Walking next to Jeramiah Sirles on the way, in full pads mind you, made me appreciate just how big your standard offensive tackle is these days. I’m pretty sure he could deal the BeatLab some damage.
As we flooded out into the Hawks Championship Center and the outside field, I settled on a single goal for practice – Be Mike Nobler’s shadow.
I walked with him, Tate Guillote and the rest of the crew as they began setting up cameras including those perched high atop towers over the field. I now knew two things: I was following Nobler and I wasn’t getting up one of those towers. I salute the students who do go up, but I’m sticking to Terra firma, thanks.
While players went through initial stretches, I followed Nobler to the BeatLab as his job for most of practice was essentially to DJ. The Huskers began their practice in an interesting fashion. They lined up and executed plays at a very quick, high-tempo pace.
I had never been more thankful for the sturdy confines of the BeatLab in my life as I had 11 FBS football players coming at me in full pads. It didn’t help matters that I was staring at offensive linemen who were clearly ready to get physical.
After getting a sense for what Big Ten defenses see up close and personal, I recalled how Nobler told me that his role as DJ was far from an easy one.
As you can imagine, keeping approximately 150 people happy with a music selection simply isn’t going to happen. Nobler also mentioned how sometimes the coaches wanted the music turned down to bark orders or up to get the energy going. There seemed to be plenty of energy flowing between individual drills and coaches…well, being coaches.
I took one last interview opportunity to grab Brandon Baratta, one of the students. If Nobler is your head coach and Guillote is your assistant head coach, I’d liken Baratta to your Rex Burkhead or Kenny Bell.
Why did I pick Brandon?
Aside from his parents’ clear taste in names, I was told he was more fan than student. I decided to put such claims to the test.
While I could’ve easily stuck around for the duration, duty called elsewhere. As I walked back to my vehicle bathed in the sinking sun, I can honestly say I have a brand new appreciation for another aspect of what goes into making Nebraska football special. I hope that due to this series, you do as well.