Gerry comfortable at safety

Sophomore Nathan Gerry is back to safety and feeling comfortable with it.

LINCOLN, Neb. - With the amount of snaps they took as true freshman last season, it's sometimes easy to forget guys like Nathan Gerry, Josh Banderas, Maliek Collins and Kevin Maurice are participating in their first spring practices.

For Gerry, these practices are about learning a new position – although one he's pretty familiar with.

The South Dakota native is back at safety, after playing some BUCK linebacker for the Huskers last season.

"I feel a lot more comfortable back there. Linebacker is too close for me, it's up there on the ball and bang-bang," said a smiling Gerry. "With those big guys, it was tough. Now I get a little more depth and get to see things develop, so I can come downhill and make a play."

Gerry is appreciative of his time at linebacker. It gave him a chance to contribute early and also has made him a better safety. He feels not only will he able to communicate with the front three easier, but also has a better reaction time to developing plays.

Through three practices, Gerry has seen a lot of work with the first-team defense, which is missing Corey Cooper (turf toe) to injury.

"I was going to take advantage of the reps, second team or third team, it didn't matter," said Gerry. "I'm just trying to go out and do my best to learn the playbook. Coop being out really doesn't change much. He's trying to learn the same things I'm learning – he's teaching me a lot. We go over defensive stuff on the weekends. He's been a really good leader."

After a few months in the Nebraska strength and conditioning program, Gerry is up to 215 pounds. He played at 204 last year. One of the biggest focuses for the sophomore is his hips.

"They are really stiff. They always have been," said Gerry. "I'm really just trying to work on that. I want to be able to open up and run."

In 13 contests last year, including three starts, Gerry made 32 total tackles.

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