Tuesday marked the first day of full pads practice for the Huskers. Nebraska did not catch a break with the weather either, with temperatures in the mid-90’s.
Offensive Coordinator Danny Langsdorf said he saw the effects of the heat on his offensive players.
“I think everybody felt it a little bit, but we’re going to play in it, so we’ve got to get used to it,” Langsdorf said. “You get a little tired as camp wears on and it probably showed a little bit today, but they’ve got to fight through that. Everybody’s got to fight through that.”
Today was the first day of extended interaction between the offense and defensive players. Earlier in camp, the Huskers were working mostly within position groups.
“It was all frankly a little bit rusty for everybody,” Head Coach Mike Riley said. “Route running…We’ve been doing a lot of putting in plays, and all of the sudden when you’re doing it against people that are trying to stop it, things change a hair and that’s what happened today.”
Riley is optimistic that while the quarterback and receiver timing seemed off today, that it will improve throughout the week as players get acclimated to the speed of the drills, as well as the heat.
Langsdorf noted that he’s seen a vast improvement in quarterback Ryker Fyfe as well, saying he’s in the best shape of his life. He also said he has made huge jumps in play calling and getting guys lined up right.
The offensive line got to work against the defensive line for the third time today, but the first time with full pads, and the first time with the whole team behind them.
“It’s not the same going against each other,” sophomore offensive lineman Jerald Foster said. “It’s always great when you’ve got guys like Mick (Stoltenberg), K Mo (Kevin Maurice), just good defensive tackles on the other side. It really does help you work harder.”
One change in the offensive line this year was senior offensive lineman Dylan Utter’s move from left guard to center. Center is more of a leadership position than anywhere else on the offensive line, and Foster said Utter has started to embody that role.
“He’s a five year guy, he’s been here, he’s seen it all, he’s done things that we haven’t accomplished yet,” Foster said. “He’s a good guy to be leading us. When we start goofing off, he’ll get us back into order. I’m happy that he’s doing it and I get to have a little fun.”
True freshman cornerback Lamar Jackson had a chance to work in on the punt and kick coverage teams today, showing off his natural speed. Look for Jackson to be one of the five or six guys that Riley said would be options to not redshirt this season.
True freshman punter Caleb Lightbourn could be one of those candidates as well, as he showed off his leg in punting drills today. Redshirt freshman Isaac Armstrong also got some reps at punter, but Lightbourn impressed the most.
Kick return battle
The battle for kickoff returns is in full swing. Brandon Reilly mentioned early in camp that he wanted to try out for the position, while Jordan Westerkamp and Alonzo Moore are also candidates for the position.
Stanley Morgan Jr. said after practice today that he wants in on the competition for returns as well.
Linebacker Michael Rose-Ivey was seen on the sidelines midway through practice without pads on and with ice around his knee. Riley said there’s no diagnosis as of yet.
“I don’t know what happened, but I’m going to find out,” Riley said. “He went out with something with his knee. He was walking with ice, and I’m just hoping that it’s not significant.”
Riley said there will be more updates on his status this evening or tomorrow.
For continuing coverage of Nebraska Football's Fall camp, follow @OSIsports and @TylerMartinOSI on Twitter, check back with OmahaSportsInsider.com and tune into KMTV and AM 590 ESPN Omaha.
Contact the writer: