On Wednesday, Pelini and crew awarded seven veteran defensive players: defensive backs Ciante Evans, Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Corey Cooper and Josh Mitchell. Linebacker David Santos and defensive lineman Thad Randle and Jason Ankrah.
"We decided that some of the veteran guys--some of the leaders have done a tremendous job in helping some of our younger guys on our defense come along, and their effort on the field and their attitude and work in the meeting group." Papuchis said, "Part of being a Blackshirt is being defined by your work ethic and your attention to detail and your leadership you bring to the team."
A tradition dating back to the Bob Devaney era, Pelini was asked on Monday how he might handle the distribution of the Blackshirts with a bigger defensive rotation likely.
"I think it's different now. It's much different," said Pelini. "I think that we're set up right now and capable of playing a lot of different guys. How that's going to work week-to-week, some of that depends on how fast an offense is going and the tempo of when you have opportunities to sub, too. Sometimes when a team is going fast enough, (you can't sub). You'll probably see more guys subbing than you've seen in the past. I think that's just a product of college football now. It's so fast. The more guys you have available, the better off you are going to be."
"I'm probably not as giving when it comes to giving out Blackshirts to anybody who goes out there on the field. With the more guys you see, you think you'd see more but you'll probably see less. I haven't given it a lot of thought yet."
Apparently Pelini thought about it between Monday and Wednesday.