Archive for the ‘Practice’ Category

Tour De Camp Update, Etc.

August 17, 2006

Because I know many of you are too lazy to scroll down to my other Tour de Camp post. Anyway, here is an updated list of the yellow jersey recipients.

Offense

Terrence Nunn – 3
Greg Austin – 2
Kenny Wilson – 1
Joe Ganz – 1
J.B. Phillips – 1
Zac Taylor – 1
Lydon Murtha – 1
Nate Swift – 1

Defense
Cory McKeon – 2
Ola Dagundaro – 2
Lance Brandenburgh – 1
Stewart Bradley – 1
Adam Carriker – 1
Tierre Green – 1
Barry Cryer – 1
Ben Eisenhart – 1
Clayton Sievers – 1

Special Teams
Brandon Rigoni – 3
Jordan Congdon – 1
Ben Eisenhart – 1
Matt O’Hanlon – 1
Dane Todd – 1
Andre Jones – 1
Clayton Sievers – 1

I can’t say that there are many surprises on the leaderboards. I have a feeling though that Terrence Nunn is going to do great things before he is through here. I will not be surprised if he ends up playing on Sundays after a few more years under Gilmore’s tutelage

In other news:

•The first BlogPoll is out. This is a college football poll run and voted on by sports bloggers. I think it is a great idea, as these voters probably put more thought into it than our other so-called pollsters. I’ve been in contact with the developers and I’m trying to get a vote. We’ll see what happens.

•Speaking of the BlogPoll, Sunday Morning QB releases their ballot. SMQ has this to say about the Huskers at #16:

“SMQ says fear fear fear this team. It’s not worth going overboard, but in last week’s anatomy lesson on forecasting stunning mythical title contenders, the Huskers were the perfect storm of rising, highly-recruited talent, run-stuffing hellions and veteran quarterbacking cool under a new, big-name hire – i.e., a replica of Oklahoma in 2000 or Ohio State in 2002. Nebraska improved over the second half last year, played Texas Tech and Oklahoma very close in losses, detroyed division champion Colorado in a breakthrough game and capped it by hanging on against Michigan in a momentum-soldifying/building win. Definitely the Big XII North favorite, perhaps still a year away, maybe two (since Harrison Beck is out the door) from more. Or maybe waiting to pounce with cornfed, creepily-mascoted vengeance now. Don’t say SMQ didn’t warn.”

•Texas Tech quarterbacks Chris Todd and Ryan Rowland duked it out in practice Tuesday. Rowland was left with a broken nose. I can’t believe an argument over who gets to hold the clipboard could escalate like that.

•Finally, M Zone discusses their favorite pre-season college football magazine. Hint – It’s Playboy (careful, might not be safe for work).

Monday Update

August 14, 2006

The Nebraska secondary got more bad news on Monday as Courtney Grixby has apparently broken dislocated sprained his thumb (no surgery) and is now practicing in a cast. Hopefully the injury won’t be a problem come opening day.

Cornerback was a position we were already thin at before Zack Bowman went down. Here is a list of who is currently on the roster at CB.

Zack Bowman – ACL tear, out for season
Courtney Grixby – Broken thumb, playing with cast
Andre Jones – JUCO transfer, 10 practices under his belt
Titus Brothers – Former safety, good special teams guy.
Tyrell Spain – Switched from receiver, 3 practices at CB
Isaiah Fluellen – Switched from receiver, injured most of his career, currently playing with cast on his hand.
Anthony West – True freshman, 10 practices under his belt, ran 4.38 forty at NU camp.
Corey Young – True freshman, HS running back, switched from safety, 3 practices at CB
Ricky Thenarse – True freshman, just arrived in Lincoln 8/11
Ryan Ford – Freshman walk-on, 5’11”, 170 lbs.
Tim Grier – On track scholarship, apparently working out at CB

*Update – Thenarse is evidently going to play safety.

On the bright side, Louisiana Tech will be breaking in a new starter at quarterback. Junior Zac Champion is expected to win the starting job. He’s the most experienced signal-caller on the LA Tech roster, but he’s thrown just eight passes in his collegiate career.

Safety Dance

August 10, 2006

Although the coaching staff is apparently not worried, my biggest question mark of fall camp is the safety position. With Tierre Green and Andrew Shanle penciled in at the top of the depth chart, it means that both safety positions will be manned by first time starters. I’m still looking for the exact answer, but that hasn’t happened since sometime before 1997 (maybe it’s time I had Mom ship me the media guide collection). Although Green started seven games last year at cornerback, he has only been at safety since the spring. Andrew Shanle has been a career back-up, but has been an important contributor on special teams (just ask Michigan return man Steve Breaston). While I think these two could be solid performers, I don’t expect them to be dominant in coverage or in run support. I also expect some growing pains early in the season as they get their feet wet as starters, and join the defense as a whole, in adjusting to the loss of Zack Bowman.

Behind the starters there is little depth. My dark horse at this position is former walk-on Ben Eisenhart, who like Shanle is a product of 8-man high school football. I thought Eisenhart was one of the most impressive performers in the Spring Game. The safety position also includes special teams ace Brandon Rigoni (who is impossible not to love), walk-on Matt O’Hanlon and true freshmen Major Culbert and Corey Young. If Culbert’s high school hype is to be believed, he is the future at one of the safety spots. Young on the other hand is just getting adjusted to the defensive side of the ball after starring as a running back at Millard North. I thoroughly believe Leon Jackson was expected to be a contributor at this point at one of the safety positions. As we all know by now, however, he had other ideas.

This has left us a recruiting class or two away from being shored up at the safety spots. As Husker fans we have probably been spoiled by a glutton of talent here in recent years. It was easy to get used to seeing this position manned by some of our biggest names and greatest athletes. For instance, in the last decade or so, Nebraska has sent players like Toby Wright, Mike Minter, Mike Brown, Jerrell Pippens and both of the Bullocks twins to the NFL. This recent success was a major reason the Huskers were a contender for Rivals.com’s designation as “Safety U.”

For this season, however, I think we rely on Green and Shanle to play intelligent and consistent football. Unless they struggle making tackles in the open field or give up the big play, we probably have enough talent around them on defense to beat most of the teams on our schedule. If they progress quickly and make big plays behind our front seven, teams are likely to have a hard time moving the ball on us. So in other words, watching the development of our safeties is another reason September 2nd can’t get here soon enough.