Monday, April 12, 2010

April in Nebraska Means Football

Just because I haven't blogged about spring football doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about it.  (Over at CornNation, I did suggest last month that I wasn't focusing on anything going in.) And right now, I'm still approaching it like a sponge...just going to wait and see what emerges.

The Lincoln Journal-Star had a very interesting practice report today.  Nebraska now has enough depth to run dual practice stations, a practice that Bill Callahan scuttled. The downside is that coaches aren't observing every player during these sessions since they have to split the squad.  The upside is that players are getting in twice the reps in practice, and that's good news for player development. We know how badly that went during the Callahan period, so reversing that trend is a good thing.

Cody Green wearing a green practice jersey? Hopefully it's true that he'll be ready for contact on Saturday. I'd like to see every quarterback (except for Kody Spano, who's still recovering from a second ACL tear) showing us both their running and throwing. And yes, I'm intrigued to see what Taylor Martinez can do.

Sadly, we won't see Jemarcus Hardrick this weekend either, though I'm not sure how much of a read I can get from a scrimmage.

I'm also starting to get a little curious about the second group of receivers. I'm a big fan of Brandon Kinnie and Niles Paul...but I want to see someone else emerge. Is it going to be Curenski Gilleylen, who looked so good in September, so awful in October, invisible in November, and fumblefooted in the Holiday Bowl? What about Antonio Bell, who looked pretty good last spring? Niles Paul dropped the name of Will Henry today.  And Joe Brokemeier is raising eyebrows this spring.

On defense, I'm curious to see who emerges at linebacker. I assume Will Compton will be one guy...but with only one other linebacker in the new Peso personnel package, there are three candidates.  Sean Fisher, who was the odd man out last fall. Eric Martin, who was dynamic on kickoff coverage last season. And now, Alonzo Whaley's name is coming up as well.

Like I said, I'm curious to see who emerges. I'm not going in with any expectations, just want to see who catches my eye.  The weather forecast is looking great at this point; mid-60's and sunny. But don't make those wardrobe decisions just yet; the KSHB weather team in Kansas City (they've done an outstanding job with long-term forecasts) show a stalled front (with showers) just south of Lincoln on Friday...which means you just never know what might happen.

Springtime in Nebraska. After last winter, we thought it might never arrive.

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