We heard from Husker offensive coordinator Matt Lubick, defensive coordinator Erik Chinander, a pair of defensive backs, and a pair of wideouts on Wednesday. Here are the highlights from those post-practice availabilities.
>> The biggest difference, as Matt Lubick sees it, between this offseason and recent years is that Adrian Martinez is putting the ball right on the money when he rips it. The fourth-year quarterback has always had an NFL arm, Lubick said, but the coaching staff has specifically noticed a jump in Martinez’s accuracy and timing during spring ball.
Martinez completed 71.5% of his passes last season—a single-season program record—but Lubick said it looks even better now.
Wideouts say Martinez has a zip on the ball. Martinez himself says he feels healthy and confident. All indications are that the Huskers’ starting quarterback is in a strong place right now.
>> Lubick said second-year wideout Alante Brown has taken up a leadership role in the wideout room, a group the OC has been particularly pleased with so far.
>> Oliver Martin, a transfer from Iowa before last season, talked a little more in-depth about his addition to the team last season, saying he didn’t start practicing until week four, and it wasn’t until Nebraska’s sixth game that he felt like he knew what was going on within the scheme during a given play.
Martin has been a popular name among coaches and teammates when it comes to wideout praise. Wyatt Liewer, the other Husker wideout who spoke to the media on Wednesday, said Martin doesn’t lose one-on-one battles. Martin says he ran a 4.5 40 during performance testing, a number that’s pretty favorable for a wideout on a double-laser test (laser-timed start and stop, the NFL Combine uses a hand watch for the start time, which Martin said can shave a few fractions of a second off a double-laser time).
>> The vertical passing game continues to be an emphasis, as Lubick said Nebraska is completing more of those kinds of balls this spring. Asked why that was, Martin said Nebraska has adjusted its progressions. Last season, he said, the deep route wasn’t always the first read; this spring, quarterbacks are looking downfield first and then coming back.
>> Third-year safety Myles Farmer is practicing this spring, but he’s being held out of full-speed special teams work by the coaching staff as he makes his way back from what he called a “freak” ankle injury suffered last season. During warmups ahead of Nebraska’s road contest with Purdue on Dec. 5, Farmer went up to high-point a ball and landed awkwardly in the turf. Because of that, he remains somewhat limited this spring. Nebraska, still, has high hopes for the safety.
Myles Farmer called the injury he suffered at Purdue a “freak accident.”
He spoke about that, his relationship with Quinton Newsome (roommates!) and much more. Full video below. https://t.co/NwbZu7hZfg
— Hail Varsity (@HailVarsity) April 14, 2021
>> Farmer is roommates with third-year corner Quinton Newsome. They seem to have a really good relationship; that could turn into on-field chemistry should the duo play together this fall, and option that seems likely. Newsome is in the thick of a competition opposite Cam Taylor-Britt for Dicaprio Bootle’s starting spot.
Erik Chinander said that in the past some of those corner positions have been given because there wasn’t enough depth or because there was a veteran and then a slew of unproven first- or second-year players. This offseason, however, Chinander said that spot will be earned. The competition in the DB room in general is remarkably high.
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.