With the 15th and final practice of the spring this Saturday at 1 p.m., Travis Fisher wants to coach up his defensive backs, but also sit back and enjoy the day.
But he’s also going to use it as a way to see how his room handles the game-like atmosphere that the annual Red-White spring game will provide.
“I want to watch those guys put it all together,” Fisher said Wednesday inside Memorial Stadium. “And what I really want to do is see if they can block out the crowd and just stay focused and play football.”
Fisher’s DBs will get tasked with going up against Mickey Joseph’s receivers. Fisher wants to see more competition from those two position groups.
“I just want those guys to keep making us better. They step it up, we step it up,” Fisher said. “There’s been times this spring that they’ve shown us some different stuff for us in the back end, and then we fix it in the film room, then we come out and fix some things and it goes vice versa. We make each other better obviously.
“Do I want more? Of course.”
Joseph wants to see crispness on Saturday. He wants the timing down between the quarterbacks and his receivers. That’s hard to do when three or four quarterbacks have been throwing the routes this spring. But they’re making the adjustments.
“You want to see the best timing we can get on Saturday. That’s what we’ll be looking for,” Joseph said.
Joseph added the timing between the quarterbacks and receivers has progressively gotten better as the spring has gone on. Joseph said he and offensive coordinator Mark Whipple were talking on Wednesday morning about how they’ve noticed the improvement—from the first day of walk-through to right now.
“Just detailing route concepts and detailing the routes within the concept.”
The spring game will be televised by Big Ten Network.
More news and notes:
>> When Joseph first got to Lincoln in December after being hired away from LSU, he said receiver Oliver Martin needed help in the confidence department.
“I always talk to him about believing more in himself, because he’s a really good player, and he showed a lot of explosiveness in this spring that he can run by people,” Joseph said. “And he’s got really good hands, and he’s a really high-football IQ guy, so I’m excited to see what’s going to happen with him in the summer and into fall camp.”
>> Omar Manning learned and played as a slot receiver in the offense this spring. But with Zavier Betts out of the picture right now, Manning has moved to the X receiver, who lines up on the line of scrimmage on the outside.
“That’s really helped him,” Joseph said of Manning playing the X. “So we think his natural position is going to be X, but the best thing about it—he proved he can learn two positions. so he learned R, then he went to X and he’s been fine.”
>> Betts left the team following spring break. Joseph touched on what the situation looks like with the Bellevue West product.
“We visit with Zavier. He’s not on the team right now, but we visit with Zavier,” Joseph said. “And we’re going to visit that again down the road. Like I said, it’s going to be (Scott) Frost’s decision about what he wants to do with him. But you know, my thing with Zavier is, Zavier is always going to be a part of me, and a part of this program. But we’ll deal with that down the line.”
>> Walk-on Ty Hahn has had a “really good spring” according to Joseph. Hahn is a former eight-man football star from Johnson-Brock.
“Not just in the receiver room, he has really good spring on special teams. And that’s going to get you on the plane, is that you can go in special teams. So he’s really a surprise because he’s a kid who just works. He just works and he plays hard and he plays 100% every snap and he gives you is all.”