LINCOLN, Neb. – One of Nebraska’s great traditions continued on Tuesday when coaches handed out 13 Blackshirts to defensive players before practice. Some notes on the newest batch of Blackshirts:
- The list of Husker players who were given the jerseys include Freedom Akinmoladun, Mick Stoltenberg, Kevin Maurice, Ross Dzuris, Marcus Newby, Josh Banderas, Dedrick Young, Josh Kalu, Chris Jones, Nate Gerry, Aaron Williams , Chris Weber and Michael Rose-Ivey.
- The most notable player who did not receive a Blackshirt was Kieron Williams, who is the starting safety.
- Defensive coordinator Mark Banker said after practice Williams is “close” to a Blackshirt but said he and a few other players “need to prove it to themselves and to the group they’ve truly earned it.”
- Defensive line coach John Parrella, who was a Blackshirts defender himself from 1988 to 1992 at Nebraska, made a short speech before the players were given the Blackshirts.
- Parrella said it’s pivotal to make sure the players who earned the Blackshirts this year realize the importance of the jersey, which is why he spoke.
- Defensive lineman Maurice said it made everything a little more special to be handed a Blackshirt from someone who had it before.
- Defensive end Akinmoladun said he’s taking the honor seriously, and now believes he not only needs to live up to it, but is going to make sure the guys next to him also live up to earning the Blackshirt.
- In non-jersey news, defensive backs coach Brian Stewart said he’s confident in true freshman Lamar Jackson’s abilities to play at corner. It was announced on Monday that Jackson will be a second-string corner and will likely see a lot of playing time this Saturday against Fresno State. Stewart said he likes the length and speed of Jackson.