The pads may not have been on, but when the units lined up, you could still hear the helmets popping from outside of Cook pavilion.
The sound of the linemen coming together was probably a delight to those just eager to be back on the field for day two as the team continues progress towards the spring game on April 16th.
For offensive line coach, Dennis Wagner, there's a certain higher level of comfort in knowing that he's not teaching from scratch anymore. "They're familiar with what we expect," Wagner said of his linemen. "They understand the plays, so instead of running to the line thinking of what they are doing, they are getting to line, getting lined up, so the pace picks up."
The terminology has always been an issue with this line as any linemen just learning it will tell you. Having that aspect at least somewhat behind them, Wagner has had a chance to see where his team was and now, where they need to go.
There's still some questions unanswered, though, as there are still a number of potential linemen for this up-coming season that have yet to arrive.
Numbered amongst them are junior
college transfers, Jordan Picou from Mount San Antonio College and Brock Pastuer
from Mesabi Range CTC. Wagner said that at least for these players, because of
where they come from, hopes are that they will be in the mix before the
"We didn't bring JC guys in to sit on the bench," Wagner said. "Hopefully, that's going to improve our talent and our competition. Hopefully, they can improve our depth and challenge for a starting position."
There is expectations of the junior college players coming in, but as to the freshman, Wagner was realistic and point of fact, hopeful the group he had now would make his decision even easier when it came to pulling freshmen out of a possible redshirt. "All those guys will have an opportunity to compete," Wagner said of the incoming freshmen.
"But, I would hope that this group of guys is far enough ahead, that it is going to be hard for them to challenge."
"(But) If the freshmen are good enough to play, they will."
At least one of those players
considered to be a favorite to play early is
Currently, Brandon Koch holds down the left guard spot and seems the favorite to hold that, even with the presence of Jordan Picou. At the right guard spot, however, the top spot is held down by Greg Austin, who has been battling a chronic knee problem stemming from an injury suffered his freshman year.
Wagner said of
"He's a coaches' player. He understands the game, he loves the game and he's one of our best recruiters. We're going to have Greg play as much as he can play and tolerate and we've got to have Gary Pike and the other guys ready to go in that situation."
Wagner said that currently, he has 11 players that he can draw on for the line, with 12 when Lydon Murtha returns. Murtha's return is expected next week, but Wagner said that he'll look for Lydon to try and go tomorrow.
Tomrrow starts the first day of
pads, the team going in half-pads for the Saturday session. This will be
immediately followed by
There is expected to be approximately 500 kids in attendance, between the ages of 8 and 13 and will run for approx. 50 minutes following the Huskers third practice of the Spring.
Check in for participants begins
at 9:00 A.M. and the