Lincoln, NE - Nebraska assistant offensive line coach John Garrison told reporters in the spring before he went to bed every night, he would think about how to get junior offensive lineman Andrew Rodriguez ready to play at a high level.
Rodriguez's talent has never been questioned and he's always been a guy known to have a high ceiling, but time has slowly ticked away and the Aurora product only has two years left.
The good news for Husker fans is Rodriguez realizes the situation.
“I think what it comes down to is that it's important to him now,” said Garrison on Monday night after practice. “Before he was a young guy figuring things out, but it has become important to him. That is really the other half that was missing before. His attitude has been great. He's enjoying football. I can tell that at least through three days.”
So Big Red Report asked Rodriguez, is Coach Garrison's comment fair?
"That's an extremely fair comment," Rodriguez said . "I'm just anxious. I'm getting old. Football doesn't last very long for linemen especially, so I'm just going to grind whatever I have left for football and just go all-out with all I have.
“Roy Helu told me that this is going to go really fast. That was my freshman year. Now, it's two years later and it's flying by. I have two more years to produce. Like I said, I'm anxious."
Rodriguez played in six games as a true freshman in 2010 and started seven more last year, before a foot injury ended his season and a chance to go to Orlando with his teammates for the Capital One Bowl.
In the spring, the junior was asked to move to right tackle, where he appears to be in a fierce battle with fellow junior Jeremiah Sirles for the starting spot this fall. While BRR projects Rodriguez will eventually win the battle, we asked Garrison if the 6-foot-6, 325 pound Nebraska native could continue to play guard in the future to provide depth.
“I think he could handle it (playing both), but I think his understanding of the guard position is only going to help him at tackle,” said Garrison. “Right now we want to keep him at the tackle spot. He looks really comfortable there.”
Rodriguez was a four-star prospect coming out of high school, ranking as the nation's No. 13 offensive tackle.