Players shine during the first day in pads

The first day of pads is always anticipated. It's the time where coaches will tell you that they separate the men from the boys, the haves from the have nots and those that want it from those that really want it. For the players, it's time to cut loose and for some, it's to show everyone they can. And perhaps the person that showed that more than any other was sophomore running back Cody Glenn.

When it's fourth and one and you see Cody Glenn jaunt onto the field, there's probably nobody watching that can't see what's coming. Well, why not? Glenn is a bruiser, weighing over 220 pounds, built for running people over and over again. That's what you expect, because that was the role he served last year.

This year he's trying for a different one.

Glenn doesn't mind running people over between the tackles, but today, when he got a hand off, actually got outside of the tackles, gaining 30 yards on one play, approximately 20 on another, he got his brief chance to shine. "Usually I am in the mix and never get to get out," Glenn said of being able to run outside of the tackles. "It felt real good just to get out a little bit and show everyone what I can do."

Glenn making noise once again
"The thing that impresses me is that he continues to show power through the hole, but not only does he have that attribute, but he still has that cutability and elusiveness in his game as well," head coach Bill Callahan said of Glenn.

"The big thing is that he continues to improve as a player, not only as a running back, but his protection skills have really increased, his ability to run routes downfield on the perimeter have been important, so he is becoming more complete as a back."

Much of Glenn's accolades came from his production, but how he produced was key, Glenn showing remarkably good feet, probably not considered indicative of someone with his frame.

The offense isn't complaining, though, it wasn't enough to topple the defense in the live scrimmage during the last segments of the practice. "We had a little first and 10 scrimmage (and) if the offense gained more than four yards, it was a plus and if they didn't, it was a minus," Callahan said.

But the bottom line was: this was the first day in pads and while coach Callahan was reserved in how much benefit the team got today, due to this being the second consecutive practice, he was pleased with the overall results. "It's always important to get in pads," he said. "The downside of pads is that we didn't have the opportunity to have an off-day."

"So, you don't get that rest and regeneration prior to getting in pads. So, when you throw the lumber on, it gets a little heavy, so today when you are grinding through all those periods, the wear and tear and conditioning takes effect."

"Overall, it was really positive to get in pads and it will be a growing process as we progress throughout the spring."

For the actual scrimmage, the defense beat the offense according to the coaches' scoring system, 17-11. And the price for losing? "That's why the offensive players were running and the defensive players will eat first today at lunch," Callahan said. "So the offense will have to accommodate until all the defensive players get through the line."

In addition to the festivities on the field, the team entertained approximately 500 youngsters from around the state and within 100 miles of Lincoln in the second annual Youth Experience Clinic.

Kids ranging in ages from 8 to eighth grade participated in a variety of drills with Husker coaches and players. Callahan said that the inspiration for this event dates back

Kids got to see their giant heroes up close
to his previous college stint, where a former Husker started something similar. "When I was at the University of Wisconsin , we started the Youth Football Program," he said. "I remember our first camp, we had 27 kids. Now today, talking to Barry (Alvarez), that camp is close to 450 – 500 young kids."

"I always felt that it was important to reach out to the feeder-programs in the state and also all the small schools and the youth coaches and really make an impact in their programs."

Nebraska will resume practices on Monday and will continue on Wednesday, followed by an early practice on Thursday, the Huskers finishing up the week with another morning practice on Saturday.

Notes: Coach Callahan announced after practice that junior linebacker Steve Octavien and senior wide receiver Grant Mulkey were held out of practice today for what he called "bonding:, following an undisclosed issue regarding the practice the previous day. Both are expected back next week.

Senior tight end Matt Herian was held out of practice today, still favoring a slight hamstring injury.

Junior safety Bryan Wilson was also hampered by what appeared to be a right hamstring strain, but the seriousness of that injury is as of yet undetermined.

Movers and Shakers:

Giving out just a couple of awards for the first day in pads, we recognize the following individuals for showing up and showing out in the first live scrimmage for the Huskers:

RB Cody Glenn – Showed great feet and lateral movement today, tallying 59 yards on just seven carries, utilizing the outside of the tackles, something he's not been accustomed to doing throughout his brief career with the Huskers. Glenn was easily the standout amongst the backs in regard to rushing the ball.

NT Ndamukong Suh – Proved almost unstoppable on the inside, taking on two players at a time in most situations, still managing to get a substantial push up the field. While Suh is admittedly still working on his technique, he's already fully prepared in the brute force department. He was nearly impossible to slow down.

OT Matt Slauson – Slauson continues to prove that his potential is only rising as he continues to show great presence at the right tackle position, more than holding his own against the likes of senior defensive ends Adam Carriker and Jay Moore and even the quicker ends like sophomore Barry Turner. Slauson already had the size, but between getting off the ball and how he uses his hands, he's showing himself to be the complete package.

Special Teams – Last year the team became quite the nuisance when it came to blocking kicks. If some of their drills early on are any indication, they are only going to be better. Still using some of the main cogs in that engine, sophomore ends Barry Turner and Zach Potter along with senior Brandon Rigoni, who is quickly becoming a blocking specialist, this unit proved almost unstoppable today. At one point they had blocked three out of four attempts.

Punter – The battle continues to be between sophomores Dan Titchener and Jake Wesch, both proving once again to be easily the most consistent punters in getting elevation and distance on their kicks. Tyler Kester is trying to sneak up on the group as he had a much better showing today, but it's still Titchener and Wesch, perhaps in a dead heat for right now.

If you missed out on anything, don't forget to check out all the sound bytes with the head coach, the assistant coaches and the players. And don't forget to check out our exclusive video interviews with players, sophomore nose tackle Ndamukong Suh the most recent addition to our 1-on-1 with the Huskers. And don't forget to get involved with the "You ask, They answer" as we take YOUR questions and ask them to various members of the team.

It's all there for you, just join on in and experience life in the Red Zone.

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