The Nebraska Cornhuskers practiced for nearly two hours on Saturday night, their third practice of the year. Players were in shorts, but did have shoulder pads. The Nebraska media had access to defensvie players, assistants and coordinator Mark Banker after practice. The media was not allowed to watch practice.
“The one thing we have had a good opportunity to do without the pads is personnel, we have got a pretty good read on probably about two or three situations going on with guys in rotations,” Banker said. “Everyone is in competition with each other right now.”
Notes from practice:
* Nebraraska DT Vincent Valentine continues to be limited (knee).
* Defensive tackle Kevin Williams didn't talk to the media after his message on Thursday night. “He has done a good job, we have had that conversation before—things that have happened to him in the past within the program," said Banker. "I have tried to help him with that, we had that conversation going back to December and obviously it runs deep with him. Obviously it is not about one person it is about everybody. That is what everybody needs to understand.”
* The linebacker spot opposite of Micahel Rose is really heating up between true freshman Dedrick Young and sophomore Marcus Newby. I would say Young has a chance, based off comments tonight.
* Banker said while they aren't seeing a fast pace offense right now, he knows they will need to have someone simulate in due time. BYU is one of the fastest teams in the country on offense. Byerson Cockrell today (who's playing safety), said they don't have a NICKEL or DIME package in, so I really think they are stressing a base defense right now.
* Michael Rose said he's finally not thinking about his knee, unlike in the spring.
* I asked secondary coach Brian Stewart if Josh Kalu had a firm grasp of the corner spot opposite of Davie. While it's definitely a competition, Kalu is the guy right now until someone proves otherwise. But Stewart stressed it's open.
* Speaking of Cockrell, he wants to play special teams, but right now has been limited in practices. He said he doesn't know if he will play NICKEL in the fall, like he did in the spring. He thinks eventually he wants to be back on special teams to help his NFL chances.
* Banker said the freshman came in, in pretty good shape. DaiShon Neal added some nice weight according to Banker. Alex Davis might not look bigger, but is strong according to Banker. The DC said the strength staff loves Davis because he's so raw in that area.
* Tyrin Ferguson is very impressive physically and has done a nice job in the orientation period.
* Coach Stewart said Mike Riley is a CEO type when asked about it and is willing to delegate to his assistants. He's not the micromanage.
* Banker said linebacker Luke Gifford struggled a bit tonight, but he's been happy with his progression to a new position.