Quick hitter: Cockrell looks to be solid snag

Junior college product Byerson Cockrell is wasting no time making an early impact this spring.

Nebraska junior college transfer Byerson Cockrell wasn't the flashiest recruit in the 2014 class, but he might go down as one of the most important.

Bo Pelini's defensive system puts a premium on defensive backs and Cockrell is fitting in nicely after nine spring practices. On Monday, the East Mississippi product got first-team reps opposite of Josh Mitchell in practice.

"I like everything about Byerson Cockrell," said Pelini. "We have played him at nickel and at corner and I think he has really picked up things well," Pelini said. "He competes, he is fast, he can change direction, he is fast and he is physical and plays with an attitude. I like what he does for us. He's going to help us."

While at the moment he's working the cornerback position, Cockrell has the versatility to play NICKEL.

"I think Cockrell can help us in a number of ways," said Pelini. "Right now we are playing him outside because Charles (Jackson) is doing a really good job at the NICKEL spot. I feel really good about how that is working out right now."

In 2013, Cockrell recorded 33 tackles, three interceptions, four pass breakups, three tackles for loss and two sacks for East Mississippi. The Lions won the 2013 NJCAA National Championship.

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