Tanner Lee’s arm got the day off on Thursday. Not the rest of him, though.
“We kept Tanner out of throwing today,” Mike Riley said. “He ran a lot of the run plays, a lot of the checks at the line of scrimmage, the alerts at the line of scrimmage, but he didn’t throw today just to give his arm a rest.”
Don’t worry, though. Lee will be back throwing on Friday and Saturday. Then, with a day off on Sunday, the Huskers will be into game week and preparing to face Arkansas State.
“We just were looking at the number of throws per day over a long period of time,” Riley said of the decision.
How did the backups, redshirt freshman Patrick O’Brien and true freshman Tristan Gebbia, do throwing all the throws? Some good, some bad.
“I think we have good quarterbacking throughout. The youth of Patrick and Tristan comes forward, you see it once in a while,” Riley said. “But I would say both of them have the ability and make a lot of plays. What we’re doing is looking for more and more consistency throughout. I like those guys, and I think they’re going to be good quarterbacks.”
On to some other quick notes from Thursday’s practice.
>>No word yet on potential redshirt decisions.
"We’re getting closer to that," Riley said. "We’ll play it through the weekend. It’s pretty defined. There’s still a couple of guys we’re not sure about."
>>Junior wide receiver Keyan Williams is out indefinitely after aggravating a hamstring injury that sidelined him earlier in fall camp. Riley said Williams came back from the initial injury this week, and was back in live drills for “a minute, maybe two” before reinjuring himself.
>>Williams was a potential starter at slot wide receiver, but his uncertain status means Nebraska likely has a top three at the position going into the opening week of Stanley Morgan Jr., JD Spielman and De’Mornay Pierson-El.
Riley listed Tyjon Lindsey, Bryan Reimers, Conor Young and newly-minted scholarship receivers Gabe Rahn and Brett Classen as the second wave at receiver and noted that it’s a group that could play a lot this fall.
“All of those guys I mentioned after the starters, I think they could go in the games and function well and make plays and know what they’re doing,” Riley said. “Particularly guys like Bryan and Gabe, Conor’s becoming one of those. Tyjon’s still young and learning, but he’s exciting. My message to the coaches is ‘coach this guy and get him ready to play’ because he can make some plays for us.”
As for the starters, they fit the mold of the offense Riley envisions for Nebraska.
“I think [Stanley’s] the right guy in this offense to be at split end. I think JD is the right guy at slot back. And Gabe Rahn is a good guy with him because he’s smart and quick . . . I think De’Mornay and Tyjon make a perfect couple out there at flanker.
“I’m excited what it might could be.”
>>Riley said that excitement about “what it might could be” extends to the rest of the offense, but the Huskers are still working out some kinks.
“I’m excited. At the same time, it’s one of those things, we’ve got to go do it. Efficiency is for me the number one goal right now,” he said.
Efficiency, in this instance, is getting the play in quickly, getting in and out of the huddle, getting to the line and getting a good snap off.
“I’m anxious to see it in a game,” Riley said.
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.