Chat with former Husker, Damon Benning

Despite the fact that Damon Benning battled for time against some of the best backs in the country and the fact that he battled nagging health issues as well, he left his mark on the program and on Husker fans alike. He's rushed for over 1,600 yards in his career, over 170 yards in 1 game, led the Huskers in kick return yards in 93,94 and 96 and was the '97 Orange Bowl MVP. He knows what it takes to win and chatted with us tonight about this year's Huskers and their chances at doing just that.



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Questions will be in white and Damon's responses will be in brown.


CornFedHusker:  "In your opinion, what are the major questions/issues facing the Huskers this fall?

"Well, the obvious one is the offensive line. We need to establish some depth. They've been far from stellar, but it's real hard to tell right now. I remember during scrimmages when we couldn't move the ball, T.O. threatened to pull us all off the field."

huskerfan: "how do you think this year's D, will stack up against past great husker D's?"

"Not anywhere near great, but they have a chance to be awfully good. The front four is loaded and they have some good linebackers. Vastly, they have a lot of guys that can run."

CornFedHusker: Does the depth at DB concern you?

"A bit. Fabian Washington is coming along and McPherson has been battling the injury bug, I think he will be ok.

huskerfan: Of the running backs not starting who is the future in the backfield?

"I think the future is in the Horne of plenty. I love his demeanor, he works hard and he has really good instincts. "

huskerfan: So you don't think Josh Davis will be there next year and possibly, Simmons?

"Josh is the x factor, he shows flashes of brillance, but lacks the consistency they would like to see. Simmons has been battling a week hammy as well. Simmons is extremely quick. He's 5'8" on his tip-toes though."

GreatRedShark: I've heard his (Simmons) hands are suspect but his speed is blistering. That's a tought toss up.

"Accurate assesment, suspect is a good word."

Nutter: What is your thought on the latest depth chart?

"It's puzzling. Kabongo struck me as odd, no disrespect to Clanton, he's been a menace, but he was out played by Patrick. McPherson would probably be starting if he were healthy. Hopkins being a number 2 is a bit mind boggling, but people need to keep in mind that he hasn't played in a year. He's still getting his legs back, his timing, the whole 9.  

TF huskerkid: How much credence do you give to the first week depth chart?

"None. They take the safe approach. People have to factor in that it is the first game."

huskerfan: Is Demorrio as fast and disruptive as I have been reading? It sounds like he has a real nose for getting to the ball... reminds me of Ruud last year (except much faster than Ruud)

"Demo has wrecked quite a bit of shop, you know he's practiced well to keep ahead of Hollowell. TJ has been a man possessed.He's healthy and bigger.He told me this year that he can actually use two arms."

CornFedHusker:  How bad is Sievers' knee?

"He should be back by week 3. Knees are tricky."

GoBigRed: DB, you think TJ moves to SAM in 2003 after Shanle leaves?

"If TJ continues at this clip, Shanle could be co #1."

huskerfan: Do you think Shanle sort of took some blame for some of the LB breakdowns last year (the last 2 games particularly) unfairly?

"Absolutely, Shanle was un fairly criticized. Last time I checked, no one covered Graham or Shockey."

GreatRedShark: do you think that Bland and Lannie would be better served to move to LB next year to provide depth and speed?

"Bland runs better than you think, but in my day, Hopkins was a linebacker. Our biggest linebacker was 250 and we only had two of those. Colman and Hesse. Foreman 235, Ed Stew 220, Phil Ellis 240."

TF huskerkid: Talk about the Bullocks.

"They have been a pleasant surprise. Very, very active. Whatever they hit seems to stop moving."

huskerfan: How do you think Lord will handle the QB duties?

"Lord will be fine. Husker fans' prayers will be answered by Lord. Lord's teammates love him. You can't put a premium on that. His throwing wasn't very good when he first got here, but he's been brilliant thus far. Frazier and Frost couldn't throw (according to the media) and they have three rings between the two.Let's not confuse beauty with the resuls. Being able to throw is completing passes. Keithen McCant could throw. Need I say more?"

TF huskerkid: Any thoughts on Stuntz?

"If Mike learns to take better care of the ball, he could get some results. He's the best pure passer of the bunch, but when he's carrying the ball, he looks like an accident waiting to happen."

Nutter: Has the FB blocking improved for this season?

"FB is really strange. I think Davies should be number #2, at best. Kastl is the best blocker, but Kriewald gives you the best of both (running and blocking). Kriewald has been real solid."

husekrfan: What do you think the Huskers' record will be this year?

"Based on 14 games, 11-3, maybe even 12-2. No 4 losses though."

NU831: What is your honest opinion of Solich as a gameday coach?

"Solich is a bit too much of a micro manager, he tries to get every little detail and then out thinks himself a bit

TF huskerkid: Any significant snaps for LeFlore this year you think?

"Le Flore has the game, but he has to want to be the guy. He's young but could get it."

Nutter: Who of the freshmen may skip their redshirts?

"Horne, LeFlore and Washington."

GBR: Any thoughts on Greeson and Herian?

"I haven't made up my mind on Greeson yet. I wathced him run down Stuntz, 20 yards downfield, but he doesn't play hard all the time. Herian is the real deal."

Oldred: Any thoughts on the NU/Texas game?

"If Simms plays, I'll take the Huskers. I've seen his type before. He's only a good front runner. A&M is the team you should be watching."

Steve: Do you think the home winning streak stops this year?

"Possibly, but not likely."

Everyone here would like to thank Damon for taking the time to stop by and chat with us. He'll be back sometime soon though, so keep your eyes peeled.

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