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Nebraska Spring Game: Photos and Review

Here’s what I saw on Saturday

Jon Johnston

I have no idea how many autographs Rex Burkhead signed Saturday. He was the only former Nebraska player at the Pavilion signing for fans and the dual lines were stretched about 250 meters around the Ed Weir track. How many times can you sign your name in an hour and half, while taking time to take photos with people?

It was a beautiful day for a spring game. It could have been a bit warmer, and the wind got somewhat bitey cold in the second half, but there was no threat of bad weather.

I made an effort to introduce myself to as many people as possible. When Bill Moos walked by me on the field, I stuck my hand out and said, “Mr. Moos, my name is Jon Johnston. I run the terrible web site called Corn Nation. We’re the guys that probably give you indigestion. We make fun and abuse of all of our opponents, though.”

“Well, I can’t do that so I am counting on you guys to do that for me.”

I took this as a sign that we are doing the lord’s work here, and that we should be attacking our opponents more than we already are.

  • Mario Verdusco - I commented that I was disappointed he was out there without an unlit cigar. He responded that if he showed up with a cigar Frost would have killed him.
  • Fred Hoiberg - I asked why he chose to come to Nebraska. His response was that he’s been asked that question a lot, and when he paused, I said, “You want a statue, don’t you?” He said, no, he wasn’t after a statue. I pressed harder. He said, “I wouldn’t mind a statue for my grandfather.” Hoiberg looks and acts like a statesman. Notice I did not say “politician”. He carries himself extremely well and speaks well. He might not provide the same level of quotability as Tim Miles, but he has Doc Sadler to help him with that.
  • Quarterbacks - Our quarterback depth looks much better. The backups look like they know what they’re doing. Even Matt Masker looked proficient. Luke McCaffery looked like the future.
  • Adrian Martinez - incredibly mature and by that I don’t mean just as a quarterback on the field. He is always gracious, carries himself well for a young man in a fishbowl.
  • Darrion Daniels is a very large person.
  • Running backs - I read through the game thread and post game comments, and it seems that a lot of you were more impressed with the running backs than I was. I admit, it is difficult to see a lot of what’s happening on the field, especially when looking through a long lens. Brody Belt didn’t look too bad, and Jaylin Bradley looked like he can contribute this season. Wyatt Mazour always runs hard with the opportunities he’s given.
  • Receivers - keep in mind that our top three receiving threats - JD Spielman, Jake Stoll, and (if he’s everything we expect) Wan’Dale Robinson did not play. I am not as worried about the receivers. Frost can scheme with his offense to get receivers open and Martinez is accurate enough he will make even average receivers look very good.
  • In our “For What Will We Cheer” article, you overwhelmingly voted for the defense. From what I could tell, the biggest cheer of the day came for Fred Hoiberg or the amount of money that was raised for flood victims. What do you guys think?
  • Personal: There were a few photos of me on social media. Man.... I look like a homeless derelict guy who doesn’t know how to smile. Seriously - every time I think I’m smiling, I’m really making the old man grump face of that guy from “Up”. I gotta do something about this.

We now move into the real offseason. Expect more things than just football and sports from us.