Nebraska Cornhuskers celebrate a touchdown against the Purdue
Photo Credit: John Peterson

Big Red Recon: Sorting Through The End of Spring Practice for Huskers

May 07, 2021

The offseason has begun for the Huskers. Spring football is complete and its finals week at Nebraska. The team is about to have some time off before getting back to it for winter conditioning. This bit of downtime is appreciated for both the players and the coaches before things ramp up in an important summer. There are plenty of things happening in the program though right now.

Let’s get to the Recon.

2022 Needs

QB 1 DL 2
RB 1 MLB 2
WR 1 OLB 2
TE 1 DB 3
OL 3 K/P 0

The Recon:

>> One early enrollee that we didn’t hear much about publicly this spring is offensive lineman Teddy Prochazka. Don’t take that to mean that he didn’t impress the staff during the winter and spring. I’m told the staff is quite happy with his progression. He may be on track to make noise as early as next season. If that happens it’d continue a nice run for offensive line coach Greg Austin. He would have “hit” on his big targets for the last three cycles and developed them into starters quickly.

>> Last weekend, the Huskers had three wide receivers on campus for the spring game. Long-time target Quinton Conley was among them. The more I look into it though, it seems like Conley could be the odd man out in the receiver pecking order. Landon Sampson out of Texas is very high on the team’s board. Grant Page from Colorado is too. Conley has yet to set his official visit to Nebraska but does have one set to Kentucky. The team might view the ceilings of Sampson, Page or Jaren Kanak to be higher. That’s if Kanak stays at wideout.

>> Speaking of Kanak, the athlete out of Kansas is about to have an interesting month once June hits. The Huskers have done a great job with him. He has a good relationship with the staff, likes the players and started a friendship with Ernest Hausmann. Clemson entering the picture does muddy things for Nebraska. It’s tough to expect the Huskers to win a battle with the Tigers on the recruiting trail, especially against Brent Venables who is a legend is Kansas. We’ll see if the Tigers offer once he works out for the on June 1. He has an official visit scheduled to Nebraska the weekend of June 4.

>> One of the big questions going into the spring game was how the backup quarterbacks would perform. Coach Scott Frost has been asked several times about going into the portal to find someone behind starter Adrian Martinez. He was pretty forthcoming in his answer on Sports Nightly Thursday night.

“That was a position, in complete transparency, that we were going to take a hard look at in spring and decide if we need to add someone there or not,” Frost said. “We came out of spring and decided that we’re pretty comfortable with who we have there, and that says a lot about the guys at that position because they’re young and haven’t played a lot. Just saw continual improvement and understanding the offense from all three of those guys behind Adrian.

“Saw a lot of talent from those guys behind him, and we really feel good about the fact by the time we get to September, or in August, that we’ll have one or more of those guys ready to go in, if need be. And that, again, speaks a lot to who those kids are and how talented they are.”

That level of transparency is nice to see but it also has to be a confidence boost for Heinrich Haarberg and Logan Smothers.

>> There was a comment that I found interesting from running backs coach Ryan Held last week. He was asked about what his guys needed to do to take the next step over the summer.

“But you know, Yant needs to lean up. Sevion [Morrison] needs to lean up. Markese Stepp needs to lean up,” Held said. “They all know the game plan. I’m meeting with every one of them. That’s why this summer, what they eat on the weekends, what they eat during the week matters. All the running when it’s 95 degrees and hot and humid here. They better be out here sweating. Again, it’s Rocky IV this summer.”

This running back race is far from over. The summer matters a lot in a room without a lot of separation. Reps will get harder to come by once fall camp hits and we get closer to installing a game plan for Week 1 against Illinois.

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