BRR practice donuts (8-20-14)

Nebraska's camp is winding down as prep for Florida Atlantic has already begun.

LINCOLN, Neb. - Escaping the hot temperatures by practicing inside, Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini and crew used Wednesday afternoon to shake up the personnel.

Giving starting safety Corey Cooper the day off, limiting the work of running back Ameer Abdullah and cornerback Josh Mitchell, Nebraska experimented with different lineups.

“We wanted to look at some specific guys, and look at specific (situations) with certain guys,” Pelini said. “On both sides of the football we did that, there was a reason why we did that and at the same time it gave some of our more experienced guys a little bit of a rest.

For the full Pelini audio, you can click below:

As far as shaping up the scheme, Nebraska used junior-college transfer Byerson Cockrell as a safety in place of Corey Cooper on first-team, while true freshman Josh Kalu slid into the NICKEL spot.



Foster moves to DT…

A four-star offensive tackle and Semper Fi All-American coming out of high school, true freshman D.J. Foster had a good fall camp on the offensive line. We use past tense because the Lincoln Southeast product was moved to defensive tackle on Tuesday.

D.J. Foster

“Just looking at D.J. over there, he is obviously a tremendous athlete and a guy who was playing well at guard,” Pelini said. “When Kevin Williams went down, it got me to thinking to build our depth over there.”

In just his second day at the position, Foster had a sack on the second-team defensive unit. The question is, will Foster remain at the position long term? While Pelini said the long term goal is offensive line, he wouldn’t dismiss it.

“That is not what I’m thinking, but you never know. We don’t graduate any of our defensive tackles plus we have two guys that we think are going to be pretty good coming in next year. I’m not worried next year, all I’m worried about this year. That’s why we made the move.”

Foster’s teammates have been impressed.

“He’s been playing pretty good,” said starting defensive tackle Vincent Valentine. “I was pretty surprised. He can really move. I could tell when he’s playing guard that he can move laterally and everything, but when he’s playing defensive tackle, he’s got a nice push up the middle. He’s just got to learn his techniques and he will be good.”

Foster was asked if the true freshman was coming after his job?

“(Laughter) no comment on that one.”



Cohesive is the word of the day…

Ask linebacker Zaire Anderson how good the defense could be in 2014 and the senior can’t do anything but smile.

Anderson says the Blackshirts were hurting for leadership in 2013 because of the lack of snaps with a young group. He doesn’t think it’s a problem any longer.

“I think we are going to surprise some people this fall,” said Anderson. “I think people don’t know how good we are going to be this year and we are going to show them.

“Everyone knows their assignment and everyone has been in the defense for a year, so it helps us out…I think being on the same page and communication is going to help us out a lot.”

Junior linebacker David Santos agrees with Anderson and says he’s tried to take a leadership role at linebacker.

“I think we are all more comfortable with each other,” said Santos. “We are all on the same page and ask of each other…we are a unit and sticking together.”



Harvey’s other practice donuts:

* Injury report: FB.) Andy Janovich (out, leg wrapped), OT.) Zach Sterup (out, unknown leg injury), DT Kevin Williams (out, Pelini said he was day-to-day with an ankle injury), WR.) Brandon Reilly (out, hamstring), WR Sam Burtch (out, unknown), LS.) Gabe Miller (out, Pelini made it sound like he wouldn’t be back this season).

* Armstrong had another good day throwing the football, but didn't take any really big chances down the field.

* Offensive lineman David Knevel (redshirt freshman) practice wasn't the greatest from the backup offensive tackle spot. He had a couple false start penalties and he has blocked better.

* Junior defensive end Jack Gangwish was the Huskers third overall defensive end on Wednesday, getting first-team reps when Randy Gregory went to the sidelines. His motor and no-quit attitude has impressed his teammates.

* The long snappers were better on Wednesday, but still had a few miscues. Josh Faulkenberry has looked better than Nathan Gerry the last few days, but Fualkenberry is also a true freshman and that has to be accounted for in this race for the spot.

* Game planning for Florida Atlantic has started to happen according to players. Defensive tackle Vincent Valentine reported guys started to watch film this afternoon.

* True freshman Demornay Pierson-El remains our favorite freshman to make an impact on special teams this year, but wide receivers Jordan Westerkamp and Kenny Bell continued to get work returning the football today, with Ameer Abdullah working punt return as well.

* The snap is always there, which makes him have to adjust, but punter Sam Foltz has been punting the ball very well over the last few practices the media has been able to watch. Foltz has always had a big leg, but his problems have been shanks from time-to-time. It seems like it’s happening less and less.

* Safety LeRoy Alexander was working scout team today – talk about a good look for the Husker offense. In addition, guys like QB.) Zach Darlington, DE.) A.J. Bush, defensive lineman Mick Stoltenberg, Sedrick King, and Peyton Newell worked the unit as well.

* Scouts from the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints were in attendance on Wednesday.

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