Drew Brown is kicking for Sam Foltz this season.
Before Fan Day festivities began, Brown, the Huskers’ senior kicker, and several other members of the team spoke with the media about a myriad of topics. While Brown touched on several – catching his brother in the record books, taking more of a leadership role – none stuck out more than his comments on Foltz.
“For me, it’s like Sam never got to play his senior season,” Brown said of Foltz. “I’m lucky enough to be able to do that and there’s a lot of different motivations and things I can lean on for this season but that’s for sure going to be a top priority: every single kick that I have, he wasn’t able to have.”
A few other quick notes from Fan Day:
>>Mick Stoltenberg has gotten big. Like, really big.
“Last time I weighed myself I was 315 (pounds),” he said. “I’m hoping to keep that up during camp.”
Stoltenberg played last season between 285 and 295 pounds and wanted to get closer to 310 pounds before the start of this season. Seems like he’s passed that mark, even though he did say his weigh-in came at night after “a big dinner,” so glean from that what you will.
>>From three different players, in two different places, we’ve heard that summer workouts this offseason were as tough as they’ve ever been for Nebraska.
With new defensive coordinator and resident Energizer bunny Bob Diaco joining the fray, the Huskers switched to mid-day workouts and ratcheted up the intensity.
“This was probably one of the hardest summers,” linebacker Dedrick Young said. “All the workouts picked up but the main factor was the heat.”
Between two-a-days and the occasional 100-yard bear crawls in practice, according to tackle Nick Gates, almost every player that spoke before Fan Day said the same thing: the summer was hard.
This comes just a few days after linebacker Chris Weber told media in Chicago that this past summer was one of the most challenging offseason workouts he’s been a part of.
>>Nebraska head coach Mike Riley is a big fan of tight end Tyler Hoppes. Earlier in the week, Riley stated that he thinks Hoppes can be one of the best tight ends he’s ever coached.
“That’s high praise, I hope I can live up to that,” Hoppes said. “I was pretty happy with my spring.”
Despite entering his senior season, Hoppes has yet to catch a pass in a Husker uniform. In 2015 he didn’t appear in a game and he spent most of the 2016 season buried behind three seniors at tight end.
“They really helped me put things in perspective, how the game speed is,” Hoppes said of the help he got from that senior group. “They really helped a lot.”
>>Gates and the offensive line seems ready to go.
“I think we’re ahead of the schedule compared to last year,” Gates said of his line. “We all played together. We’ll figure it out here probably in the first couple weeks of camp and then get rolling, so I’m pretty comfortable with everybody.
Four of the five probable starters on the offensive line, according to Hail Varsity’s projected depth chart, include upperclassmen with plenty of experience to lean on as the season moves along. Gates said that one game in particular motivated him a little bit extra over the summer.
“The last game,” Gates said.
Gates didn’t quickly forget about the Huskers’ 38-24 loss to Tennessee in the Franklin American Mortgage Company Music City Bowl to close out the 2016 season. He said he watched the tape just one time, but it “pushed” him all summer long to get better.
“I definitely don’t want that to happen again.”