Lincoln, NE - If sophomore offensive lineman Tyler Moore learned anything last season, it was this: "To not make mistakes. One little mistake and you are out of a game."
Much was made when the high school All-American started the first game of the season last fall. Moore was the first freshman in the modern era to start on the offensive line in the season opener.
But as conference play started, Moore was replaced by a healthy Marcel Jones, a senior. Seeing his role reduced to limited snaps, Moore didn't always make the best of them.
Possibly the best example was against Wisconsin, when Moore was plugged into the game and immediately was the culprit of a false start. He was pulled and didn't see the field the rest of the contest.
The word growing pains come to mind.
"I know you can't make mistakes, but I thought I would have a little more leniency with the coaches and everything," said Moore. "One and done, what are you going to do when you are young?"
Now with the Huskers for the second straight spring after enrolling early last year, Moore is seeing the game slow down and physically noticing a difference.
"Physically wise, it's been a lot different with a full year of lifting and running with the team, so I'm a lot stronger and more balanced," said the sophomore. "Last year, I wasn't able to make certain blocks that I am now. Being in the playbook for a year helps a lot.
"Last year it was kind of, learn the system and get the hang of everything, while also trying to start. That's kind of hard. I was behind Yoshi and Marcel who were both seniors, but now it's you already have a starting job so the goal is to keep it."
As of now, Moore is being projected to be the starting left tackle this fall – a welcomed change from last year.
" I came in at left from high school, so switching to right was the tough one. And of course switching back and forth was tough, so now being at one position is going to help a lot," said Moore.
"I'm sure that it's easier, but he's always going to need to have the ability to flop for us. Because you never know what happens injury wise," said Cotton. "It's good he can concentrate on one side, but there will come a time this spring or fall that we will move him to other side just so he can keep that flopping ability alive."
Cotton reports Moore has had a good spring, one filled with growth. Despite being only year removed from high school, the Huskers will rely heavily upon Moore this fall.
"He's much more of a veteran than you'd think a true sophomore would be," Cotton said. "We don't consider him a young guy. He's a young guy age-wise but not experience-wise. He has a lot more experience than many guys that you're trying to plug in as a starter."