Nebraska to scrimmage on Saturday
Biggest news from practice on Thursday was the subtle and maybe accidental announcement that the Huskers will scrimmage on Saturday at practice.
This will be big for the defense, defensive coordinator Mark Banker said, because most of the defense so far has been dummy defense while the offense puts in sets of plays.
Because of that, Banker said he hasn’t been able to get much of a grasp on the growth of the young defensive line, which returns zero starters from last year. But he also said being young at that position is all right with him.
“If you’re going to have a place to be quote-unquote young, that’s the place to be,” Banker said.
The key now is to keep the coaching of that position simple, Banker said. But not a lot of that can come without playing in games.
Competition at defensive end heating up
Sophomore defensive end Sedrick King, who has appeared in two regular-season games as a Husker, says he is hungry to make it onto the field this year.
King, who redshirted in 2014 when he appeared in wins over South Alabama and Minnesota, said he sees the opportunity and is ready to step up.
“That’s really my main goal right now is to get on the field,” King said. “So I’m just as hungry as possible.”
King said he pulled his groin in the second half of the spring, which sidelined him for a few weeks. But now he’s back and trying to get better by honing in on the little things.
“Just knowing my assignments and executing them the way they’re supposed to be done,” King said.
King is likely competing with junior Ross Dzuris for a starting spot at defensive end. Sophomore Freedom Akinmoladun is the front runner for the other end of the line.
The competition, though, will help Nebraska with depth at a key position, King said. “As long as we’re all pushing for it, we’ll be all right and this team will definitely benefit from it.”
Bray pleased with depth and nutrition of linebackers
After last season, linebackers coach Trent Bray told some players they needed to lose some weight in order to increase their quickness.
So far in fall camp, Bray can already see that advice paying off.
“That was a big thing with a couple of our guys: we need to be leaner, we need to move better,” Bray said. “There were some specific guys where we were like, ‘Hey we really need you to do this because of this specific position and the things we ask you to do.’”
In particular, Marcus Newby has looked great during fall camp after having reduced his weight, Bray said.
Bray says that Marcus is more explosive at 230 pounds. “If you just watch him move, it’s night and day from last year,” he said. Newby weighed around 235 pounds last year.
When Newby bought into the nutrition aspects, Bray said, the linebacker started progressing. So far, Bray said, Newby has done a good job of keeping his body fat and weight down.