Head coach Scott Frost, running backs coach Ryan Held, d-line coach Tony Tuioti, and several Husker players met with the media Wednesday afternoon for one final time before the 2021 Red-White Spring Game this weekend. Here are the highlights from that availability.
>> It has been a physical spring, Frost said. Following a winter conditioning program that saw the team take another step in the right direction, it seems as though Nebraska pretty heavily beat up on each other during the first 14 practices of spring ball.
At the most, Nebraska had 43 players on the injury report with various bumps and bruises.
Because of that, the spring game format this weekend will look a little different. The first half will feature “thud” scrimmaging, an opportunity to give fans a look at Nebraska’s more veteran players who have either been limited throughout spring ball or who don’t necessarily need the added risk of injury from the game.
The second half will be live, with to-the-ground tackling. The youth on the roster will get most of the snaps then.
Frost also said that offensive coordinator Matt Lubick and defensive coordinator Erik Chinander will both call plays from the box, but instead of having various coaches helping specific teams as has been done in the past, Lubick will call plays for both the Red and White offense and Chinander will call for both the Red and White defense.
Both offensive teams will be on one sideline, both defensive teams will be on the other.
>> Nebraska’s top-rated signee from the 2021 class, tight end Thomas Fidone, will miss the Spring Game this weekend and, at the least, the first half of the 2021 season. Fidone suffered a non-contact knee injury that will require surgery, Frost confirmed.
He didn’t specify what the injury was, but he did say there’s a chance—on the most aggressive and optimistic of timetables—Fidone could return by mid-season.
Frost did say, though, that Fidone is the only player he thinks will not be available at the start of fall camp. For other Huskers dealing with various ailments, that’s a nice development.
>> Though the rosters have not yet been officially released, there is one name we can expect to see: Rahmir Johnson. Held confirmed the third-year running back will not play in Saturday’s scrimmage after missing all spring with “something.”
>> Held says he wants to have four backs for any given Saturday.
>> At his heaviest, Damion Daniels says he was at 340 pounds. Now, Daniels is at 315. He says this offseason has seen him shed 15 pounds of fat, and he feels better than ever. “Snacks,” as he’s affectionately called, certainly looks leaner and he says he feels it on the field.
>> They haven’t made definite decisions yet on what to do with their remaining two scholarships, but Frost said Wednesday that he wouldn’t have a transfer quarterback high on his list of priorities following this spring.
With the way Adrian Martinez has looked, and the competition Nebraska has had for the No. 2 spot behind him, it might not make a ton of sense to bring in someone looking to play.
Things can obviously change, but most programs experience departures at the conclusion of spring practice, so perhaps another addition elsewhere becomes more pressing. Nebraska doesn’t seem concerned about the quality of the quarterback room.
>> One quick note on recruiting this weekend: Nebraska is not hosting anyone. Recruits in attendance at the spring game will have to pay their way to be there. Nebraska’s coaches are not able to have any contact with them, including something as simple as a wave.
>> Tight end Austin Allen is very excited about fans being able to come back to Memorial Stadium. A big smile stretched across his face when he was asked about the potential atmosphere this weekend. Nebraska fans, he said, make the experience of Husker football what it is.
Derek is a newbie on the Hail Varsity staff covering Husker athletics. In college, he was best known as ‘that guy from Twitter.’ He has covered a Sugar Bowl, a tennis national championship and almost everything in between (except an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game… *tears*). In his spare time, he can be found arguing with literally anyone about sports.