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Ten days remain until Nebraska’s annual Red-White spring game, which means the Huskers will most likely be down a few players heading into the April 14 match-up.
“We’re short in a couple of positions, and that’s hindering us in some areas. We’ve got some guys nicked up—nothing big, just muscle pulls and that type of thing.”
The defensive line is one area in particular that has been plagued by injuries.
“We’re short there, and we have a couple of guys nicked up at the receiver position. It limits us a little bit, but we’re getting good work done.”
Compton leads linebackers
Middle linebacker Will Compton spent two years learning from one of the nation’s premier linebackers, Lavonte David. As Compton heads into his final season, it appears as if he is determined to leave a legacy of his own.
“Will’s playing really well,” Pelini said. “Will’s doing a good job and I think he’s going to have a heck of a year for us. He’s playing really good football.”
Compton stepping up will be crucial for the Blackshirts next fall, but he wasn’t the only linebacker who was spoken highly of.
Said Pelini: “(Sean) Fisher and (Alonzo) Whaley are doing a really good job. There’s a little bit of a drop off from the ones to the twos, so the twos have a lot of work to do yet.”
“We have a lot of numbers there and a lot of possibilities at the safety position,” stated Pelini. “It’s a talented spot. All of our safeties as a whole, we have good depth there.”
Junior Dijon Washington, who recently switched from cornerback to safety, has been “doing some good things,” according to Pelini. Sophomore Harvey Jackson has also had a good spring, as well as sophomore Corey Cooper and senior Justin Blatchford.
“(P.J.) is doing a really good job,” said Pelini. “He’s had a good spring up to this point. I think he has a lot better understanding. He’s playing good football right now.”
So what’s different this year?
According to Smith, a lot of it has to do with first-year secondary coach Terry Joseph. “At first I used to dread going to meetings. Now, I’m like ‘let’s go to meetings.’ It’s fun. Everyday he’s going to point something out to you.”
Said Pelni: “They’re young, they’re guys that are developing. I think there’s some talent in that group, but they need to develop that talent and keep working hard. We’re getting them a lot of reps, which helps them. I think there are some guys that are going to be players out of that group.”
Who better to ask than assistant offensive line coach John Garrison?
“Spencer Long is doing a great job,” he said. There has been no let up. I said to him as soon as he won that award, ‘no sophomore slumps.’ He’s taking it to the next step.”
And how is Mike Caputo’s replacement coming along at the center position?
“Cole Pensick’s been doing a nice job in the (RAM) drill,” explained Garrison. “He’s strong and he’s got some god-given leverage—he’s not the tallest guy in the world so he’s able to play low. He moves his feet well.”
“It (practice) was good,” said Pelini. “We’ve had a good couple of days. We’re getting a lot of good work done. We’re getting a lot of reps in.”
- Josh Harvey -
J.C. Reid has worked for Big Red Report magazine and BigRedReport.com since December of 2011. He is currently a junior at UNL, studying Journalism.