Big names, new names highlight Day 1

Just from experience, it's not typical that the first session of the Big Red Football School at the University of Nebraska , fields a lot of big names. But future Huskers Baker Steinkuhler and Dan Hoch fit the definition of "big", both figuratively and literally. They were just two of many standouts and some surprises at the fourth annual Big Red Football Camp.

Steinkuhler once again reigned supreme

It's never going to fail to surprise me when I see someone who stands over 6 foot, 5 inches tall, and weighs in close to 290 – when they storm through the 40-yard dash at a 4.71 clip. It's probably not going to be surprise me, because I don't recall that ever happening before. It certainly hadn't happened for Lincoln Southwest's Baker Steinkuhler. Yes, he's been called anything from a "freak" to a "mutant", his performances continuing to absolutely defy his size..and age. But that's what he ran, along with a 4.67 performance in the shuttle as well as jumping 30 inches in the vertical.

Not bad

Fellow Husker commit Dan Hoch couldn't quite match Steinkuhlers' ridiculous numbers, but at just over 6 foot, 7 inches tall, and weighing right around 315 pounds, you couldn't argue too much with the 5.21/40 he ran, nor could you debate the impressiveness of the 4.67 shuttle which actually did match the Lincoln Southwest superstar. Hoch's 26 and a half inch vertical wasn't bad, but it wasn't quite what he was hoping, Hoch remarking later: "I've definitely jumped better than that,"

Lincoln Southwest's Graham Stoddard can sympathize, his 26.5 vertical not coming even close to some of his other camp performances, not the least of which was his 30-inch jump he posted down at the Combine in Kansas City . But the Silver Hawk senior to be made up for it in the 40, running a 4.57, which was amongst the fastest times run throughout the entire camp, by players around the 210 pound weight. Stoddard added a 4.3 shuttle time to what he considered a pretty darn good day, the vertical jump notwithstanding. "Yeah, outside of the vertical, which I have done much better than a bunch of times, I thought I had a pretty good day," Stoddard said.

Another Silver Hawk wasn't as thrilled with his performance, but it wasn't bad overall, two-way standout Micah Fisher posting a 4.57/40, which was actually a marked improvement over his performance down in Kansas City as he attended the combine as well. Fisher added an impressive 4.2 shuttle, but felt he missed the mark a bit with his 28 inch vertical jump.

Zach Tiedgen

That's the known prospects, and we'll touch on the rest, including Omaha Westside's Tim Biere, Omaha Skutt Catholic safety Nick Anderson, Brainard East's Jordan Makovicka as well as other names like Chaminade HS (St. Louis, MO) offensive linemen Ben Lueken, Thunderridge HS (Highland Ranch, CO) defensive end Zach Tiegden and perhaps the standout surprise of the camp thus far – Breck HS (Minneapolis, MN.) WR/DB prospect Bryce McNeal.

If you haven't heard of this kid's name, don't be surprised, but you can be surprised if you don't ever hear it again, because this kid proved to be one impressive looking young man.

First, take into account that as he is still waiting to go into his junior year, Bryce stands over 6-1, and weighs right around 180 pounds. That sounds OK – a little small, but OK. Try a 4.46/40 during today's camp, with added a little luster to the already glistening performance which saw him jump 32 inches and run a 4.39 shuttle.

Again, he's just going to be a junior.

Bryce McNeal

One might ask just what is this kid doing coming down from Minnesota all the way to a camp in the Midwest . Well, if the fact that Nebraska has a plethora of kids coming in from out of state wasn't enough, McNeal has a little closer connection. "Xavier Rucker is like one of my best friends," McNeal said of the redshirt freshman wideout for the big red. "He's basically the reason I came down."

It's just been a day but the Breck Mustang liked very much what he's seen. "Oh, it's really nice. Everything I have seen has been great," McNeal said. "The coaches, the facilities – it would be hard to top this."

As a sophomore for the Breck Mustangs, Bryce caught 57 balls for 701 yards, scoring four touchdowns. McNeal added another touchdown out of the backfield, as the wide receiver
toted the ball 13 times for 94 yards on the season.

During the 7-on-7 competition was where McNeal really showed his stuff, showing his adeptness off the line, which made you forget his youthful age. Most young football players when they are in possession of McNeal's kind of speed – that's all they use to get open, create separation and try and make a play. Bryce was pretty good in being able to make quick cuts right off the line, making it very hard for any defender to stay with him. It didn't take long before McNeal became the go-to-guy for his seven-on-seven team.

McNeal and company will hit the field bright and early tomorrow morning as practice is scheduled to kick off at just after nine. Tomorrow should also bring more new, but old faces as Elkhorn offensive linemen and future Husker Trevor Robinson is expected to arrive, as well as another future Husker – quarterback Blaine Gabbert.

Big Red Report will keep you up-to-date on the happenings at the first session of the fourth annual Big Red Football School as we get ready for day two – following what was an already very productive day one.

Big Red Report Top Stories