A quick start

Josh Banderas is only two games into his career, but the linebacker already has the trust of the Nebraska coaching staff.

LINCOLN, Neb. - Nebraska true freshman linebacker Josh Banderas better get used to doing media interviews. In just his second career game at Nebraska, the Lincoln Southwest product started at the MIKE linebacker position on Saturday. If he stays on the path he's currently on, he's going to be spending quite a bit of time over his career talking to reporters.

"It's what I wanted, but I didn't know it would hop up on me this fast. I'm going to take it in stride and keep working and improving this week. Hopefully, I'll solidify a starting spot if I can," said Banderas, who also talked about how he found out he was starting. "I wasn't really nervous, just excited, happy and on another level. My legs weren't shaking, and I wasn't about to throw up. It was just a happy mood for me."

"I found out on Thursday during the walk-thru. We were just stretching, and Coach (Ross) Els came by and said, 'You're with the ones.' I kind of dropped a load in my pants, but I was kind of excited."

Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini was asked about the decision to start Banderas over redshirt sophomore David Santos, who was projected to be the Huskers starter coming into the season after getting spot starts last year.

"We base it on practice and who practices the best," said Pelini. "Coming out of the week, we came out and started who we felt gave us the best chance to play how we wanted to play. I thought Bando had a good week and I thought Michael Rose had a good week, but believe me, there is a lot to fix there. But they played well. We were a lot better, but there are things that didn't hurt us tonight, but believe me, like I said last week, it's not as bad as you think it was but it's not as good. There are a lot of things that we need to get shored up, but there was progress."

After Saturday's contest, Els was asked what Banderas possess that's helped him get on the field so quickly.

"He's got the intangibles as far the mental ability to understand the game and see the big picture," said Els. "Sometimes freshman just lock in to what they are staring at. Josh does a good job of seeing the whole field, reading formations, and figuring out how teams are trying to attack you. It's probably the biggest thing that's helped him.

Banderas finished the game with a total of only two tackles, but showed a great ability to pick up receivers in pass coverage, something he credits to the film room.

"I'm still learning, but as far as the speed of the game, I think I've got it pretty much under hand," said Banderas. "The most speed and the most change from high school is before the snap. It's in the film room and knowing what to do on every snap. During the actual plays, it's just going out and playing football like I have forever."

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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