Randy Gregory's future status?

Will Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory return for his senior season? Not even Bo Pelini knows the answers at this point.

LINCOLN, Neb. - Appearing on multiple first round mock draft lists, Nebraska junior defensive end Randy Gregory could be playing his final regular season game this week against Iowa.

Head coach Bo Pelini was asked about the topic on Monday during his weekly press conference.

“You know, we don’t really talk about that right now,” said Pelini. “That’s something where we’ll have to sit down when the season is over and talk about it. Look at where he is and where he feels he has to go. I serve an informational role in that. I’ll give my opinion and my advice as to where he is.

“It’s up to him and his family to make that decision and it’s up to me to support him no matter what he decides at that point. There’s always a lot of levels to it, making a decision like that.”

In 10 games this season, Gregory has record 7.0 sacks and 10 tackles for loss. While his numbers are down from 2013, he was hurt early in the season (knee surgery) and demanded different attention from offensive coordinators than he did a year ago. Gregory saw many cut blocks, double-teams, and even triple-teams at times during the season.

“I’ve seen him improve in a lot of areas. He’s gotten a lot better,” said Pelini. “Randy plays hard, practices hard and prepares hard. He’s grown a lot, but he also has a lot of growing to do. The beautiful thing about him, as good of a player as he is, I think there’s still a lot out there for him.”

"I think there’s still a lot out there for him." - Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini on Randy Gregory

With experience as an NFL assistant, Pelini was asked where he sees the potential All-American at the next level.

“I think that he’s one of those unusual guys that can do a lot of different things. You wouldn’t ever see him move into a 3-4 and play a defensive end spot. He’d be a standup defensive end. He’d play in a 4-3 for sure,” said Pelini. “He’s one of those gifted guys who could line up and play outside linebacker. Not just a 3-4 outside linebacker. He has really multiple skillsets and is very instinctive for the game.

“You get some defensive linemen who maybe aren't quite as instinctive. He has a tremendous feel for the game. Still I think he’s going to get bigger and I think he’s going to get stronger as he moves forward. He’s a real talent.”

If a person walks into a Nebraska press box on game day, it’s not uncommon to see at least a few NFL scouts in attendance. Gregory hasn’t demanded the same attention as a guy like Ndamukong Suh, but Pelini says there is a reason for it.

“It’s a little bit different because he’s a junior,” said Pelini. “The scouts are a little bit hesitant to come up and talk to you about him. I’ve spent nine years in the league and I know a lot of these guys. He’s very highly thought of. I do know that.”

It’s possible Gregory might talk to reporters on Tuesday, but if he does, it’s very unlikely the junior will comment on his future status.

While he will slide around on the defensive line this weekend, Gregory will likely get matched-up at least a few times with Iowa senior offensive tackle Brandon Scherff – a possible first round pick in the upcoming NFL draft.

“Scherff is a good player,” said Pelini. “Really good player. I think he will be a high draft pick on Sunday. We have a lot of respect for him, but I think our defensive ends are pretty good players, too.”

Stick with Big Red Report as we monitor Gregory’s situation.

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