Some potential shuffling on the O-Line

The Huskers finalized regular practices for the week as they prepare to head down to Austin to play the Texas Longhorns. Much of the questions now are centered around the health of some very key players and how much of an effect that could have on the line up for the game.

With the loss of starting SAM linebacker Bo Ruud and his back up, freshman Blake Lawrence, the questions are many about their status for the up-coming game. For the third practice in a row, though, neither practiced, Head Coach Bill Callahan stating that Lawrence might not even travel at all. "We haven't determined whether or not Lawrence will make the trip yet," he said. "(But) Ruud and (Brett) Byford will make the trip.

"We'll see. We'll work them out. We'll take them all the way up to game time. We usually go out there prior to the pre game, work them out and see where they are at, because there's a good chance they could play."

Byford's absence is obviously key, because if he can't go, it presents a wide variety of possibilities, not just at center, but across the entire line. "We have about four or five different combinations we're working in," he said. "If Brett plays, that will give us some extra flexibility.

"(Jacob) Hickman is playing guard, (Jordan) Picou's playing center. We could put Hickman at the center, (Mike) Huff at the guard, (Matt) Slauson at the guard, (Jaivorio) Burkes at the tackle. And of course, if we are going to help or sub Jaivorio, we can move Slauson out to tackle, we could move Huff to right guard, Hickman to left guard – there's that type of flexibility is what I am trying to say."

The concern for Burkes, who is slated to start at the right tackle spot, is simply a byproduct of his experience. He doesn't have any, at least on the field for an actual game. That's impressive for someone so young. "It is tough. It is hard. I am not going to say it's not," Callahan said of a true freshman starting on the offensive line. "He's got the right mind-set to play as a freshman. He's going to have his ups and downs. That's part of the learning curve for a young guy. But we'll keep a close eye on him and if we need to help him, we will."

Notes: - Bill Callahan said because of the absence of Lawrence and the potential absence of Ruud, you could expect to see sophomore Major Culbert see increased time, similar to last week against Texas A&M. Callahan also said of Phillip Dillard, that he worked out today with the team and is apparently 100 percent, the sophomore LB still nursing a quadriceps tweak.

- The recruiting continues to take a downward spiral for the Huskers as D.J. Woods and Blaine Gabbert now number amongst those officially decommitted from the big red. It's expected that many more could follow over the coming weeks. At this point Gabbert appears to be looking hard at Missouri while Woods has visited West Virginia since Tom Osborne took over as the interim Athletic Director. Linebacker commit Shaun Mohler is still a commit to Nebraska, but has set up an official visit to Colorado. Bryce Givens ,like Mohler, still considers himself committed to the Huskers.

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