LINCOLN, Neb. — If Saturday was any indication of the next few weeks, Nebraska offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf is going to have his hands full picking a starting quarterback.
Both redshirt freshman Patrick O’Brien and redshirt junior Tanner Lee looked phenomenal at practice. Both completed every kind of throw you can imagine, and from what we saw they only threw a handful of incompletions the entire practice.
Before we get to more of that, here’s who else looked good, and who surprised, on Saturday.
Who looked good
Stanley Morgan Jr.
The junior wide receiver had an insane, one-handed grab. Morgan snatched a pass from O’Brien with his left hand, spun and had an open lane to the end zone. Morgan looks great. He’s put on some muscle, he seems comfortable being the No. 1 wide receiver, and O’Brien and Lee love throwing it to him on the outside.
The situation at running back is fluid, but it appears that freshman Tre Bryant and sophomore Devine Ozigbo are battling for the starting spot. Bryant looked like he was taking most of the first-team reps on Saturday. But like the quarterback spot, that could just be a rotating thing. Regardless, it’s intriguing to have both Bryant and some slot guys on the field at once. Lots of speed.
All of the graduating senior wide receivers last season said Keyan Williams was a receiver to watch. Williams is proving why this spring. The shifty junior wideout — and son of receivers coach Keith Williams — had some good grabs on Saturday. He could be a guy who doesn’t play much, but is effective when he does see the field.
Who looked great
Tanner Lee and Patrick O’Brien
We’re lumping these two together because it is so hard to tell them apart. Both threw some beautiful balls on Saturday and both had crazy high passing percentages. We can assume that offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf’s grades for both, and those marks will be extremely high. Lee and O’Brien looked good throwing on the run, throwing screens, and looked great throwing under pressure. They found checkdowns easily and lofted balls over defensive backs. There’s a good reason why coach Mike Riley said on Saturday he doesn’t plan on naming a starter during spring practice. It’s just too close to call right now.
The redshirt freshman wide receiver has the potential to have a monster year. Spielman is quick, he has great hands and is elusive in the middle of the field. He’s a potential threat to run the jet sweep and could be a decoy guy in motion. On Saturday, he showed why he was Scout Team MVP last season.
The safeties coach was helping punt returners on Saturday. Didn’t see that one coming. If memory serves, running backs coach Reggie Davis was helping out with punt returners before Elliott took over. Elliott seemed to know what he was doing at practice.