Nebraska concluded a successful first week of practice, which set the stage for a successful second week of practice. From Jamal Turner taking snaps at quarterback to the media having access for the first time in Bo Pelini's career, these first couple of weeks have been eventful for the Huskers.
With the spring game set for April 12, Nebraska is working away. While it's still early in spring practice, there are positions and storylines starting to play out.
News from the Week
Wednesday's practice ended with a bit of a scare as junior center Ryne Reeves was taken to the hospital with neck pains, per the Lincoln Journal Star. Pelini made a statement to the media at the conclusion of practice on Reeves:
Any time you have pain in your neck, we're going to treat it with caution. We think it's precautionary, but we're going to make sure they find out exactly what's going on. So we're going to treat that with a lot of caution. That's how it works.
Fans have been waiting anxiously for news on Reeves, which came in the early afternoon on Thursday.
Reeves is expected to continue practicing this spring.
Pelini has set a scrimmage for Thursday afternoon, per Mitch Sherman of ESPN.com. The team is expected to go through 90 to 100 players if roster numbers allow it. Pelini hopes the team stays focuses during the scrimmage, as Sam McKewon of the Omaha World Herald reported:
It’s not about winning or losing the drill or the particular play scheme-wise,” Pelini said. “It’s about doing what we ask you to do. Reading your keys. Playing with your eyes. Playing with discipline. Having the right focus. That’s what we’re looking to accomplish tomorrow night. We’ll see if our guys are able to translate it.
Former Kansas coach and current offensive coordinator Mark Mangino made an appearance at practice this week, as McKewon reported. Pelini said he wanted to come see how the Huskers were doing, allowing the Nebraska staff to pick his brain. Mangino was formerly Nebraska offensive coordinator Tim Beck's boss while at Kansas.
Important Position Battles
As spring practice continues on, the question as to who replaces Ciante Evans is more prominent than ever. At this time, Charles Jackson is making a strong push for the starting role. As Sherman reports, Jackson believes he is approaching this spring differently:
Not taking a day off and just paying attention. Watching film, watching angles people take every single day. Once you get in that mentality to watch film and get out there and translate it all into the game, it becomes a lot more natural.
Nathan Gerry is settling into his new position at safety. In doing so, he's creating a lot of buzz. As Sherman reported, Pelini is happy with what he's seeing.
“I feel really good about our linebacker spot,” Pelini said, “and I love the way he’s playing at safety right now.”
Gerry has been working out in the absence of Corey Cooper, who has missed spring practice with turf toe. Per McKewon, he is expected to make his return to the field after spring break.
Sophomore defensive tackle Maliek Collins may get a look at defensive end as a pass-rusher, per McKewon. The true sophomore lost 15 pounds during winter conditioning and is now under 20 percent body fat, which he says is making practice much better. Pelini compared him to LSU's Glenn Dorsey.
Collins will be an interesting storyline to watch as spring practice continues on.