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Big Red Recon: Week 1 Impressions as Uncertainty Looms

March 13, 2020

This has been a week that many will not forget. There has been a massive shift in the country as we grapple with what to do about the COVID-19 pandemic. We are still figuring out the fallout from all the postponements and cancellations. Things are moving quickly and seem to be changing by the hour.

Nebraska did start spring practice this week. The Huskers also ended up canceling the planned Junior Day set to take place March 14 though. Things are fluid right now but there are still things to discuss.

Let’s get to the Recon.

Husker Commits

Randolph Kpai‍, Inside Linebacker, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Henry Lutovsky‍, Offensive Lineman, Mount Pleasant, Iowa

Teddy Prochazka‍, Offensive Lineman, Elkhorn, Nebraska

2021 Needs

QB 1 DL 4
RB 2 MLB 2
WR 2 OLB 2
TE 1 DB 2
OL 1 K/P 0

 

The Recon:

>> Going into spring practice, I would have predicted that the defensive backfield was already set. Dicaprio Bootle, Cam Taylor-Britt, Braxton Clark, Deontai Williams and Marquel Dismuke would be the safe bet to be the top five defensive backs for Travis Fisher. However, one name continues to come up: Myles Farmer. The buzz is real around him as a fast-riser who could see real snaps. Now it’s early into practices but the more you hear, the more it sounds like it will be very difficult to keep the Georgia native off the field. 

>> There is real excitement over the progress that both receivers Chris Hickman and Jamie Nance have made over the offseason. Hickman could carve out a nice role as a player that can line up anywhere on the football field to create matchup problems. Nance has noticeably gotten bigger and is playing faster and with more confidence. The team needs more wideout pieces to come along but it has been a good start to spring ball for those guys. 

>> We got a lot of good nuggets from the assistant coach roundtables earlier this week. One coach that will be in the spotlight this season is defensive line coach Tony Tuioti. He replaces three NFL level players. So, because of that he was asked about coaching so many young players this spring. 

“I’m excited to work with these young guys because we can develop them the right way,” he said. “Walking in with Darrion and the twins being seniors, there is only so much you can do to help them develop with their fundamental technique. They were great players. But to get someone from a freshman and build them, mold them into what we want that’s what excites me about this spring ball. Having the same position coach and being with these guys for two years in a row I can see the young kids are understanding what we want to get done in terms of fundamental technique and how to play within the scheme of the defense. I’m excited about that.”

His comments caught my attention. I didn’t think he was taking a shot at the departing seniors but it is worth considering the impact it would have to mold his own guys from a younger age. There could be growing pains with the defensive line in 2020 but the potential is there with the group. 

>> We were able to speak with the departing players after Nebraska’s Pro Day on Thursday. Former outside linebacker Alex Davis told reporters who he is excited to see this season. 

“I’m ready to see my boy Deontai [Williams] get back out there,” Davis said. “I was upset that he got hurt last year. I’m ready to see him. That’s for me personally. But the guys in my position group, Garrett, the freshman coming in, I’m excited to see how they play.” 

It seems like everyone is excited to see Williams get out there and show what he can do. There is a thought out there that he could be the team’s best defensive player if healthy. 

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