It officially feels like football is back.
This week we’ve had some availability with Husker players and coaches. It was refreshing to hear about football topics from them and has really helped the feeling that we are marching towards a season. The Huskers have also put on pads for the first time since last November against Iowa.
Let’s get to the Recon.
Koby Bretz, Defensive Back, Omaha, Nebraska
Marques Buford, Defensive Back, Cedar Hill, Texas
Gabe Ervin, Running Back, Buford, Georgia
Thomas Fidone, Tight End, Council Bluffs, Iowa
Mikai Gbayor, Linebacker, Irvington, New Jersey
Kamonté Grimes, Wide Receiver, Naples, Florida
Heinrich Haarberg, Quarterback, Kearney, Nebraska
Shawn Hardy, Wide Receiver, Kingsland, Georgia
Randolph Kpai, Inside Linebacker, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Henry Lutovsky, Offensive Lineman, Mount Pleasant, Iowa
Seth Malcom, Inside Linebacker, Tabor, Iowa
Latrell Neville, Wide Receiver, Houston, Texas
Patrick Payton, Outside Linebacker, Miami, Florida
Teddy Prochazka, Offensive Lineman, Elkhorn, Nebraska
AJ Rollins, Tight End, Omaha, Nebraska
Lardarius Webb, Defensive Back, Jackson, Mississippi
Malik Williams, Defensive Back, Buford, Georgia
Branson Yager, Offensive Lineman, Grantsville, Utah
>> One of the biggest storylines of fall camp will be the rise of redshirt freshman offensive tackle Bryce Benhart. He’s pretty locked into the right tackle spot at this point and is right on schedule for the plan the team had for him. Center Cam Jurgens was asked on Thursday about what advice he’d have for him since Jurgens also started as a redshirt freshman.
“Bryce is definitely a big guy,” Jurgens said. “He just has to use his abilities. He’s very talented and will be a great player. It’s just being confident and going hard with everything he does. If he plays hard he will be a great player. He’s got all the tools and we are seeing some great things out of him.”
Benhart’s full debut will be fun to watch in Week 1 against Ohio State.
>> There are several changes that occurred within the coaching staff since last season. One is offensive line coach Greg Austin becoming the run game coordinator. It will be interesting to see how that impacts Nebraska’s game planning and play calls. Before we can see that impact play out, offensive coordinator Matt Lubick spoke about the role Austin has and had praise for him.
“Not just Greg, but with all our coaches, it isn’t like, ‘Hey, this guy is totally responsible for this, this guy’s totally responsible for this.’ We’re all in this together and we all bounce ideas off each other constantly on a daily basis,” Lubick said.
“He’s an amazing guy to work with. The way he gets his players to play hard and buy into the system is as good as it gets. He’s one of the best in the business.”
I think Austin’s new role is one of the most intriguing storylines of the team this year that won’t get many headlines. Austin is very well regarded as a coach. This is a great opportunity to show what he’s got.
>> I wrote a story on Thursday about the emergence of a healthy Ronald Thompkins so far in camp for the Huskers. The very early word is that he just jumps out as an overall football player when he’s on the field. The No. 2 running back spot behind Dedrick Mills is wide open right now. If Thompkins is healthy enough he can be a factor there.
>> There is another early camp nugget that will be music to Husker fans ears. The Nebraska staff has lots of confidence in punter Daniel Cerni and kicker Connor Culp. Both have shown well so far. With how many close games the Huskers have been in and lost recently due to special teams it would be welcome news for the special teams issues to be ironed out. Culp has been effective from 45-yards and in during camp.
>> There is something to the smoke around Omaha Westside defensive back Avante Dickerson and Nebraska. The two sides have kept the dialogue open since his commitment to Minnesota. It’s worth remembering that it was a shock when Dickerson announced for the Gophers since he never visited there. If he’s looking to stay closer to home and play with his friends Koby Bretz and Thomas Fidone it would be a very welcome addition.
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.