Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Observations From Nebraska Football’s Wednesday Open Practice

August 10, 2022

The Nebraska football team is 17 days from its season opener against Northwestern. The Huskers allowed media to observe a period of practice for the second time this fall, with this session spanning over 30 minutes.

Here are some observations from the time.

>> Offensive lineman Turner Corcoran was not in pads today, only going through the stretching period of practice. Tight end Chris Hickman also did not practice, wearing a boot on his foot. Other players who did not have pads on included offensive lineman Alex Conn and running back Ajay Allen.

>> Transfer defensive lineman Devin Drew made an appearance and went through drills after arriving in Lincoln yesterday. For a portion of practice, he worked off to the side individually.

>> The Huskers practiced a variety of option plays throughout the open period, including the triple option earlier on. They also mixed in some sweep handoffs to wide receivers, with Alante Brown taking much of those.

>> When it came to quarterback-running back combinations, Gabe Ervin Jr. spent a lot of time in the backfield with Casey Thompson. Anthony Grant worked with Thompson, as well as Chubba Purdy and Heinrich Haarberg. Jaquez Yant was with Purdy, Rahmir Johnson with Haarberg, and Cooper Jewett and Emmett Johnson were with Logan Smothers.

While the running backs were catching passes out of the backfield from the quarterbacks, Rahmir Johnson was working with the wide receivers.

>> During long snapping drills at the start of practice, one of the punters dropped the ball. Bill Busch jumped in quickly: “Hey, we don’t take anything off. That’s what happens, right?”

>> Thomas Fidone ran stadium stairs during a portion of practice. The tight end is working his way back from a knee injury suffered this spring.

>> Much of the offensive line work consisted of one-on-one drills. Near the end of the open session, they moved to two-on-two, with one player standing in as a defensive lineman and one as linebacker.

The offensive line did work in full units during a running back drill. One unit included Broc Bando, Brant Banks, Trent Hixson, Teddy Prochazka and Bryce Benhart, followed by a group of Ethan Piper, Henry Lutovsky, Noah Stafursky, Hunter Anthony and Kevin Williams.

>> Early on, the defensive units were going through patterns and working on alignment. The first front seven group included Ty Robinson and Colton Feist inside, Garrett Nelson and Caleb Tannor on the edges and Nick Henrich, Luke Reimer and nickel Isaac Gifford at linebacker. Ochaun Mathis also rotated in with the edge group. The second unit consisted of Nash Hutmacher and Stephon Wynn Jr. inside, Blaise Gunnerson and either Mathis or Jimari Butler at edge, plus Eteva Mauga-Clements and Ernest Hausmann at linebacker with Gifford out there again.

The first unit for the secondary included Myles Farmer and Omar Brown at safety, Quinton Newsome and Tommi Hill at corner and Javin Wright at nickel/slot.

>> Some players weren’t ecstatic with the practice playlist, and particularly the amount of country music. The playlist moved to hip-hop for a short time before shifting back to country. A request from a player to “play some (NBA) YoungBoy” was not met during the open session.

>> You can check out the sights and sounds from the morning below.

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