The biggest question of spring football for Nebraska has been who will eventually start at quarterback. Since we can’t lay eyes on practice to judge for ourselves, there are an endless amount of questions to the coaches each week about the progress of “the cubes” as quarterback coach Mario Verduzco calls them.
Now that spring football is coming to a close, the picture of the quarterback room has gotten a bit clearer since Patrick O’Brien announced his intentions to transfer. Beyond that, there is no concrete evidence of who, if anyone, has separated themselves from the group.
“I just want to make certain that everything is smooth in terms of the signals," Verduzco said. "The communication part is paramount with our offense. Then are their feet and eyeballs in the right place per play? That’s going to be as critical as anything for our guys in terms of how we look at the spring game.”
Even though Verduzco has done his best to be pretty even in his praise and not single anyone out above the group, there will be assumptions made about which quarterback runs out onto Tom Osborne Field first on Saturday. So, how much should we read into who gets that first snap shortly after 11am?
“Nothing. Absolutely nothing.”, Verduzco said.
“There is a lot of water under the bridge. Coach Frost has talked about that. The same sort of process is going to go on through fall camp and through our scrimmages. Obviously, there’s going to be a decision that will be made and then we will have our first game. Even after that, there will still be an evaluation that goes on. Not that you ever want a QB looking over his shoulder, you certainly don’t want that, but I wouldn’t read anything into what’s going to happen Saturday at all.”
Throughout the years, we have seen some pretty big performances from quarterbacks during the spring game with lots of yards racked up and sky-high completion percentages. In an offense built on quarterback decision making and accuracy, how closely will Verduzco be keeping an eye on the final tally of his groups completion percentage? Not too close based on what he said Thursday morning.
“You know how that goes though, things are split up and all the factors that go into that. I seriously just want to make sure their feet and eyeballs are in the right place. If receivers are open, let’s get the ball placement where it needs to be.
"If receivers are closed let’s burn or burst and make good decisions. Then, there will be all the situational offense that comes up. Third-and-long versus third-and-short. How they operate in the redzone and tight redzone, goal line and all of that. That’s going to become another factor as well.”
Heading into the spring game, which Verduzco referred to as just another practice with game situations, he wants his guys to embrace the responsibility but be themselves and have fun. As spring camp closes, would he say that his quarterbacks are a confident bunch?
“Yeah, I think so. That confidence is going to be born out of the fact that they know what they are doing. In terms of mechanics there are some things we need to get ironed out because of reps and experience. The other part is just what they know with the playbook. Then we will find out more in depth once they take that thing (his playbook test). We’ll know exactly what they do and don’t know. That’ll be awesome.”
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.