It has been a strange start to the season for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. For a team that came into the season with so much momentum and expectation, the 0-2 start wasn't what many expected. Everything just feels off-schedule right now. That includes plans the staff may have had for getting certain young players acclimated to game action.
The staff wanted true freshman outside linebacker Caleb Tannor to see playing time early. They see him as one of the future building blocks of the defense and game experience would be valuable in his development. Sometimes the best laid plans don’t work out. After mother nature cost the Huskers the first game of the season against Akron, Tannor was only able to see limited action against Colorado.
On Saturday’s game against Troy, Tannor was one of the first subs off the bench. He was not credited with a tackle but he saw a good amount of snaps in the game, gaining his first meaningful taste of college football. Tannor also felt good being out there.
During fall camp, outside linebacker coach Jovan Dewitt praised Tannor for his football acumen, saying that Tannor has a lot more than most freshman he’s ever been around. That football IQ was helpful during camp, letting Tannor shine on the practice field.
Where does the freshman from the Peach State think that savvy comes from?
“It’s just what I’ve been doing," Tannor told Hail Varsity. "I’ve been doing that, listening and being quick to do things. I catch on quick. I learned that in high school. My coach taught us to just go after it. Even if you mess up do it at 100 percent. So when I came out here, I’m just falling back on what I’ve been taught.”
That mindset sounds awfully familiar to the one coach Scott Frost and defensive coordinator Erik Chinander have spoken about already. It's important to the staff that there is no fear of failure and a desire to succeed. Tannor did say that the "no fear of failure" mindset is part of what allows him to mesh so well with the new staff in Lincoln.
Tannor still believes he needs to continue getting better at the little things to earn more playing time. He wants to keep watching more film and working on his technique.
That’s also the message Dewitt had about him on Tuesday after practice.
“I think he did really, really well to be honest with you,” Dewitt said. "I was pleased with him. There are a couple of things from a rookie standpoint that he has to get cleaned up. I love his effort.
"You can’t ever fault Caleb for his effort and his execution is improving every single day.”
As far as the freshmen class is concerned, it sounds like Tannor is right on schedule. All he needs to do is "keep doing what I've been doing."
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.