As a true freshman, Gerry played in all 13 Nebraska contests, starting three times from the BUCK linebacker spot. He finished the year with 32 tackles and two tackles for loss after shifting from the secondary. At the beginning of the season, Gerry’s impact came mostly as a starter, but as the season progressed, his role shifted to more special teams.
Thought to be a guy who would have to wait his turn, Gerry stepped into in the starting lineup as a safety with the suspension of LeRoy Alexander. It was pretty clear the sophomore was excited to be back in the secondary. After recording 88 tackles and a team-leading five interceptions, Gerry was named Second-Team All-Big Ten by the conference media and was an Honorable-Mention All-Big Ten by the coaches.
His best game of the season came against Iowa, where he recorded 15 tackles and an interception in the come from behind win in the Rivalry game.
Gerry isn’t afraid to admit – adjusting to a new defensive scheme was tough last season.
The former Scouth Dakota prep’s job was drastically changed from former head coach Bo Pelini’s scheme to Mark Banker’s.
“I think towards the end of the season I started to figure out the defense a little more,” said Gerry. “Just getting out of some habits and learning new schemes and defensive styles. It’s tough when you come in and know only one certain thing and that is the thing you think is the only way.”
It caused Gerry to be hesitant.
“I don’t know if it was adjustment or what, but it just didn’t flow for him. It didn’t click,” said Banker. “He was resistant, I felt, in, ‘hey, this is what the responsibility is in this coverage,’ he held on so much to the habits that he had within that bracket coverage. He was always a zone-type of defender and always had help underneath or was helping someone else. Just grasping the fact that, ‘You’re a man guy in these situations, so go ahead and do it.’”
Despite taking some time to come around, Gerry recorded 79 tackles (led the team) and four interceptions in 13 starts. He was named third-team All-Big Ten by the conference media. His seven pass breakups was also a team high.
After a year in Mark Banker’s defensive scheme, Gerry said during the spring his comfort level between last year and this season is night and day.
"Last year you saw me bouncing around a little more than necessary," said Gerry. "At times I was a little uncomfortable back there. If you watch film you can tell I'm a lot more comfortable back there doing the little things right."
During March/April the Nebraska secondary and wide receiver group pushed each other in spring practices. Gerry was often one of the biggest talkers on defense.
“The receivers are going to be one of the best groups in the Big Ten as a unit, and that’s great for us to compete against and evaluate how we are as a core unit,” said Gerry “It’s nice going up against guys like that because sometimes we’re not going to see anyone better than that.”
If Gerry doesn’t get ejected from anymore games (we kid), we think he will once again have a spot on the Big Ten All-Conference team and come close to leading the Huskers in tackles.
How he ended up in Lincoln: Gerry didn’t see his recruitment necessarily blow up nationally, but around the Midwest he was a well-known prospect with offers from: Nebraska, Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan State, Montana, all the Dakota schools.
While he entertained other schools, it always felt like the South Dakota product wanted to be a Husker. It became official during the Huskers’ first annual Big Red Weekend.
During his senior year, he recorded 64 tackles (13.5 for loss), eight pass breakups, and five interceptions. He was also a first-team all- conference wide receiver. While a starter, Gerry saw his team go 48-3.
Gerry’s most impressive high school accolades came on the track, where he was a state champion in the 100 and 200 meters.