Practice continues, RBs become a concern

Nebraska went inside Cook Pavilion today as they continued the on-going physical practices they have had since the spring session began. That's been the theme and true to that, the nicks, bumps and bruises go with the territory. One of the more serious injuries of the spring was to running back, Brandon Jackson. The shoulder injury has been a bit of a mystery, but that mystery was resolved today.

"He's going to have surgery this Friday," head coach Bill Callahan said of running back Brandon Jackson. "I don't know what the extent of the surgical procedure will be, but we wish him the best."

While the prognosis appears fairly dire as to the nature of the shoulder injury, Callahan remained optimistic as to the time of Jackson's return. "We feel very good that we can get him back in time for the start of this season," Callahan said. "I am very confident that our medical staff will do a great job and that Brandon will be back by training camp or in the midst of training camp."

With the assured loss of Jackson for at least the spring, Callahan acknowledged that the situation at the position has become a little tight. "We are thin," Callahan said. "We are getting through spring ball with Marque McCray and Thomas Lawson. We are trying to utilize as many backs as we can and try to work on a little bit more on our passing game as well."

Callahan acknowledged that Tierre Green, who was moved to cornerback from running back this spring, was talked about as a possible move back to running back, but at least for the spring, it appears that Green is staying put.

The injuries along with the typical attrition that goes with practices like this didn't stop Nebraska from having what was one of their more physical rounds of this spring session. Players participated in the one-on-one call-out drill and followed that up later with an extended live scrimmage, where even the quarterback was open to be hit.

"It was very physical," Callahan said. "Everything we did on the field, they displayed great tempo. They came to work with a great fame of mind and that's the way you have to do it if you are going to be a championship team."

"I was really happy about the way we practiced. It was a good omen and it's just good to see us play as physical as we did today."

A part of that physical emphasis has been on the defensive line, specifically towards acclimating junior college transfers – Ola Dagundoro and Barry Cryer to the system. To that end, Callahan said that he's been pleased with their progress and has high hopes as to what they can contribute once the season begins. "I think both guys will contribute to the rotation and push for a starting position," Callahan said. "They've made plays on the inside drills. They are continuing to understand their reads and keys and how to utilize their hands and understand their movements."

"The bottom line is, they are physical players. They are guys that love football and like to get down on the pit, get dirty, butt you in the mouth and make tackles. That's the exciting thing to me when I watch them play."

Ola Dagundoro is competing with Le Kevin Smith at the left tackle spot while Barry Cryer is competing with Titus Adams at right tackle.

Nebraska will resume practice on Friday, which will also be the first day of the high school coaches' clinic. Nebraska will again go on Saturday and should run their second full scrimmage of the spring session.

NOTES:

- Along with Brandon Jackson, DB Donald DeFrand is sidelined for the entire spring and DeFrand himself said that the early prognosis is 6-9 months. DeFrand does not have a redshirt available and has already used a medical for a groin problem he endured during his first year with the Huskers

- Former Husker DB, Barron Miles was in attendance today, stopping over in Lincoln with his wife as he prepares to move to Vancouver. Barron Miles has been a defensive back with the Montreal Alouettes for approx. years, but will now be a DB with British Columbia, Miles taking the raise and making the move via free agency.

- Punt return man and wide receiver Santino Panico missed practice today for reasons sited by Callahan as being personal.


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