Greetings Husker Nation. Well, what a wild week we just finished, wasn’t it? Practice began pretty much as normal on Monday, Aug. 17, but by Friday the 21st, speculation arose that something was going on.
Junior running back Quentin Castille had been held out of practice since Wednesday the 19th but did not appear to have an injury.
Then the bomb went off: Castille had been dismissed from the team for violation of team rules. End of subject.
As has been the practice since taking over the top spot, no comment was made by coach Bo Pelini or his staff regarding the situation surrounding Castille other than the following statement that Pelini released.
“We have guidelines, we have policies that we have set up here, we have a culture we have set up here,” Pelini said. “It’s pretty black and white my expectations and what we lay out as a staff, and if somebody doesn’t follow those policies or guidelines, they’re no longer going to be with the program. That’s the case with Quentin.
“I wish him luck. He’s a good kid. He’s just not going to be with our program anymore. The book is closed on that.”
Castille was coming off a sophomore season in which he rushed for almost 500 yards and five yards per carry. He impressed everyone with his performance in the Gator Bowl against Clemson with 125 yards on 18 carries, setting the stage for great expectations for the 2009 season.
It was widely believed that Castille and fellow junior Roy Helu were going to be a two-headed monster that this fan was predicting would amass a combined 2,000 yards rushing. Now, without question, the load of the running game will fall on Helu.
Word out of fall camp is that true freshman Rex Burkhead from Texas high school football power Plano has earned the No. 2 spot. Burkhead had more than 6,000 all-purpose yards in his four years at Plano, including being the first freshman to start there in anyone’s recent memory.
Former Plano coach Gerald Brence, who coached Burkhead through his junior year and saw him play fullback, quarterback, running back, defense, and punter, says that Burkhead was a legend at Plano High.
Burkhead shouldn’t be affected by the Husker fishbowl either, as he routinely played in front of crowds over 20,000 and rivalries just as intense as any he will find in the Big 12.
As is Pelini’s policy, freshmen such as Burkhead are not allowed access to the media until they have played their first game, so his feelings surrounding this issue will have to wait until Sept. 5, 2009, after we play Florida Atlantic.
Speaking of which, did you know that the Huskers have a good chance of winning two conference championships this season? No, I am not on crack, but with us playing Florida Atlantic, Arkansas State, and then Louisiana-Lafayette, a 3-0 record in these games would put us undefeated in the Sun Belt Conference.
Looking at the defense this past week, Sean Fisher, the redshirt freshman out of Millard North, is really impressing. At 6’6”, Fisher has the size to play defensive end but the coordination to play any of the three linebacker spots.
Here’s a comment from defensive coordinator Carl Pelini: “Right now I look and I see Sean Fisher really rising to the top. He’s having a great camp.
“He’s able to play all three linebacker positions and handle them well, and he doesn’t hesitate in terms of his assignments. The mental aspect of his game has really picked up. He’s always been a great athlete who could move and run well in the linebacker position.”
I see Fisher as a player who will wreak havoc with teams' passing games. They won’t be expecting that length, and I believe that Sean will be batting down a lot of balls, if not outright picking them off in the flat.
Well folks, that's about all I have to tell you about this week. Let’s hope that this week is more sedate than last week. GBR folks.