Tuesday Practice Report

The speculation behind where Darren DeLone ended today, this being the top story from yesterday's practice. With the season so close to arriving, his arrival might end up being bitter-sweet, but many are just happy that the JUCO lineman has at least finally arrived.

"Darren DeLone made it in." Coach Frank Solich stated. A statement that he was no doubt hoping to make a week ago, but academic issues are allegedly the reason for the long delay.

"We were able to get him out (for practice), but in a helmet only." Solich stated of getting DeLone practicing right away.

""Whenever you do start off, you do have to go through the normal five-day acclamation period that the guys have reported went through, so he'll be in a helmet tomorrow."

That acclamation period isn't welcome, but a necessity and will put even more pressure on the staff in trying to evaluate the JUCO transfer to see if he is even a reasonable candidate to play, perhaps even this year. "It's too bad he missed what he missed." Solich stated. "You are talking about a junior-college player that ideally you would like to see come in and have a chance to compte right away."

"It sets him back. It doesn't completely take him out of the picture, but it does set him back."

One of the biggest questions about DeLone would have to be the shape he arrived in, many wondering just how "in-shape" he is right now. In that respect, DeLone might have a bigger climb "back" than what had been previously anticipated or hoped. "It doesn't appear that way." Coach Solich said about DeLone being in the shape that was expected. "But, he's not real far off. He was able to jump in and run some of the strides that we did here today and that was a good sign."

"It will take him awhile to get used to things."

As to those that could practice under "normal" circumstances, the team went into an increased level of contact, Solich stating that a minor scrimmage too place. "We did have some contact today." he said. "Had basically what we describe as a station scrimmage. We were able to get through it, everybody got some snaps that was built in about a third of the way into practice and then we went on from there and finished a normal practice for us."

Jason Lohr was still not able to practice, nursing his back from spasm that occurred last last-week, a situation that Solich hoped would soon end. "We are looking to get him back on the field and just getting him started." he said. "It's been a long process and it's been very tough on him mentally as well as physically."

"But, he's hung with. I think that's been excellent and so it looks like his back problem is starting to clear up now, he feels much better today, so we're hoping that in a very short period of time, we'll be able to get him back out there."

"He's due for some good luck and for a long stretch of it. He's a proven player for us, it's just that he hasn't been on the field for so long."

Donald DeFrand has been eliminated from the punt-return team, coach Solich stating that it was a combination of his lack of experience in that area and their desire to have him focus on the spot that will no doubt mean more, him trying to vie for the starting spot, filling the huge hole left by NFL draftee, DeJuan Groce. "We want him to really concentrate on the corner-spot." Solich stated. "He has a chance to jump into that race big time."

"Really, he has not caught as many punts over the last couple of years as a lot of these guys have and so it made sense at this point to have him concentrate on corner."

Nebraska will continue two-a-days today and every other day this week, concluded by a scrimmage this Saturday, the first "major" scrimmage of fall camp.

Steve Ryan can be reached at huskerconnection@neb.rr.com or 402-730-5619

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