The Nebraska football team continued its 2013 football fall camp Thursday night, going through a two-hour practice in full pads under the lights in Memorial Stadium.
Nebraska Defensive Coordinator John Papuchis addressed the media after practice, noting that the team worked on a little bit of everything, including scrimmaging at the end of practice.
“A little bit of everything today, we had some tackling and live work but the way we approach it, it was like a regular practice.” Papuchis said, “Everything we do in a practice for us involves everything besides taking guys to the ground, so when we do turn that up a little bit, the only difference in everything we do is we are actually finishing the play.”
Papuchis also talked about the ongoing competition on the defensive line, noting that things are going pretty good, and also senior defensive tackle Thad Randle has been impressing the coaching staff.
“The competition has been going pretty good, there is still a bunch of guys that are rolling through, I think I said there are six or seven guys that are rotating through and I still believe that is the case.” Papuchis said, “I think Thad Randle has had a very good camp up to this point, I think we can feel pretty solid that he will be lining up for us on Saturday a couple weeks from now. Beyond that it’s still a little bit up in the air.”
JP also mentioned that he is pretty impressed with senior defensive tackle Brodrick Nickens, mentioning that he is a big body and is very physical, something the defensive line desperately needed.
“Well he is a physical guy, he is a big body and is strong and eats up space in the middle. What he does well in terms of rushing the passer is he pushes the pocket for us and he is pretty physical guy in the run.” Papuchis said, “I think Brodrick, especially in the right situations can play a pretty good role for us.”
With a young and mostly inexperienced linebacker corps, Papuchis noted that the depth of the linebackers is not a big concern, considering NU usually plays a nickel with two linebackers on the field.
“Like we eluded to a week ago with the personnel that we play, and a lot of times against our offense we are at least half the time in some form of nickel package so there is only two ‘backers on the field, so from a depth perspective we aren’t hurting too bad.”
A freshman newcomer that Husker fans should keep an eye on is Lincoln Southwest graduate Josh Banderas. Banderas has been impressing the coaching staff with his play at linebacker during fall camp.
“Josh Banderas has really come a long way, I think Josh still has a lot of work to do. He is a young guy that has been here for 10 days but I think he is going to push to get some playing time if he continues on this track,” Papuchis said.