Practice #8 of Nebraska’s 2016 Spring ball session came and went on Thursday afternoon in Lincoln. The Huskers went in full pads today after going just in helmets on Tuesday.
Offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf spoke to the media, as scheduled, after practice today. The running back picture, which had hints of shuffling out this spring, was given a little bit of clarity by Langs.
When asked about RBs, Danny Langsdorf first mentions Trey Bryant, said he's had a strong 8 practices. Wilbon running well, Ozigbo banged up.— Brian Rosenthal (@GBRosenthal) March 30, 2017
It’s hard not to envision Bryant as RB1 when the spring ends and going into fall camp. However, the Wilbon news is good to hear. Most folks (myself included) wondered if Mikale would be long for Lincoln anymore.
#Huskers OC Danny Langsdorf says Mikale Wilbon has much more confidence this year and a better understanding of the playbook. Making a move.— Connor Happer (@ConnorHapper) March 30, 2017
Devine Ozigbo continues to be "banged up." Nothing specific, Langsdorf said, but he's not getting many reps. #Huskers— Christopher Heady (@heady_chris) March 30, 2017
For the life of me, I cannot remember the specific injury to Ozigbo. If you know, drop the dime.
If you have been wondering about RS FR WR JD Spielman and what he can bring to this offense and team, you don’t have to go far on the roster.
JD Spielman is now at slot, where coach Keith Williams thinks the RFr can thrive. "He's quick, he's sure-handed, he's tough and he's smart."— Brian Rosenthal (@GBRosenthal) March 30, 2017
Jordan Westerkamp made a living in the slot, so we will see how Williams and Langs use a guy that may not be a possession receiver like Westy was.
If you are wanting a QB race update, well, things are going okay!
Danny Langsdorf said he's been most impressed with QBs recognizing and utilizing check-down passes. With that, completion % is higher.— Brian Rosenthal (@GBRosenthal) March 30, 2017
Now, I do realize that some folks will roll their eyes on the checkdown theory, as Sam Keller made a living on it and Bill Callahan ruins everything. However, it is a fair statement to make that it has been missing in QB play from Nebraska in the past few years.
The blue highlighted piece here is the reason you should embrace a checkdown.
How many interceptions were the Tommy YOLO variety from THAT specific issue? It won’t be perfectly done, for sure. That being said, giving yourself a chance is a big deal.
Those twerking for OL news, there was this dime from Sip when he spoke to Nick Gates today:
I have ample respect for Nick Gates today. Talked openly about his bowl-game struggle against Derek Barnett. Said Barnett flat-out beat him.— Steven M. Sipple (@HuskerExtraSip) March 30, 2017
Gates said facing Barnett "definitely taught me a lesson. I think I needed that lesson to be taught." #huskers— Steven M. Sipple (@HuskerExtraSip) March 30, 2017
Barnett will probably be a top 10-15 pick in this year’s NFL Draft, and a less than 100% Gates did struggle against him but did not allow a sack. Granted, for some that was simply not good enough.
If it makes Gates become a better player & helps Nebraska in the long run, you will dig it.
Finally, some tight end competition? Yes, please.
Tavita Thompson said Matt Snyder & Jack Stoll have "kind of risen above my expectations" behind Tyler Hoppes, making him upbeat about TE.— Brian Christopherson (@HuskerExtraBC) March 30, 2017
That will hopefully calm some nerves about the position being devoid til Austin Allen and Kurt Rafdal arrive in Lincoln.
Nebraska practices on Saturday morning next, and we will spill the goods when we see them!