Nebraska handed out 14 Blackshirts on Monday, but did so in a new way. Coach Scott Frost invited former Blackshirts back to address the team and hand out the coveted jerseys, something that meant a lot to both the players and coaches in attendance.
“It was an awesome experience, meant the world to me and the guys,” defensive coordinator Erik Chinander said on Tuesday. “I don’t ever like to talk about what those guys say because I want them to feel like they can come back to the team and say whatever they want but you’re talking about a deal where you have some grown men shedding a tear and there’s one of them right here.
“They just told those guys what it meant to be a Blackshirt and I don't think they’ve heard that from enough guys yet to really get this tradition back where it needs to be and it was an awesome, awesome ordeal and one I’ll cherish for the rest of my life, probably.”
In addition to the Blackshirts being handed out, Nebraska also relesed its first depth chart of the season on Monday. Frost cautioned from reading too much into it, something Chinander reiterated on Tuesday.
"I think there's a lot more "ORs" out there than I think were listed," Chinander said. "Ben Stille is an 'OR' with any position on the defensive line. He's a starter. I feel good that you have those 'ORs' and you have guys that you can feel like are your starters."
And when it comes down to it, Chinander said he feels good about whoever starts on Saturday. That’s expecially true at defensive back, where there’s a lot of depth heading into the fall.
“I think we can get a good mix out there,” Chinander said.
Other news and notes:
>> Speaking of depth at key positions, defensive line coach Tony Tuioti said Nebraska will play at least six different linemen on Saturday against South Alabama: Carlos and Khalil Davis, Darrion and Damion Daniels, Ben Stille and Deontre Thomas.
>> Nebraska started game preparation for South Alabama this week and Chinander shared a little about what the defense has noticed about the Huskers’ first opponent of the season.
“Obviously you’re looking at their season last year,” he said. “There’s some new pieces. They lost a guy. I think a heck of a receiver that I think is with the Denver Broncos. New quarterback. A lot of these kids with me being in Alabama recruiting, I get to see live. I know their quarterback is a heck of an athlete that can really throw the football. He’s a big kid.
“They have a really nice scheme, some really nice things to defend and I think they have some good athletes running around so I think it’s going to be a really good first game for us to get a lot of things fit up correctly and matching personnel and they’re very multiple in what they do.”
>> Nick Henrich is back in the inside linebackers room for meetings, per Barrett Ruud. Ruud said a couple weeks ago he expects Henrich to play this season.
>> JoJo Domann did not receive a Blackshirt on Monday, but he’s not worried about it. He instead said it’s serving as motivation after an injury set him back over the summer.