Nebraska Cornhuskers wide receiver Latrell Neville goes out for a pass during football practice
Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Observations from the First Open Practice of 2021 Nebraska Fall Camp

August 04, 2021

Fall camp is back and rolling for Nebraska ahead of the 2021 football season. The Huskers opened the doors of practice to media on Wednesday for about 25 minutes. Nebraska is pretty careful on what they show during that period but it’s nice to see what the team looks like for ourselves.

Here are some observations from our time at Hawks Championship Center.

>> Special teams continue to be a tone-setter for Nebraska’s practice. The very first period we saw was the team running through different drills. The intensity was high as Scott Frost, Mike Dawson, Sean Beckton, Erik Chinander, Travis Fisher and Ryan Held all coached the players up.

>> In the first special teams drill we saw several starters and contributors were on the kickoff coverage unit. Quinton Newsome, Myles Farmer, Deontai Williams, Marquel Dismuke and Luke Reimer were all on that first unit. Noa Pola-Gates, Isaac Gifford, Phalen Sanford, Wyatt Liewer and Eteva Mauga-Clements rounded out the group.

>> It’s early in fall camp so take this for what it’s worth––Adrian Martinez and Logan Smothers were the two quarterbacks throwing to the first- and second-unit wide receivers during the periods of practice we saw.

>> Speaking of those receivers the young wideouts fit right into the team physically. Latrell Neville, Shawn Hardy II and Kamonte Grimes look like guys who have been on campus longer than a few weeks. That should bode well for their futures. The only wide receiver observed in a green jersey was Alante Brown. The second-year receiver had an upper-body injury this spring.

>> The other players observed as not practicing were Thomas Fidone, Will Honas and Randolph Kpai. Fidone and Honas are rehabbing from spring knee injuries so those injuries were known ahead of time. Kpai was the only new injury that was noticed.

>> There were a handful of NFL scouts on hand for Nebraska’s practice on Wednesday. A representative from the Tennessee Titans, Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals and Carolina Panthers were taking in the action. There seemed to be good interest in the tight end group.

>> The defensive line went through a drill where a lineman took on the blocking sled, then disengaged to get a hand up on a pass at the line of scrimmage. The highlight was walk-on Colton Feist high-pointing a ball for a one-handed interception. Deontre Thomas also pulled down a one-handed pick.

>> Tate Wildeman (listed as a defensive lineman) and Wynden Ho’ohuli (listed as an inside linebacker) were both working with the outside linebackers.

>> True freshman defensive lineman Jailen Weaver looks every bit the 6-foot-8 and 320 pounds he’s listed at on the roster.

>> The one-on-one blocking drills between the inside linebackers and running backs went back and forth. Right off the bat Nick Henrich badly beat newcomer Markese Stepp, but the next time they faced off Stepp held his own. One guy who did a pretty good job throughout the drill was walk-on Cooper Jewett.

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