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Observations from Nebraska's Third Open Practice of the Spring
Photo Credit: John S.Peterson

Observations from Nebraska’s Third Open Practice of the Spring

April 03, 2019

Nebraska held its third open practice of the spring bright and early Wednesday morning. You know the drill. Here are some observations from the open portion.

>> Neither junior wideout JD Spielman nor sophomore running back Maurice Washington was at practice Wednesday. Offensive linemen Hunter Miller and Collin Shefke remain sidelined. Redshirt freshman linebacker Anthony Banderas and sophomore defensive back Bradley Bunner also sat out. Bunner had a boot on his left foot.

>> Senior outside linebacker Alex Davis continues to have a strong spring. He took reps with the first team defense during drills and contact work opposite Tyrin Ferguson. Junior JoJo Domann rotated in for Davis but Davis got first crack at it during a fourth-and-goal drill against the offense. 

>> That presumed first-team defense also still features a pair of juniors at safety, Deontai Williams and Marquel Dismuke, and junior Collin Miller at inside linebacker next to Mo Barry.

>> Noah Vedral was the first quarterback up behind Adrian Martinez. The sophomore  and junior quarterback Andrew Bunch, though, didn't warm-up with Martinez and freshman Luke McCaffrey at the start of practice. While the receivers ran through a route tree, head coach Scott Frost rotated with Martinez and McCaffrey in throwing.

>> Without Spielman on the field, senior Jaron Woodyard and redshirt freshman Andre Hunt were the top two wideouts. At one point during the fourth-and-goal situational drill, Hunt came wide in a bunch formation next to Mike Williams and Kade Warner, but Williams looked unsure of where to line up and Hunt got him in the right spot. Small thing, but if Hunt has a firm enough grasp of the offense to be helping other guys, that's a good sign for his ability to just go out and ball. 

Offensive coordinator Troy Walters has said he wants guys to be consistent and be able to play instinctually at wideout. Hunt appears to be getting there. 

>> A pair of 2021 outside linebackers were on hand for practice on Wednesday. Seth Malcom from Tabor, Iowa, took in practice as did Zach Twedt‍. Twedt, from Story City, Iowa, is an early Iowa State commit. Neither player holds an offer from Nebraska at this time.

>> Multiple preferred walk-ons were at practice including Millard West lineman Matt Huser‍, Omaha Westside ATH Tyson Guzman‍ and Lincoln North Star ATH Luke Reimer‍. 

>> Zavier Betts, the 4-star wide receiver from Bellevue West, also took in practice and got a big welcome from offensive coordinator Troy Walters.

>> Redshirt freshman Cam Jurgens continues to get all the first-team reps at center during the open portion of practice. That first unit has looked pretty much the same every time we've seen it (from left to right): junior Brenden Jaimes, sophomore Trent Hixson, Jurgens, junior Boe Wilson, junior Matt Farniok.

>> Jack Stoll was the player who lead the stretching today. They've rotated a few guys through in that role, including Martinez, sophomore defensive lineman Damian Jackson and sophomore corner Cam Taylor.

>> The specialists practiced outside.

>> Practice in general felt a little sluggish. Maybe Nebraska has hit that mid-point lull where these mornings are more of a grind or the weather change from gorgeous to gloomy has spirits down. Whatever the reason, the tempo wasn't anywhere near what it was during the first open portion the media observed. 

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