Monday morning donuts (8-4-14)

Topics: Tommy Armstrong, Randy Gregory, recruiting letters, and Tai Webster.

LINCOLN, Neb. - Nebraska will open up fall practices on Monday night to the media, marking the first time this has happened in the Bo Pelini era. While it will take a few weeks to really gauge where this team is at and figure out position battle winners, check out Big Red Report for practice coverage later tonight – including a photo gallery from the beginning portion of their on the field session.

Pelini will let the media observe practice on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday, meaning Tuesday night the Big Red Report staff needs something to do. Hit the site up at 8 p.m. for the first of many fall Big Red Report weekly chats. Recruiting guru Bryan Munson will be on hand to answer your 2015 and 2016 prospect questions.

Now how about some Monday morning donuts?

Armstrong enters camp No. 1:

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Tommy Armstrong will enter fall as the Huskers No. 1 guy on the depth chart, but he isn’t leaving anything to chance.

“It’s always a competition. Nothing is promised,” said Armstrong. “Right now I have a edge over everyone, but anything could happen. Last year we saw that first hand when Taylor went down – Ron and I had to step up. Anything could happen.”

Tommy Armstrong

While Armstrong finished last season 7-1 as a starter, he struggled at key moments while he got on the job training. Those struggles have some fans nervous – other fans calling for Johnny Stanton or even walk-on Ryker Fyfe to be the Huskers' guy.

Make no mistake about it. Nebraska’s best chances for a Big Ten Conference title rest with Armstrong at quarterback. He now knows he doesn’t have to win a game by himself, especially with a guy like Ameer Abdullah sharing his backfield.

“It changes a lot,” said Armstong when asked about confidence of running with the first-team offense. “It helps me running with the 1s. It helps me get the chemistry down. I now feel that since I have the chemistry down in the offseason, it’s now the mental aspect of the game. Being able to be a leader off and on the field and make the team stronger.”

While Armstrong feels he has a chemistry with the offensive first-team, his teammates see a new focus in the former four-star quarterback.

“I think he’s always been determined, but because he didn’t have the starting role, backing up Taylor, he didn’t have the idea that he would be starting down the road,” said receiver Sam Burtch. “I’m sure his fall camp will be different than last year.”

If you have 15 minutes, I suggest you listen to Tommy Armstrong’s media session from last Friday.


Neal gets some nice mail on Friday:

Aug. 1 marks the first day college coaches can officially offer a high school prospect going into his senior year. It’s a silly rule that was put in place by the NCAA a few years ago to help slow down recruiting…how’s that working out for them?

The first Husker commit to tweet his letter was Omaha Central defensive lineman DaiShon Neal.

A three-star prospect, Neal has spent the summer trying to bulk up, hoping to get to 260-pounds. Big Red Report will be catching up with Neal and all the Nebraska commitments in coming weeks to preview their senior season.


Gregory named Scout.com Preseason All-Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year:

Preseason accolades are upon us and Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory got a well-deserved one yesterday when he was named by Scout.com as the conference’s preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Gregory edged out Michigan State’s Shilique Calhoun for the award.

A few other Huskers appeared on the first-team with Gregory, including running back Ameer Abdullah and safety Corey Cooper.

If the preseason team had been extended to the second-team, Huskers: WR Kenny Bell, OL Jake Cotton, DT Vincent Valentine, LB Michael Rose, and CB Josh Mitchell would have also made the list.


Stewart Photography


Webster with a solid international showing:

Playing in a tune-up tournament before the FIBA World Cup in Spain later this month, Nebraska sophomore Tai Webster chipped in 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting and a pair of assists to help New Zealand down Ivory Coast, 79-55.

The FIBA World Cup lasts for two weeks and features 24 teams. New Zealand finds themselves in Group C, along with the United States. The pairing is significant because it will give Huskers fans a chance to see their second-year player on the International stage against a team full of NBA players.

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