picks up the offense or the defense at Nebraska that the speed of the game will begin to slow down."

Gifford has hovered around that 200-pound to 205-pound mark this spring and summer. One of the reasons Gifford likely isn't gaining weight is the overall activity. He is a three-sport standout and Coach Gottula believes a chance to concentrate on a single sport will spell big gains.

"Luke is a three sport standout. He is constantly doing some athletically. I think that once he gets into a program, gives his body a chance to really develop and also to recover that his body will mature and that he will begin to add weight. I have no doubt that he has that type of frame to eventually play tight end or linebacker."

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Bryan Munson has worked with Big Red Report for 11 years covering recruiting and football and has covered Nebraska recruiting for 13 years.
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