Nebraska got some more Blackshirts this week.
On Tuesday, when the Husker defense met with the media, corner Lamar Jackson, safety Tre Neal and defensive linemen Carlos and Khalil Davis all left practice wearing black instead of the yellow the defense had been in since fall camp.
Now 10 of the 11 starters on defense (plus the Davis twins) have one.
"We wanted to get all the starters, we were waiting for an opportune time," defensive coordinator Erik Chinander said. "Obviously not a good time when you lose a football game but the guys have learned how to practice and learned what we want out of the defense. This game, not doing their own stuff, everyone was playing within the defense so it was a good time to get the starters the Blackshirts."
As for the Davis brothers each earning one despite not technically starting, Chinander said they're deserving in every other sense.
"Even though one of them may or may not be a starter, they’re playing just as many reps as anybody on defense and probably been the most productive so," Chinander said.
The only starter left in a yellow practice jersey instead of a black one is sophomore defensive end Ben Stille. And he was offered.
On the Big Ten coaches teleconference call Tuesday, head coach Scott Frost said they offered Stille a Blackshirt but he ultimately turned it down because he didn’t feel like he had earned one yet through his work in practice. (Another sign the Huskers are starting to get it.)
As for Jackson, his turnaround from benching three weeks ago to Blackshirt is commendable.
"He’s doing the things off the field we want him to do, embracing the culture Coach Frost is creating, embracing his job in the defense and some of the technique," Chinander said. "We felt like he was trying to do things the right way, he’s improving steadily and we felt like we wanted to get him one."
You can see more of Chinander's time with the media below.
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.