Nebraska held its first practice of the spring season at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, taking advantage of the warm weather to get in two hours of work in full pads.
The session included their first opportunity to scrimmage against one another. “We had a good day today," said head coach Bo Pelini. "We practiced today about half-practice, half-scrimmage. We mixed and matched a lot of guys, got a lot of guys some snaps. Those were the first live snaps we’ve had and I thought it went it well. There’s a lot, obviously, to put on tape, some things good, some that were sloppy, about where you think you’d be at this point. (We will) watch film and make people better because of the experience, but I thought it was a good day. I thought it was a good first week.”
One player that has grabbed attention early in spring practice has been redshirt freshman running back Adam Taylor. “I’ve said it, I think Adam is going to be a really good player," said Pelini. "I think he’s going to be a force for us. He’s got a lot to learn as far as the mental aspects, but I thought he had a decent day today and I think he has a chance to be a really good football player. And I think Imani Cross is playing at a high level right now, so our running back position is in pretty good shape.”
Pelini also addressed wide receiver Tarriq Allen and his continued recovery from a 2012 knee injury. “Taariq just works so hard and fought back. I think he’s back to feeling like himself again. He’s a guy who’s a leader in the locker room, a leader on the field and a tough kid. He’s about the right things and the type of kid you want on your football team. It’s a testament to how hard he’s worked. He’s worked his butt off and it’s paid off for him.”
Pelini also feels that the wide receiver corps will be a strong point for the Huskers in 2014. “I feel good not only about the position as a whole and the depth of it, but the versatility of it, too. Different guys in that spot who can do different things for you.”
On the defensive side of the ball, Pelini noted on the improvements he’s noticed out of defensive end Greg McMullen. “It’s night and day, it’s not even close. I can say that about a lot of those guys on the front seven on defense, but Greg in particular, he’s playing at a really high level. I think he has the chance to be a great player. He’s doing a really good job.”
With three practices left before the Huskers take a break for spring break, Pelini commented on what he’ll be looking for out of his team the rest of the way. “Just progress. Like I told our guys, other than academics, especially the young guys, the guys that are still learning this thing, you gotta understand what your responsibilities are. We’re looking for progress. We’re not looking for the finished product right now, but we’re looking for progress. Not repeating errors, continuing to develop their understanding of what we’re doing on both sides of the football and special teams. That’s the challenge over the next three days. We’ll get a couple more days of install, we’ll probably scrimmage on Thursday night, then we’ll get a good break and then we’ll be at our halfway point. That’s kind of what we’re looking for.”
The Huskers will practice again Monday afternoon. Nebraska’s Red-White Game is 2 p.m. Saturday, April 12th.