Bo Pelini Hands Out Seven Blackshirts

It'd be best if we didn't see this photo again this season. - Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

Nebraska's head coach Bo Pelini handed out seven blackshirts today at practice. The seven Blackshirts went to Thad Randle, David Santos, Jason Ankrah, Ciante Evans, Josh Mitchell, Stanley Jean-Baptiste, and Corey Cooper. This could be a meaningless gesture unless the defense performs better, but Pelini has made it clear it's up to those seven players to lead.

Bo Pelini, along with the main Huskers twitter feed, announced this evening that seven Blackshirts had been handed out....

To the following players:

Those would be:

Thad RandleDavid SantosJason AnkrahCiante Evans, Josh Mitchell, Stanley Jean-Baptiste, and Corey Cooper.

Reaction across twitter was overall very positive:

Blackshirts are representative of hard work, then, rather than performance on the field. That doesn't say much for a tradition other than it exists and must be preserved.

These are the leaders of a defense that gave up 53.5 points per game in their four losses last season - 36 to UCLA, 63 to Ohio State, 70 to Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game, and 45 to Georgia in the bowl game. I have no idea what Callahan is getting at here other than the seven are starters on a defense that still has a lot to prove.

My most cynical view - Pelini did this to suck up to the fanbase and Nebraska's media and stop the inane questioning that occurs about the Blackshirts. Even I have a hard time believing that, though, because it doesn't seem like Pelini. Rather than that let's say that Pelini recognizes that someone has to lead this defense, and it's incumbent upon these seven players to do that, meaning they damned well better perform better than last season or you can take this Blackshirt tradition and flush it down the toilet.

In other news:

- Freshman running back Adam Taylor will redshirt this season.

- Jamal Turner will be the starting punt returner.

- Kenny Bell and freshman Terrell Newby will be the starting kick returners.

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