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  1. 2012 Mar 18

    NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS: Knee-Jerk Reactions (3/18/12)


    By HuskerLocker

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    By Brandon Cavanaugh

    - Erstad’s troops aren’t perfect, but they've been impressive out of the gate. The split with Cal and their recent merciless mauling of Louisiana Tech was encouraging.

    - Cole Pensick might want to replace Caputo, but he’s not the best center Pelini's staff can put in the middle.

    - If Shaka Smart comes to Nebraska, I'll eat my hat*

    - Terry Joseph’s currently out recruiting the Southeast. Does this guy also make julienne fries?

    - Another spring, another promise of Kyler Reed being more involved. Pretend this is SEC country.

    - Kenny Bell’s afro is top notch, but he’s no Wonder Monds…yet.

    - Congrats to Carl Nicks for making bank as an NFL guard. Was it really necessary to take a shot at the team he won the Super Bowl with, though?

    - Alonzo Whaley’s the logical starting point for replacing Lavonte David at WILL. David Santos is the sane choice.

    - If Braylon Heard can pick up his new secondary role, he’ll be a beast at cornerback. He can hit. If Joseph can teach him to cover, he’ll be decleating Big Ten wide receivers in no time.

    - Oh this is just priceless:

    - P.S. Don’t forget your PowerTowel®.

    *Will find nacho hat to eat.

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    Tags: baseball, cole pensick, john groce, terry joseph, kyler reed, kenny bell, carl nicks, alonzo whaley, david santos, barylon heard

  2. 2012 Mar 14

    NEBRASKA SPRING FOOTBALL: The Offensive Line Shell Game


    By HuskerLocker

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    By Chris Labenz

    With many of Nebraska’s key starters from the 2011 season moving on, the Huskers must start laying a foundation that’ll carry through spring, summer and fall.

    Who’ll make the cut following the Spring Game and be in position to start the season as top dogs?

    Likely Post-Spring No. 1s

    Offensive Tackle:

    Jeremiah Sirles, Jr., Tyler Moore, So.

    Sirles and Moore both enter the 2012 season with starting experience. Last season, Sirles was the primary backup to Yoshi Hardrick at the left tackle spot, while Moore was in a constant battle with Marcel Jones for the starting right tackle position.

    Moore showed flashes of his raw ability, but the coaches had him on a short leash. This was emphasized when he was yanked following a false start penalty on Nebraska’s first offensive play against Wisconsin.

    In 2012, both of these big men will be called on to shore up the tackle spots on an offensive line that has been inconsistent under Barney Cotton.

    Assistant offensive line coach John Garrison has added strong teaching ability to the unit, and has stated that both Sirles and Moore can play either tackle spot if necessary. Look for Sirles to start out on the left side while Moore anchors the right.

    Offensive Guard:

    Spencer Long, Jr., Seung Hoon Choi, Sr.

    Long's may not be a household name, but both players and coaches have stated that the junior guard is the Huskers' best all-around offensive lineman. At this point, he appears to be in the driver’s seat to start at left guard.

    Choi had fans buzzing about his fiery play following his start against Michigan State in place of Andrew Rodriguez. While he performed well, the Husker walk-on was inconsistent during the rest of the season.

    This left many wondering if his starts were an attempt on the part of the coaches to drag some passion out of A-Rod. The Aurora, Nebraska native is acknowledged across the staff as having amazing potential, but for some reason, he lacks the desire to tap into it.

    Whatever the reason, he will have to be even more motivated this spring to unseat Choi. In a classic battle of motivation versus apathy, Choi will go into fall camp No. 1 on the depth chart at right guard.


    Cole Pensick, Jr.

    Pelini and company find themselves in a tough spot this year with the departure of Mike Caputo. While never a superstar, he possessed strong leadership and was relied on heavily by the other linemen for proper calls.

    Despite being aware of Caputo’s obvious graduation, Pelini didn't address the center position through recruiting. Apparently, he decided that someone who could anchor the offensive line was already on the roster.

    Due to lack of depth in the middle, Cole Pensick will get a strong look for the starting role as he’s the only player on the roster with any in-game experience, subbing in for Caputo on rare occasions.

    Pensick may not be the most heralded member of Nebraska’s offensive line, but he will have to elevate his play immediately for the unit to improve.

    Should the spring, summer and fall be beneficial in all aspects including strength and conditioning, look for this to be Nebraska's starting two-deep against Southern Miss:

    First String –

    LT: Tyler Moore, So.
    LG: Spencer Long, Jr.
    C: Ryne Reeves, RFr.
    RG: Ryan Klachko, RFr.
    RT: Zach Sterup, RFr.

    Second String –

    LT: Jeremiah Sirles, Jr.
    LG: Andrew Rodriguez, Jr.
    C: Cole Pensick, Jr.
    RG: Seung Hoon Choi, Sr.
    RT: Jake Cotton, So.

    Nebraska didn’t recruit athletes like Reeves, Sterup and Klachko to sit on the bench. If the trio of highly-regarded redshirt freshmen can pick up Tim Beck’s system and develop with the strength and conditioning crew, there’s no reason that they can’t push for serious playing time this fall.

    What this projected first group lacks overall experience, they make up for in elite athletic ability. Behind this tremendous bunch, Beck’s high-speed system could thrive at getting to the second level of a defense to free up holes for Rex Burkhead and Aaron Green.

    In addition, Moore and Sterup have the sort of size, arm length and quickness that give defensive ends fits. They’d provide more than adequate protection for Taylor Martinez on obvious passing downs, an area where the Huskers have severely struggled over the past few seasons.

    Reviewing the projected second string, you’ll notice names with some experience that can play efficiently enough to justify heavy rotation.

    This leads to fresh legs in the fourth quarter, a trait that was common under offensive lines of the Osborne era. This second unit would give with the first teamers consistent challenging battles during practice, increasing competition and forcing starters to be game-ready seven days a week.

    It's not to say that Pensick, Choi and Sirles won't earn solid minutes, or that Rodriguez won’t finally have the light bulb turn on this spring. Instead, it’s a sign that Nebraska has managed to recruit some very talented linemen under Bo Pelini.

    Any further excuses cannot continue to justify their poor play during the season. It’s time for Nebraska’s offensive line to truly earn back the “Pipeline” nickname, and there are players on the roster who have the ability to make that happen.

    Much like Andrew Rodriguez, the entire unit has plenty of potential. It’s up to the coaching staff to ensure that this translates to results on the field, perhaps stealing some thunder away from Big Ten brother Wisconsin’s vaunted big men in the process.

    Follow Chris on Twitter: @chris_labenz
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    Tags: jeremiah sirles, tyler moore, spencer long, seung hoon choi, cole pensick, ryne reeves, ryan klachko, zach sterup, andrew rodriguez, jake cotton

  3. 2012 Mar 14

    Husker Heartbeat (3/14/12): Pensick Pushing for Starting Role, Big Red Benchmarks and Another Nebrasketball Candidate


    By HuskerLocker

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    A daily dose of what's new in Husker Nation from Monday through Friday:

    - Cole Pensick works through spring with the aim of making his mentor, former Husker center Mike caputo, proud of his efforts

    - Benchmarks set for Big Red football's success this spring

    - The then and now of Jared Crick's ill-timed 2011 injury

    - UW-Milwaukee's head man is being looked at as a potential Sadler replacement

    Follow us on Twitter: @huskerlocker
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    Tags: cole pensick, jared crick, basketball

  4. 2012 Mar 11

    NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS: Knee-Jerk Reactions (3/11/2012)


    By HuskerLocker

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    By Brandon Cavanaugh

    - Seeing Sadler go was necessary, but damn hard to watch. What made it harder to watch wasn’t Doc breaking down or the obvious desire to succeed, but how Tom explained the situation. It was like watching a funeral. The death of a good man’s efforts.

    - In brighter news, how Erstad’s sluggers are an entertaining bunch to watch if nothing else. A fun 8-8 tie after being down six runs was fun, but Cal tipped it with experience. Yesterday was complete and utter revenge.

    - It was beautiful.

    - Spring ball starts with nothing staggering to report. If no one else gets severely injured between now and mid-April, that’s about the best anyone can hope for.

    - Consider those who got the opportunity to talk shop with Bill Belichick extremely envied.

    - If Lavonte David actually ends up being the Husker taken highest in the draft, look forward to the career of Michael Rose. He has the same work ethic.

    - He was also at practice yesterday.

    - Not really a fan of Pensick at center. Caputo was a special guy. You can’t keep plugging in 275-pound guys in against Big Ten defensive interiors.

    - Slide Spencer Long over to compete with Ryan Klachko and Mark Pelini.

    - Not that Mark Pelini.

    - Digging the implementation of QB cams during seven-on-sevens.

    - Starting to question if Andrew Rodriguez should continue to have a scholarship following 2012 at this rate.

    - PARTING SHOT: If you hadn’t heard, LSU Senior goalkeeper Mo Isom is trying out for the LSU football team ala KaLena "Beanie" Barnes did for Nebraska back in the day. Turns out she’s really, REALLY good:

    Follow us on Twitter: @huskerlocker
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    Tags: doc sadler, basketball, baseball, cole pensick, ryan klachko, mark pelini, spencer long, andrew rodriguez, mo isom

  5. 2012 Mar 07

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Spring Practice Position Primer


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brandon Cavanaugh

    Quarterback: Without Tommy Armstrong in camp, Martinez has no threat to his starting spot. He’s showed tremendous athletic potential last spring.

    If Carnes continues to improve athletically, and the mental aspect of the game can be reinforced, while the gap between he and Martinez isn’t likely to shrink that much, a legitimate backup candidate could be crowned.

    Running back: Ameer Abdullah and Aaron Green start on equal footing heading into Saturday and could very well end up where they started following April’s spring game.

    Thanks to Abdullah’s edge in experience during actual FBS play, one has to think he has a leg up on Green. His fumbling problems may level the playing field, however.

    Wide receiver: Kenny Bell, Quincy Enunwa, Tim Marlowe and Jamal Turner will all have the opportunity to solidify their starting roles.

    With the departure of Khiry Cooper, look for Taariq Allen, who followed wide receivers coach Rich Fisher from Weston, Massachusetts, to vie for the fifth spot. KC Hyland and Tyler Evans are two other talents with an opportunity to shine.

    Tight End: Ben Cotton and Kyler Reed aren’t going anywhere, but David Sutton and Eddie Ridder have the opportunity to showcase their potential.

    Offensive Line: Departed center Mike Caputo’s replacement could come from a number of candidates including Cole Pensick, Nick Ash and Ryan Klachko. Pensick and Ash may have seniority, but Klachko sticks out as the prospect with a higher ceiling.

    Brandon Thompson, Andrew Rodriguez, Mike Moudy and Ryne Reeves look to be the favorites to hold down the guard spots. Rodriguez’s attitude has reportedly been lackadaisical, but Moudy and Reeves have the tenacity to step up should he slack off.

    Sirles and Qvale will start out spring at the tackle spots with Tyler Moore giving them all they can handle in an attempt to take one of their spots. Zach Sterup is a likely backup candidate with Givens Price needing a strong spring to assert himself as a legitimate threat for playing time.

    Defensive Line: Cameron Meredith, Jason Ankrah, Eric Martin and Joseph Cater have the end positions on lockdown barring injury. Donovan Vestal and Walker Ashburn need huge springs to hold off the incoming Avery Moss and Greg McMullen come the fall.

    The interior’s been decimated by injury with Chase Rome and Todd Peat, Jr. now out for the entirety of spring ball. Once Kevin Williams and Thad Randle return from injury, they’ll be plugged in next to Baker Steinkuhler in an attempt to hone their abilities, and find a suitable replacement for Rome’s spring absence.

    Having a deeper interior for rotation’s sake won’t hurt heading into Big Ten play. Jay Guy and newly-placed Tobi Okuyemi will have the opportunity to show that their work ethic has improved.

    Linebackers: Will Compton has the MIKE slot on lockdown while Sean Fisher will spend most of his time trying to cement the BUCK slot by the end of spring. Max Pirman could find himself trying to work into rotation behind him.

    Pelini mentioned to look for David Santos and Alonzo Whaley to work at the WILL position to begin the essentially-impossible task of taking over for Lavonte David. Don’t be surprised to see Santos win that battle by mid-April.

    Defensive back: Mohammed Seisay will be one of the most-watched players on the entire team this spring. Not only will he be wearing the departed David’s No. 4, but he looks to lock down the title of Nebraska’s elite cornerback.

    Andrew Green, Cinate Evans, Stanley Jean-Baptiste and recently-switched Braylon Heard will likely get the opportunity to lock down the opposite end.

    Safety: Daimion Stafford, Courtney Osborne and P.J. Smith are the likely candidates to lock down starting role. Osborne’s recent concussion issues may cause Pelini and company to take things slow with him.

    Kicker/Punter: Brett Maher is light years ahead of Mauro Bondi, but it’ll be interesting to see if the Boca Raton native can narrow the gap in the slightest.

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    Tags: spring practice, taylor martinez, brion carnes, ameer abdullah, aaron green, kenny bell, quincy enunwa, tim marlowe, jamal turner, taariq allen, ben cotton, kyler reed, cole pensick, nick ash, ryan klachko, brandon thompson, andrew rodriguez, mike moudy, ryne reeves, cameron meredith, eric martin, chase rome, todd peat, baker steinkuhler, will compton, david santos, mohammed seisay, brett maher

  6. 2011 Mar 02

    50 HUSKERS TO KNOW: No. 46


    By HuskerLocker

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    The 50 Huskers to Know returns for the 2011 spring season! We count down the players you absolutely have to watch heading into spring football, culminating with No. 1 during NU's spring break.

    The spring list, remember, is about players who are currently in the program, with an emphasis on redshirt freshmen and sophomores who might not have played much yet; in the fall, you'll see a list with more projected starters and incoming contributing recruits.

    Not included on this list is wide receiver Khiry Cooper, who spends the spring with the Husker baseball team.

    No. 46 Center Cole Pensick

    The Lincoln Northeast product successfully made the transition from defensive lineman to center last fall, serving as Mike Caputo's backup. When Caputo got banged up halfway through the year, however, coaches apparently didn't feel like Pensick – a Caputoesque 6-2, 270 – was quite ready to play whole quarters or halves to give Caputo some much needed rest. Pensick should be ready to provide more depth in 2011. In the fall, NU adds another center prospect in Ryne Reeves – who may also play some guard – so Pensick has good reason to make his move now. Reports consistently tell us his progress is good and he's one of the stronger Huskers, pound for pound, on the team.

    See all 50 Huskers! No. 50, No. 49, No. 48, No. 47

    Tags: 50 huskers to know spring 2011, cole pensick

  7. 2010 Sep 28

    Non-Conference Report Card - OL


    By HuskerLocker

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    Samuel McKewon takes the Pipeline apart piece by piece. Who's making the grade? Who needs to move that lumber a little bit faster? Find out with a 30-day free trial of Husker Locker Pass!

    Tags: report card, brent qvale, mike caputo, keith williams, ricky henry, brandon thompson, yoshi hardrick, andrew rodriguez, cole pensick, dj jones

  8. 2010 Aug 11

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Practice Report 8/11


    By HuskerLocker

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    The lauded depth on Nebraska’s 2010 offensive line got a little thinner Wednesday, as head coach Bo Pelini confirmed after practice that senior Mike Smith broke his leg in practice Tuesday and would miss the season.

    “It’s pretty clean break,” Pelini said. “He’ll recover fully.”

    Pelini declined to say which leg. Offensive line coach Barney Cotton said Smith snapped it on a play in practice.

    “Guys kind of fall into each other,” Cotton said. “Turned out to be a more severe injury than maybe you would have thought looking at it.”

    Smith had started for two years at left tackle, but served as a “swing” player this fall. At 6-foot-5, 285 pounds, Smith had struggled with nagging injuries that diminished his play at tackle.

    But it’s still a blow to NU’s overall experience and versatility on the offensive line.

    “It’s one less guy,” Pelini said. “But we still have great competition.”

    Pelini said Smith could petition for a sixth year of eligibility, but “it’s up to him.”

    “I anticipate he’d want to come back for another year,” Pelini said.

    Nebraska spent its first day in pads - and its second straight day overall - practicing inside the Hawks Championship Center with the air conditioning turned on as temperatures again soared near the triple digits outside. Although Pelini lauded his team Monday for battling through the heat, he sensed, too, that the Huskers were getting “worn down.”

    “It’s pretty ridiculous out there,” Pelini said. “You beat your team down if you’re out there too much.”

    Left tackle Yoshi Hardrick, who struggled with heat exhaustion Monday, was held out again Wednesday. Pelini said Hardrick should return Thursday.

    “He’s feeling good,” Pelini said. “There’s no issues.”

    Through five practices, Pelini said the NU quarterback race is “about even” between Zac Lee, Cody Green and Taylor Martinez.

    “This could go on for a long time,” Pelini said. “I know you guys don’t want to hear that, but that’s the facts.”

    On with the report:

    Particulars: Nebraska practiced again inside the Hawks Championship Center with temperatures outside hovering around 100 degrees.

    What’s New: Full Pads! Players have been hitting pretty hard for two days now. On Wednesday, perhaps, they got to wrap up a little more. Also, left guard Keith Williams returned to practiced after missing two days. Left tackle Yoshi Hardrick did not. Lingenfelter replaced Smith on the 105-man roster.

    Coach Quote: “It’s better protection. I don’t really like when it’s no pads because our guys don’t like it. You’re banging each other’s shoulder. We still get a lot done without pads, but it’s back to real football again.” - Head coach Bo Pelini on practicing in full pads.

    Player Quote: “It’s not something I was forced to do. I could have backed out at any time. It was a little something that I think helped me, and it’ll benefit me in the future. There was never a time where I felt overwhelmed.” - NU wide receiver Khiry Cooper on playing baseball during the summer while participating in the full summer conditioning program Cooper drove two hours to Junction City during the week ten times this summer.


    *Junior cornerback Anthony Blue was not in pads today.

    *Sophomore defensive end Josh Williams physically looks like a different player from his arrival in 2008. Different, in fact, from 2009, when nagging injuries often kept Williams on the stationary spinner bike.

    “It gives him a lot more confidence that he can carry out and do the techniques we ask him to do,” ends coach John Papuchis said. “In all ways, he’s really changed.”

    *Sophomore Brandon Thompson and Lingenfelter were seen snapping the ball to former Nebraska quarterback and current Husker intern Joe Ganz after practice to perhaps find a No. 3 center.

    *Cole Pensick is currently the No. 2 center despite moving to the position in the spring. Having just 20 practices under his belt at center, Pensick has progressed quickly, said Cotton.

    “He’s way ahead of where he was in the spring,” Cotton said.

    The biggest item on Pensick’s summer to-do list?

    “Getting the ball off on time,” Cotton said. “So far, we’re getting off on a good cadence.”

    Next Practice: Thursday. At long last, defensive coordinator Carl Pelini will speak and his interviews are usually among the best.

    Tags: fall camp, football, practice report, bo pelini, mike smith, barney cotton, cole pensick, khiry cooper, yoshi hardrick, luke lingenfelter, brandon thompson, anthony blue

  9. 2009 Jul 19

    Rookie Rundowns: Cole Pensick


    By HuskerLocker

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    Can this son of a former Husker turn a solid high school career into the same on the college level - despite being undersized for a DL? We examine in our Locker Pass!

    Tags: cole pensick, hlss, rookie rundowns, locker pass

  10. 2009 Mar 04

    2009 RECRUITING REPORT: A Native Son In the Trenches


    By SMcKewon

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    Name/Location/Position: Cole Pensick, Lincoln (Neb.) Northeast High School, Defensive Tackle Stats: 6-2, 260, 38 tackles, three tackles for loss What The Recruiting Services Say: Pensick is...

    Tags: locker pass, recruiting reports, cole pensick

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