Photo Credit: Eric Francis

What Husker Coaches are Saying About Newcomers During Spring Practice

April 11, 2021

There are always plenty of storylines to dive into when spring rolls around. One that people always want to know about is how the newcomers are adjusting to being at Nebraska. With a couple weeks of spring ball behind us it is a good time to check in with how the coaches are talking about the newcomers.

Nebraska had a big offseason of additions. There were 10 high school players that enrolled early. The team also added three players as transfers who were here for the winter too.

Defensive line coach Tony Tuioti on Ru’Quan Buckley:

“But the one thing I love about him is he wants to work hard. He doesn’t want to take any shortcuts, even in academics. Tuioti said. [Executive athletic director for academics] Dennis Leblanc tells me that he lives down there. He’s trying to get the best grades he can. He does the same thing in the meeting room, same thing after practice, just trying to get better. If he has that attitude, he’ll be OK at the end of the day.”

Tight ends coach Sean Beckton on Thomas Fidone:

“Well the first two days for him, the game is faster than he experienced in high school. So he’s got to understand the pace of play. Our guys move. They are bigger, faster and stronger. Then all of the details that he wasn’t coached in high school he’s got to understand details help you win routes. Details help you win blocking schemes and all those different things. He’s really starting to see ‘hey coach, I still don’t know a whole bunch. So being a highly touted kid, he’s very, very humble and is working extremely hard.”

Running backs Ryan Held on Gabe Ervin:

Nebraska Cornhusker running back Trevin Luben (35) runs a drill with Nebraska Cornhuskers running backs coach Ryan Held during practice Wednesday, April 7th, 2021, at Hawks Championship Center, Lincoln, Nebraska. Photo by John S. Peterson.

“He’s got really good vision and he’s really smooth in what he does. He’s slippery. He can get through there on different things, he catches the ball well. It means something to him. He wants to be really, really good. He’s mad when doesn’t execute a play right. And that’s what I want. I want guys where it bothers the heck out of you if you don’t do it right.”

Quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco on Heinrich Haarberg:

“He was pretty clean. There was not a heck of a lot to do seriously. Sometimes those young guys are taught that you really want to throw over the top, you got to get your elbow up and all that sort of crazy stuff. When it comes right down to it, just throw the damn thing to some degree. He’s learning our drop backs and the mechanics with regards to those and how they apply to different pass routes and pass patterns. He was a pretty clean cat. What we saw on tape was pretty much what we got which was good.”

Inside linebackers coach Barrett Ruud on Chris Kolarevic:

“They did a good job with him at Northern Iowa because he’s a pretty well-developed guy. He was a great weight room guy, great workout guy this offseason and he understands the game. He knows football, he knows concepts. He’s got to learn our concepts now, but he’s a guy that the game comes pretty naturally to him. They did a good job developing him before he got here.”

Coach Scott Frost on Samori Touré:

“We are going to start him [Touré] inside to compete with a couple other guys. I think he’s going to give us someone that can get down the field in the slot. He can also be a bigger body that can help us block and catch crossing routes. He’ll be a little bigger target for us in the slot.”

>> It’s worth noting that transfer running back Markese Stepp is out for the spring, as is defensive back Marques Buford. We’ll continue to monitor the chatter around the newcomers who the Huskers hope can inject new life into the program.

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