NCAA FOOTBALL: MAR 06 Nebraska Spring Practice

Real work begins in Huskers’ first padded practice

Wednesday was Nebraska’s third practice of the spring, meaning the team could practice in full pads for the first time in 2013.

“You’re playing football again once you get the pads on,” coach Bo Pelini said. “It’s more of a mental thing when you’re not in pads. Obviously, the evaluation steps up a little bit.”

Through three practices, Pelini said he’s been pleased with the progress Nebraska’s shown, particularly the depth the Huskers could have in 2013.

“I think we’re a deeper football team plus we have guys coming in in the fall that are going to compete for jobs,” Pelini said. “Competition has stepped up and that’s across the board at every position.”

Full pads will allow the Huskers to jump right into scrimmages, something the staff plans to feature more heavily this spring. Nebraska could incorporate scrimmages into practice on both Friday and Saturday of this week. Pelini hopes the live work will help a few more leaders emerge.

“Spring’s about going to work and putting your work in,” he said. “It’s not easy. It’s not a fun time of year. You don’t have a game on the horizon and, when it gets difficult, the leadership’s got to step up. That’s where they’ve got to show the enthusiasm. When a young guy makes a mistake and somebody’s frustrated, somebody’s got to help them through that.”

Nebraska is off on Thursday before resuming spring drills on Friday afternoon.