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  1. 2012 Mar 07

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Spring Practice Position Primer

    2,136 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    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

  2. 2012 Feb 18

    NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS: The Husker Locker Crew's Weekend Thoughts (2/18/2012)

    1,076 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    Every week, the Husker Locker staff sits down and is presented a number of questions addressing various aspects of Nebraska Cornhuskers sports.

    This week:

    What Husker football player do you feel has to improve the most this offseason?

    Brian: It’s not so much a player, as an entire group - the offensive line. Guys like Tyler Moore, Spencer Long and Ryan Klatchko need to step up and not only give people like Andrew Rodriguez and Seung Hoon Choi competition for starting roles, but also build depth that the line seemed to lack as 2011 progressed.

    Chris: It’s hard to gauge “improvement” for new guys that will be filling voids this season since we don’t have a lot of evidence of how good they can be in order to make such a conclusion (Zaire Anderson obviously has to play well to fill in for Lavonte David, Mohammed Seisay needs to lock-down one of the corner spots, etc.).

    Looking at players who logged significant time last season, it’s safe to say that Taylor Martinez must take a large step forward in order for Nebraska to have a chance at a Big Ten crown. He was an enigma last year, playing extremely well at some points (Ohio State, Northwestern) and looking completely lost at others (Wisconsin and Michigan ).

    T-Magic is a redshirt junior now with plenty of experience under his belt. Can he overcome his poor decision-making, cut down on turnovers, break the big runs he had in his freshman campaign and improve his completion percentage on longer throws? If so, Nebraska’s offense can be deadly with the skill at running back, tight end and wide receiver, especially with the addition of Jordan Westerkamp.

    On defense, Cameron Meredith needs to improve significantly for Bo’s front four to work properly. Meredith played very well during his sophomore season, but regressed significantly last year. He looked slow and winded by the third quarter of most games which may be due to the staff’s emphasis on bulking up for the rigors of Big Ten play. Whatever the reason, No. 34 needs to be a leader on the defensive line.

    Greg: As far as individual improvement, I'd like to see Chase Rome. He has a ton of potential and he needs to display marked improvement next year.

    Brandon: Ryan Klachko as I feel he’s the next big thing at center, even as a redshirt freshman. At 6’4” 285, he has plenty of time to pack on 5-10 pounds of muscle while keeping his speed.

    I don’t see PJ Mangieri, Cole Pensick or Nick Ash as permanent solutions in the middle of the offensive line. Klachko’s got the physicality, the smarts and the desire to be a great interior lineman for Nebraska. I’m not going to say he’ll be a Rimington Award winner, but he has that level of potential.

    Who comprises your starting 2012 defensive backfield (CB and S)?

    Brian: Mohammad Seisay isn’t coming here to sit on the pine, folks. He’s starting from the first snap of the season on. The other three? Good question.

    PJ Smith should be out there, however the word is that he didn’t quite know what he was doing last year which makes it tough to project him seeing much time. Daimion Stafford has to be considered a lock for a safety.

    To start the season, a combination of Ciante Evans and Andrew Green will be out there. Snaps and experience will dictate who takes the spots by the time Arkansas State comes around.

    Chris: There are so many variables heading into the spring and summer that it's hard to nail down anything definitive. Braylon Heard has been moved to cornerback and brings plenty of athleticism. Mohammed Seisay was one of the most coveted JUCO players last year and should be able to make an impact right away.

    Stanley Jean-Baptiste showed flashes of brilliance when he was healthy. Additionally, Charles Jackson is rumored to have become eligible to enroll at Nebraska after the highly-coveted corner was unable to qualify last season. At safety, only Daimion Stafford played significant minutes last year.

    With all of that in mind, the starters come the first kickoff will likely be Andrew Green and Mohammed Seisay at cornerback with Daimion Stafford and P.J. Smith at safety.

    By the time conference play rolls around, look for a starting group of Heard and Seisay at the cornerback spots with Stafford and Corey Cooper at safety.

    Greg: Seisay and Green at cornerback, Stafford and Heard (who knows?) at safety.

    Brandon: I’ll stick Mohammed Seisay and Andrew Green at cornerback with PJ Smith and Courtney Osborne at safety for now. Green’s spot is up for grabs until the first kickoff and it may not be solidified even then.

    Stanley Jean-Baptiste has an awesome frame for a cornerback and Braylon Heard’s move is intriguing. Everyone and their brother wanted him as a defensive back, including Ohio State. Green did improve as 2011 went along, so he’s getting the spot opposite arguable the roster’s best defensive back.

    At safety, Smith’s not as cerebral as Austin Cassidy was, but he’s a far better athlete and will make more plays resulting in offensive possession, good field position or points. Osborne gets the nod over Daimion Stafford right now simply due to his time in the system.

    Stafford struggled in coverage at times in 2011, but he has an entire offseason to work on his deficiencies. I’d imagine we’ll likely see a mixture of Osborne, Smith and Stafford during the 2012 non-conference schedule.

    Considering the difficulties Connie Yori's team has been facing, how do you see the Lady Huskers' regular season ending?

    Brian: Hopefully this team isn’t hitting a wall. However, after the triple overtime thriller in West Lafayette, it seems that this team has slammed head first into one. Wisconsin comes into Devaney on Sunday. Let's hope the kinks get worked out. If not, keep them away from Doc, at least.

    Chris: In ESPN’s latest projections, Nebraska is listed as a potential No. 6 seed in the women’s NCAA tournament. Three losses in a row spells trouble for the Huskers' chances of making the dance, though.

    The committee likes to take teams that are on a hot streak come tournament time, and while the Huskers have some decent wins to hang their hat on, they’ve struggled at times against top competition.

    Three games remain to finish the year. The Huskers need to win two of these games to feel good about their chances.

    Greg: They'll bounce back and finish strong, complete with a decent showing in the Big Ten tournament.

    Brandon: I wasn't anticipating a three-loss skid out of Yori’s team this year, even in Big Ten play. Must be something in the Gatorade down in Lincoln. Regardless, this team can finish the season strong.

    They’re set up for a potential 2-1 or 3-0 end to the regular season with games against Wisconsin and Ohio State at home with Michigan State on the road bringing them to either 21 or 22 wins.

    Any initial thoughts as Nebraska baseball's season gets underway?

    Brian: All the talk has been wonderful, but eventually you have to walk the walk. Let's see how this team is sitting after their trip to Corpus Christi next weekend.

    Chris: Very excited to start the Erstad era and see how this team stacks up in out of conference play. I’m going out on a limb and saying Nebraska wins the Big Ten in Erstad’s first year through a combination of solid pitching, defense, and small ball.

    Erstad appears to be making all the right moves and saying the right things. However, he has no prior Division 1 coaching experience, so it will be vital for him to rely on his top assistants, and great hires, Will Bolt and Ted Silva.

    As the team takes the mold of its coach, expect a hard-nosed group who plays smart baseball and accomplishes the little things very well which means plenty of wins in the long run.

    Greg: I'm disappointed in the loss to Gonzaga. If this team is going to be successful, they will have to close out games. It'll come together. Baseball is great that way. Go Big Red!

    Brandon: Last night’s loss to the Zags stunk as you always like to see a new coach get his first win right off the bat, pardon the pun, but I think a 2-1 series win would sit with just fine with Erstad. Gonzaga’s no scrub club and it’s going to be beneficial for the Huskers to play a squad of this caliber coming out of the gate as they head down the road.

    Regardless of the loss, I’m excited to see what this team can do. One loss isn’t going to damper that enthusiasm.

    Brandon: @huskerlocker
    Brian: @btbowling
    Greg: @thehooch36
    Chris: @chris_labenz

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    Tags: ryan klachko, tyler moore, spencer long, taylor martinez, chase rome, mohammed seisay, andrew green, daimion stafford, baseball, basketball

  3. 2012 Jan 26

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Mid-Day Mailbag (1/26)

    2,083 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    By Brandon Cavanaugh

    Bo's defense seems to rely on a shutdown corner for it to work at its best, why do you think we haven't recruited it more this year and/or do you think we have the talent at that position to be successful? – Matt Hanson

    Shutdown corners are a great thing for Pelini to have at his disposal, but they’re not essential. What’s more important is that the interior defensive linemen can occupy their men allowing for havoc at the point of attack. If Pelini’s cornerbacks can simply stick to their men like glue, this creates opportunities for coverage sacks or interceptions…in theory.

    At this point, the only guy that sticks out with the ability to be your standard “lockdown” guy is incoming JUCO transfer Mohammed Seisay. I doubt we see the output of Amukamara or Dennard, but he should be more than serviceable. Pelini knows how to pick his JUCOs.

    In terms of recruiting these guys, Nebraska has. It's just that others have done a far better job. If the Huskers grab Devian Shelton and Raymond Ford on Signing Day, that'll be a step in the right direction.

    Could Martinez actually be transplanted or are we stuck with him for the long haul? – Dan Gibson

    Despite the severe skeptics, Martinez can be jimmied from the starting spot under center. I felt the same way as those who don’t believe me now not that long ago. When Carnes was inserted as little as he was in 2011, that said, “Taylor’s the captain of this ship.”

    The thing is, Pelini wants to win, not lose four games every year. Have a look back and see why Armstrong (and maybe now Fuller?) have a legit shot: Recruiting Shows Martinez’s Spot Far From Safe

    With Greg Schiano headed to Tampa Bay, will Nebraska be able to get Devin Fuller and Quanzell Lambert? – Corey Demmings

    Like many things in recruiting, this gets a great big “maybe.” As of now, Lambert’s coach has confirmed he’s still a commit. Even if he does switch, Iowa appears to have the inside track as they were believed to be at the No. 2 spot when he selected Rutgers.

    Fuller’s more likely, but far from a lock. His commitment to the Scarlet Knights seemed like a sure thing a few hours ago. He may select Nebraska, but I can also see him getting talked down off the ledge and staying close to home. Honestly, if I were Fuller, I’d push my decision back to Signing Day and think.

    Who’s been the staff’s best recruiter this year? – Toby Adams

    John Garrison, bar none. He was incredibly meticulous and hard-working as an intern, so it doesn’t shock me that he’s a guy that may very well end up with new recruiting coordinator duties. Combine his recruiting prowess with his ability to help cobble together an overall effective offensive line and you’ve got an impressive hire.

    Follow us on Twitter: @huskerlocker
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    Tags: bo pelini, devin fuller, quanzell lambert, mohammed seisay, taylor martinez, brion carnes, tommy armstrong, john garrison

  4. 2012 Jan 15

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Knee-Jerk Reactions (1/15)

    4,537 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    By Brandon Cavanaugh

    - Don’t really see much that Austin Cassidy or Marcel Jones could do at the Shrine Game to raise their NFL stock, but both might get invites to camps. Jones fights through injury, but he’s pretty badly banged up as it is.

    - Damned if you do, damned if you don’t: Nebraska basketball beats Penn State like it was assumed they would, yet it’s likely few would be surprised if they didn’t. Admittedly, it stinks for Doc.

    - Connie Yori’s squad is impressive to watch. If you haven’t gotten the chance yet, check out the one-loss Lady Huskers as they climb the AP poll.

    - That’s what happens when you invite the 844-time national champion Iowa Hawkeye wrestling club to visit.

    - Slightly dated, but Mohammed Seisay looks to be a stud and Jared Afalava is incredibly underrated. 17 days left until Signing Day.

    - The idea of Nebraska having alternate football uniforms seems pretty cool. You wouldn’t even need to touch the helmet to come up with a design that would be pleasing. For those who suggest it’s a waste of time to consider, one has to wonder how much money Adidas/Nebraska made off of selling those gloves that the Cornhuskers never ended up wearing in 2011.

    - Hearing Dennard to the Cowboys and the Lions as of now. Crick’s name comes up with the 49ers often.

    - Some NFL defensive coordinator’s going to get a raise once he works Lavonte David into his scheme properly.

    Follow Husker Locker on Twitter: @huskerlocker
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    Tags: austin cassidy, marcel jones, basketball, mohammed seisay, jared afalava, alfonzo dennard, jared crick, lavonte david

  5. 2012 Jan 06

    NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS: The OFFICIAL Husker Locker Podcast 1/06 - Taking Aim at the Offseason

    4,227 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    Explore the Archives

    Please enable Javascript, or download the podcast here.



    On the docket:

    A podcast featuring questions and topics submitted ONLY by you, the Husker Locker fan base:

    - Why did Nebraska start strong but end with a fizzle?
    - Recruits making an immediate impact
    - How much playing time can Tommy Armstrong and Mohammed Seisay expect?
    - Lavonte David's origin story
    - Jordan Westerkamp's decision
    - Why Nebraska's been dropping "big games"
    - What you didn't know about the Alshon Jeffery-Alfonzo Dennard brawl

    Have a topic or question that you'd like to hear discussed? Send us an e-mail or a message to any of us on Twitter.

    Follow the panel on Twitter:

    Brandon: @eightlaces
    Erin: @helloerinmarie
    Brian: @btbowling
    Greg: @thehooch36

    More info on the Husker Locker intro voice:
    Rob Kugler's Profile

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    Tags: lavonte david, recruiting, tommy armstrong, mohammed seisay, alfonzo dennard, podcast, podcasts

  6. 2011 Dec 22

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL RECRUITING: A New Commit and Regrouping

    971 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    A wrap up of Nebraska's newest recruit, another that's on the fence, a Big Ten battle coming down to the wire an the audience of coaches visits Tommy Armstrong

    Tags: mohammed seisay, jordan westerkamp, quanzell lambert, tommy armstrong

  7. 2011 Oct 17

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL RECRUITING: Notes From the Recruiting Trail - 10/17

    825 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    The latest news and views on who Nebraska's after on the recruiting trail, updates on inroads being made with big time players and more!

    Tags: jordan diggs, devin fuller, mohammed seisay, travell dixon, charles jackson, michael rose

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