Nebraska - position by position

With the season close at hand, there is much debate as to what positions will be strengths and what need a little work. What units will be factors for the team and what units will need time to develop. Our very own Sportnutt takes a look at each position, breaking them down player by player, so you get a big picture perspective on Nebraska's concerns for the 2002-03 season.

Coach Turner Gill figures he is about to find out if his three year project (to date) has been successful.  Jammal Lord came to Lincoln in the fall of 1999 an un-heralded QB prospect with raw talent but very few refined skills.  From all appearances 2002 is when we will see how Coach Gill has done refining those skills.  Jammal Lord will be the starting quarterback Aug 24th vs Arizona St.  For all the fans ready for the unveiling, Coach Gill is just as anxious and probably more excited.

Jammal is about to answer all the questions.  Is he going to answer the bell?   Can  he throw the ball?  Will he be able to run the offense?  Is he a leader?   All these questions, so few answers.  Until August 24th.  Then we will begin to get the answers we all seek.  Whatever the outcome, it will not be because Jammal sat around this summer.  He has spent 4-5 hours a day working on his game, conditioning,  running drills, throwing to his teammates to the tune of over 500 passes a day. Go to Memorial Stadium and you will find Jammal there most likely.  This is a kid who's work ethic and attitude has been questioned.  That is one answer we do have now.  He has an attitude.   That attitude is one of quiet confidence and speaks highly of his mentor.   If Jammal does not reach OUR expectations it will not be because he did not put in the necessary effort.  For that Coach Gill has already succeeded.

On to the youngster, Curt Dukes.  Curt arrived on campus in Jan, not even a high school graduate yet.  He has been anointed the next great option QB at the University of Nebraska.  You would think he would find the whole scene a bit overwhelming.  Did not happen.  This young man stepped up, learned his position better than one would expect in one semester and promptly moved to Number Two on the depth chart.  He too has been around all summer long.  Pushing Jammal and yet learning from him.  Curt is spending as much time conditioning, lifting and working on drills, timing, and passing as Jammal is.  His turn will come soon.

All this hard work from our two top QB's bodes well for the Huskers this fall.  From a leadership stand point it appears the QB position is set.  Nobody expects Lord or Dukes to produce as much personal offense as recently departed Eric Crouch did.  Coach Gill just asks the youngsters to play within themselves.  Be a leader and not make mistakes.   The athleticism and hard work the two of them have put in will take care of the rest.

Talk about this story and others with Sportnutt and company on the NU Insiders and Recruiting mesasge board

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