LINCOLN, Neb. – When former Nevada prep Nick Gates was recruited to Nebraska, at the time offensive line coach John Garrision felt he could play all five positions up front.
Fast-forward to the start of his redshirt freshman year and Gates is focused on just one spot.
“(Coach) Cav one day said, ‘focus on right tackle,’” said Gates. “So I did.”
The focus paid off. At this point, the former four-star product is penciled into the be the Huskers starter.
Gates is the youngest offensive lineman expected to be in the Huskers’ starting front five. It’s a mix of three seniors, a junior and himself.
“This year we aren’t really thinking about age, but more who’s the best guy up. Who’s the best guy that can do the job,” said Gates. “That is our main focus this year.”
Gates looks like he’s beat out senior Zach Sterup, who has played in 25 contests and has 10 career starts, but is coming off a major knee injury.
“He loves football and he completes like crazy,” said Nebraska offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh regarding Gates. “He’s done a good job. He’s gotten stronger.”
Offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf sees a player that has improved during fall camp in Gates.
"He's a young guy who we need to grow up in a hurry," said Langsdorf. "We challenged him early to learn and be ready to play. I think he's responded."