On Tuesday, after the second practice of the spring for Nebraska, redshirt sophomore JD Spielman spoke with the media for about 10 minutes. The team’s second leading wide receiver last season didn’t know it, but he was being shouted out by his new head coach Scott Frost, for his potential and style of play.
“JD’s the type of player that we like to recruit to this offense,” Frost said of the redshirt sophomore. "I think him and Tyjon [Lindsey] are both the type of kid that flourishes in our offense, guys that can win in space. You get them the ball in space and they can make things happen with it. JD’s done really good things out here the first couple days, he’s still learning like everybody else, but I see a lot of potential out of both of those guys.”
When thinking of players on the roster that fit this offense, Spielman certainly comes to mind as quickly as anyone. He sees it, too.
“I feel like in the long run, I’ll be a really, really good fit in this offense," Spielman said. "I feel like there are a lot of guys that are good fits in it. I feel like we will be able to rotate in and all that. We will be able to play a lot of fresh guys this year. The offense isn’t really relying on anyone this year. This year it’s all pretty spread out.”
If we all can agree that the offense is a good fit for the versatile playmaker. What needed a little more clarification, however, is just how the tempo of the offense can help a wide receiver be more effective. Here is how Spielman explained that.
“It helps wide recievers because it doesn’t give the defensive backs as good a chance to get lined up against us," he said. "It gives you a really good chance to catch them off guard while they are lining up. We might be hiking the ball already and already releasing on the guy. It definitely gives you an advantage because the defense is set up off you. If you are snapping the ball and they aren’t set up, it gives you an advantage.”
So, with all those additional plays and increased tempo, there is the question of being able to handle that increased workload from a stamina standpoint. Spielman did not shy away from the effects the new offense had on his thought process heading into offseason conditioning.
“That’s probably the biggest thing coming in for me," he said. "I had to make sure my conditioning was straight. I knew that was going to be one of the biggest things I’d struggle with this spring just making sure I’d be able to take every rep. I don’t want to miss any reps because of my conditioning. Everyone is still improving on that and getting used to the pace of the game. I feel like once everyone gets used to the pace and everything, their conditioning will be just fine.”
Spielman, like a lot of his teammates, is hungry, eager to learn the offense and get better. In fact, he says that he arrived on campus at 5:20 a.m. Tuesday morning for the 7:45 a.m. practice. If he keeps working like this and improves from his stellar season last year, he will certainly be a force in the new lighting-quick offense.
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.