The final week of Nebraska’s fall camp has concluded. With tickets to Kendrick Lamar and a day off, Week 3 went out in style. What have we learned? Let’s recap the bigger storylines from the past seven days.
Chris Jones is without crutches or brace
Senior cornerback Chris Jones was given a 4-6 month timeframe to recover from a meniscus repair on his left knee. However, it appears Jones may be ahead of schedule.
It's God not me and his plan for me cannot be stopped by no man 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾 https://t.co/3g9Hk3MIFP
— Chris Jones (@C_Jon8) August 15, 2017
Jones was walking around without crutches or a brace again Thursday. It’s hard to predict what the future holds for Jones, but his recovery at the least looks to be going well.
As for the questions about a redshirt, there’s no need for Jones to rush a decision.
Danny Langsdorf wants balance on offense
Offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf wants a balanced offense. While the game plan depends on the opponent, he doesn’t want to see Nebraska get too pass-heavy or run-heavy.
“We always feel we’re at our best when we’re balanced,” Langsdorf said. “If we can be a good balance of run and then the play-actions off of it, that’s when we do our best. If we get too one-dimensional either way, it’s not very good. I just think the balance of it [and] to get a number is tough. It depends on who we’re playing.”
With that said, a running back has yet to take off with the starting job. At this point, it appears Nebraska will start the season with a running back by committee.
Caleb Lightbourn is more consistent
Under new direction with defensive coordinator Bob Diaco, sophomore punter Caleb Lightbourn is making strides in the consistency department. Lightbourn’s development can be credited to a couple of factors.
First, Lightbourn believes he and Diaco have similar personalities.
“We’re both very straight-forward people,” Lightbourn said. “We don’t really beat around the bush much.”
The other factor is safeties coach Scott Booker. Leading the charge on special teams, Booker has changed how the kickers and punters practice. Having only been required to practice for 20-30 minutes per day with former special teams coach Bruce Read, Booker now expects the kickers and punters to be present at practice from start to finish.
Bob Diaco will coach from the box
You won’t see Diaco on the sidelines this fall. Instead, he’ll be coaching from the box. Choosing to have Diaco in the box was a discussion with coach Mike Riley, but it was never an issue. Diaco’s preference to be in the box is about the vantage point and lack of distractions.
“I think that in particular [former defensive coordinator Mark] Banker liked the sideline,” Riley said. “Coach Diaco immediately asked about being in the press box. I think that’s good.”
Mick Stoltenberg is recovering from a head injury
Nose tackle Mick Stoltenberg missed some of the last week of fall camp with a head injury. Riley confirmed the injury after Friday’s practice.
Stoltenberg is in concussion protocol. If all goes as expected, he will return to the practice field Monday.
Captains, scholarships and redshirts are coming
The Nebraska coaches have had a big weekend of decisions. On Friday, Riley said he and his staff would meet to discuss captains, scholarships and redshirts.
Riley hopes to have an answer on all counts by the middle or end of the upcoming week. When it comes to the open scholarships specifically, Riley plans to be extra mindful. There are eight open scholarships and Riley wants to ensure they go to the right players.
“We’ve met on [scholarships] three or four times and had our lists in front of us, but have not finalized anything,” Riley said.