Practice notes: Nebraska linebacker Dedrick Young is growing up
Nebraska wrapped up their third day of fall camp on Saturday evening. Some notes on the team:
Dedrick Young is growing up
After a slew of injuries created holes in the linebacking depth chart last year, now-sophomore Dedrick Young was forced to grow up quick as a true freshman.
Young ended up tying for fourth on the team in tackles with 61 in 2015.
“It feels completely different,” Young said about this season compared to last. “I just have a better understanding of just the whole game.”
Known for being a little shy and quiet off the field, linebackers coach Trent Bray said Thursday Young is starting to finally come out of his shell. He’s starting to talk more on the field and has a better feel now for his role.
“When he got here last year he was just an 18-year-old kid just out of high school. All of a sudden, he’s asked to go out and play in front of 92,000 people is pretty crazy,” Bray said. “And all that he handled extremely well.”
Young says he’s starting to feel more comfortable with the other linebackers, and in general the group is meshing better already this year than it did last.
Solidifying the roles
The Huskers return six linebackers who all saw significant time last season. In terms of starting roles, Bray said, they’re still early in the processes of selection.
Right now the group is learning and installing new schemes, and Bray is giving each player enough time to learn those schemes and show what they can do, he said.
In the next few practices, Bray said, the defense will start competing against the offense, which is when the roles will start to solidify.
“That’s when opportunity to move up or move back will start to happen,” Bray said.
Nebraska’s linebackers include Young, seniors Josh Banderas, Michael Rose-Ivey, juniors Chris Weber and Marcus Newby, and sophomore Luke Gifford.
Of that group, Banderas and Young tied for most tackles with 61.
Banker impressed with Mick Stoltenberg
In an odd way, defensive coordinator Mark Banker is kind of OK that defensive lineman Mick Stoltenberg got hurt last season.
“He was always strong from the waist up,” Banker said of the lineman, who is competing for an open defensive tackle spot.
Now, thanks to his lower-body rehab forced by a knee injury, Stoltenberg has taken huge steps toward starting on the defensive line.
Banker said he’s been happy with Stoltenberg’s progress, and loves seeing him out there.