When Chubba Purdy arrived at Nebraska in January, he noticed something felt off with his foot. He wanted to work through it—especially with spring ball approaching—but the decision was made that it would be best to rest and recover. That meant spending time on the sideline for most of spring ball, studying the playbook and learning from a distance from the action.
After about five or six weeks of rest, Purdy was able to participate in two full practices with Nebraska during spring ball. He even suited up for the spring game, leading three series for the Huskers in the first half. He went 5-of-10 for 63 yards.
Three months later, Purdy told Sports Nightly’s Jessica Coody that he’s feeling even better today than he did when spring ball ended.
“My foot’s feeling way better,” Purdy said. “I missed a lot of spring but I got a lot of mental reps and stuff. Spring was huge for me being here so I feel like I got a lot of things done and now I’m feeling way better and I’m ready to get rolling.”
The goal through summer for Purdy was to stay healthy while putting in the work. That included lifting weights and 7-on-7 work. He has also focused on his reads, completions and team chemistry. Purdy knows how important it is for him—as well as all of the quarterbacks on Nebraska’s roster—to have a strong relationship with the wide receivers and tight ends.
“It’s super important because a lot of guys are different speeds,” he said. “Tight ends, you’ve got to be timed up with them. They’re a little slower. We’ve got a lot of fast receivers so you’ve got to get the ball out on time. Now working out in the indoor and doing 7-on-7 and routes in there is big for the quarterbacks.”
Purdy said Nebraska isn’t racing through installation, ensuring everyone is on the same page before moving on to the next piece. With so many new faces, it’s important that everyone “gets the real hang of it before our first game comes up.”
Nebraska coaches have also been present for some of the practices this summer thanks to a new NCAA rule. They only get two hours per week and there are limitations to those practices when coaches are present—there can be no contact of any kind when coaches are present, for example—but having the coaches present even to just toss balls around has been a big deal for Purdy.
“That’s awesome,” he said. “We get 30 or 45 minutes with the coaches out there throwing the balls around. It’s like the first summer, I think, that it’s allowed so it’s huge. You’re getting coached up and it’s awesome having them out there. It’s like a little practice so it’s huge for us.”
It’s also been important for Purdy as he continues to build upon his relationship with offensive coordinator Mark Whipple. The two have known each other for some time—Whipple recruited Purdy to Pitt—and Purdy points to a specific moment that highlights the kind of person Whipple is.
Following Florida State’s loss to Pitt in 2020—where Purdy went 12-of-21 passing for 38 yards for the Seminoles—Whipple was there waiting for Purdy midfield.
“. . . We met at the middle of the field and we still talked and he’s always been there for me,” Purdy said. “(He) always let me know if I needed anything . . . so when I hit the portal and he was at Pitt, he was the first one to contact me. He was the first person to come for a home visit so just having him there always, I just really trust in him and hopefully he trusts in me.”
For now, Purdy has made the most of his time at Nebraska. He’s eager to keep working with the team, Whipple and Coach Scott Frost, especially now that he’s feeling fully healthy.
“I’m finally settled in and I finally feel like I’m at the right place,” Purdy said. “And I feel really comfortable with my teammates and the guys and I’m ready to work out and do great things with them, and create those relationships with my teammates. That’s the best part of being around them every day and working out with them.
“I’m just really excited and hopefully got a bright future here at Nebraska.”
Erin is the Deputy Editor and Digital Marketing Strategist for Hail Varsity. She has covered Nebraska athletics since 2012, which has included stops at Bleacher Report, Cox Media Group’s Land of 10, and even Hail Varsity (previously from 2012-2017). She has also been featured on the Big Ten Network, NET’s Big Red Wrap-Up, and a varsity of radio shows nationwide. When not covering the Huskers, Erin is probably at Chipotle.