LINCOLN, Neb. - After a week of Nebraska spring practices, who is standing out? Big Red Report wanted to construct a list, but didn’t want to necessarily have the no-brainers? Of course, defensive tackle Maliek Collins and wide receivers Jordan Westerkamp/De’Mornay Pierson-El are impressing. They were all projected to do so. This is a list of players who might not be expected or the jury was still out.
OT.) Nick Gates - The redshirt freshman told the coaching staff his preference was to play offensive tackle and right now it appears that was a good decision. Deemed a guy who could play all five spots, he looks like he’s pushing Givens Price for a starting job this fall. In 1-on-1s against the defensive lineman, Gates has been one of the most consistent offensive lineman.
DB.) Trai Mosley - The redshirt freshman has had his ups and downs. When he’s on, he’s been a nightmare for the quarterbacks and wide receivers. One of those days was Saturday, when Mosley picked off Tommy Armstrong three times and also picked up a fumble for a touchdown. Mosley has done a nice job keeping some of the smaller faster receivers in front of him this spring.
WR.) ALONOZO MOORE - The junior from Louisiana has been hard for anyone to keep in front of him, but his first step and speed have never been the problem. Moore looks like his hands have improved, but he’s still got a ways to go. New wide receiver coach Keith Williams is stressing intensity with Moore, saying he needs to bring it to the practice field every day. He can be a huge big play threat downfield if there is trust he will catch the ball.
DE.) Greg McMullen - There is concern at the defensive end spot and rightfully so, but the returning starter appears to have gotten stronger and has benefited playing alongside Vincent Valentine and Maliek Collins. McMullen isn’t going to produce Randy Gregory like numbers, but appears set to be a solid above-average starter this fall.
MLB.) Josh Banderas- There might not be a player benefiting more from a new coaching staff than Banderas, who has really impressed stopping the run at the MIKE spot. The days of solving an algebraic equation before making a play on the football are over and Banderas’ speed is starting to get noticed. Don’t be surprised to see him even snag a few INTs this fall over the middle. He’s flashing.
WR.) Brandon Reilly - The wide receiver is healthy and become a handful for defensive backs on intermediate routes. Reilly looks like a solid possession receiver in the making and has impressed Williams. “I’m buying what he’s selling,” said Williams.