Nebraska Cornhusker defensive line coach Tony Tuioti speaks to the press after practice
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Daniels, Thomas Grade Out Highest Among D-Linemen at Illinois, Says Tony Tuioti

September 02, 2021

Of all the defensive linemen that Nebraska trotted out against Illinois last Saturday, Damion Daniels and Deontre Thomas graded out the highest according to d-line coach Tony Tuioti.

During his appearance on Sports Nightly Thursday, Tuioti talked about how proud he is of Daniels, who has transformed his body and slimmed down. Daniels finished with six tackles, one for a loss and batted down a pass on third down.

“This was probably the best game I’ve seen him play since we’ve been together the last three years,” Tuioti said of Daniels.

Nebraska’s defensive line as a whole did well, Tuioti said. The unit gave everything it had, and made Illinois test the outside rather that the inside in its run game.

“At the point of attack, I think those guys did a really good job of being able to stop the run early on and force the offense to start running to the perimeters and attack us there,” Tuioti said

Casey Rogers and Colton Feist are a couple of Huskers who can help the team when they’re healthy. Both are still working to get back to 100 percent.

Feist is one of Tuioti’s favorites in his room. The Yutan, Nebraska, native plays with passion, is accountable and tough.

“He’s everything that we want in a football player,” Tuioti said said of Feist. “When you go through recruiting and you’re trying to go through the check list of, what kind of attributes do you have to have to play for us, he checks off all the boxes for us.”

Even when Tuioti was walking out of the tunnel at Illinois last week, seeing all the red in the Illini stands gave him goosebumps. That experience also produced motivation.

“It drives me and the guys in my room and our players to get this thing right,” Tuioti said.

Nebraska will role out a new program on Saturday called the Red Carpet Experience, a game-day offer that will provide complimentary tickets to underserved youth across the state of Nebraska. Two donors purchased the remaining tickets for the Fordham game which helped Nebraska extend the sellout streak to 376 games.

More news and notes:

>> It’s time to unleash the Polar Bear. Tuioti said fans will get their first look at Nash Hutmacher, nicknamed “Polar Bear” for his size and strength. Hutmacher is a 6-foot-4, 325-pound true freshman defensive lineman from South Dakota.

>> Tuioti gave credit to Caleb Tannor and Ty Robinson for making an impact on both of Pheldarius Payne’s sacks against the Illini.

>> Jordon Riley is a player Tuioti said will get more snaps in games. Like Daniels, he’s someone who has worked hard at improving his body for Big Ten play. “I need to do a better job of getting him in and getting him started,” Tuioti said.

>> True freshman defensive lineman Jailen Weaver is an intriguing prospect, Tuioti said, but needs to work on getting his body ready for college football. He came to Lincoln weighing in over 380 pounds at 6-foot-8. Tuioti said Weaver is close to 360 pounds now.

>> When the Husker defensive and offensive lines battle at practice, who’s an o-linman that stands out to Tuioti? One is Teddy Prochazka, a true freshman from Elkhorn South. “He’s winning a lot of his one-on-one pass rushes. He’s very athletic and long,” Tuioti said of the 6-9, 305-pounder.

  • Never miss the latest news from Hail Varsity!

    Join our free email list by signing up below.

Hail Varsity November 2021 cover

Never Miss Another Issue

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap