Mike Riley met with the media following practice on Wednesday in what amounts to a short week for his 2-2 Huskers as they prepare to take on Illinois in Champaign on Friday night. Riley is very pleased how his team handled the short week and the change to their routine. The injury report was long enough that Riley had to bring a list of players, but he gave the full rundown.
“Stanley Morgan practiced more than he has today. Whether or not he will be able to go full-time-starter like he does when he’s healthy, I don’t know yet. Bryan Reimers he practiced today which is encouraging . . . He will travel. If a guy’s traveling, I generally expect that he will play. Tyrin Ferguson is probably still up in the air, but looked good today and felt the best he’s felt. He showed some confidence so maybe he’ll be going. Cole Conrad practiced, David Knevel practiced, Matt Farniok practiced although he’s limited with the big club. Tre Bryant will not play, Marcus Newby will not play, Kalu will not play.”
Riley also added that they will discuss more as a staff what to do on the offensive line in regards to reinserting Cole Conrad and David Knevel with an announcement coming Friday.
In more injury news, after Chris Jones was spotted with a helmet on yesterday and went to social media to say how good he felt, Riley was asked about an update to the timetable for the senior’s return to the Blackshirts.
“He is surprising the medical staff with where he is," Riley said. "He has really been testing at a high level. So without being overly ambitious in my statement [I'm] optimistic. I’m also encouraged. With a long lay off, the one thing you have to remember is there is a difference in being cleared and ready. Whatever the question is about Chris it’s encouraging.”
All in all Riley says the depth issues will basically come down to staying healthy with the guys they have and having their guys come back and Jones could be part of that picture.
Last week, redshirt freshman JD Spielman led the team in receiving with 5 catches for 46 yards and a touchdown. Riley had some good things to say about what he has seen from him in his first year playing.
“The thing I love about JD is that he is unfazed about where he is. He’s very competitive, he’s comfortable with getting in these games and competing. He doesn’t appear to be phased by it all and makes plays. I’m real excited for him, about him and how he can continue to impact the game. He’s done it in special teams and he’s made some nice plays. The slot back position in the offense carries some real responsibility particularly on third down so we are relying on him.”
There wasn’t a lot of talk about new interim Athletic Director Dave Rimington or “50” as he was referred to in his introductory press conference but Riley did talk about them getting to know each other today over lunch.
“I got to be in a meeting before the press conference with all the coaches where Ronnie Green introduced Dave and that was really well done. Then I actually met with him for about an hour during the lunch period, just talk to talk and kind of learn more about each other. Ive met him before but this was the first time we got to talk where there was quiet time. It was very good. He’s seems like a great person. Obviously a unique individual when you actually have an award named after you. I’m very respectful of that. It was great talking football.”
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.