Nebraska takes the lead in the Legends Division, and controls their destiny in the race to the Rose Bowl. In their way is the Michigan State Spartans. The Huskers travel to East Lansing to take on Sparty in a 2:30 kickoff. Here are your questions, and some injury reports from this week in practice.
You guys haven’t covered recruiting in a while, and I know there were some pretty big recruits in Lincoln this weekend. What have you heard about the recruits that were at the Michigan game?
This was by far Nebraska’s biggest recruiting weekend. Nebraska hosted 5 star defensive back, Priest Willis out of Tempe, AZ. Four star wide receiver Demorea Stringfellow, 3 star Nebraska quarterback commit Johnny Stanton and much more. Of the visitors, this is the feedback I have received so far.
Priest Willis, Cornerback, Tempe, AZ De Niza High School: Willis is rated as one of the top corner backs in the country. He is a guy that Bo Pelini could build this defense around for the next four years. Several sources have told me that Pelini told Willis, if he wants to make it to the NFL, Nebraska is the place for him. The 6-foot-2, 190 lb. corner spoke very highly of the weekend, and even better news for Husker fans, he rescheduled his visit to LSU this weekend.
Demorea Stringfellow, Wide Receiver, Moreno Vally, CA. Rancho Verde High School: In his first two seasons at Rancho Verde the 6-foot-2, 207 lb. wide out played back up to a guy Husker fans may have heard of, Quincy Enunwa. Stringfellow still keeps in contact with the Nebraska wide receiver and would love to follow in his foot steps. The California native is committed to Washington, but is still taking visits. I think Nebraska may have made a great pitch to him on Saturday, and I think he may be starting to lean towards the Huskers. Also Notre Dame may still be in the running.
Jamone Boyd, Defensive End, Lee Summit, MO. West High School: With the decommitment of Christian Lacoture, it is time for Nebraska to start targeting talented defensive ends hard. Boyd is the friend of curent Nebraska offensive tackle commit Zach Hannon, and is rated 4 stars. Hannon texted me late Saturday and said that he though Boyd had a great time and loved Nebraska. I think the Huskers are the current front runners, I think Oklahoma State is the team to beat out.
Randy Gregory, Defensive End, Arizona Western C.C.: I think Willis and Stringfellow are the two top prospect on Nebraska’s list, followed by Boyd. I put Gregory fourth, because I think Nebraska feels like they have him wrapped up. The 3 star junior college player is a Purdue commit currently. From what I have heard he was blown away Saturday, and I think he commits to Nebraska by the end of the week.
Johnny Stanton, Quarterback, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA. Catholic High School: During his senior season I said this was one commitment to watch for. Then the 6-foot-2, 220 lb. 3 star tore his ACL. I was not sure how solid his commitment was to Nebraska, after the University has stood behind their commitment to him, I don’t see how Stanton can go anywhere else. He is still firmly committed to Nebraska, and I don’t see him going anywhere else. Stanton’s knee will be ready by the beginning of next season.
What has Nebraska done so differently in these last two games on defense?
I think the clear answer is the move of Cameron Meredith to defensive tackle. Nebraska has true athletic defensive ends that can get outside on the edge and run with guys in Eric Martin and Joseph Carter/Jason Ankrah. With guys like that getting consistent pressure in the backfield it has allowed guys like Sean Fisher to play better, and have more free reign to roam the field. Redshirt freshman David Santos was named co-freshman player of the week in the Big 10. He had 10 tackles, and 1 for a loss against Michigan. Bo Pelini has to keep play makers on the field.
I was looking at the Leaders Division, and it looks like Indiana can still win the Division. Do you think they can?
Wisconsin is currently in first place in that Division. The Badgers are 6-3, and 3-2 in the Big 10. They finish out the season with at Indiana, Ohio State, and at Penn State. All three of those games Wisconsin could lose with the struggles they have on offense. That would leave them at 6-6, and 3-5 in the Big 10. Indiana is 3-5 and 1-3 in the Big 10. They finish this season with Iowa, Wisconsin, at Penn State, and at Purdue. 3 of the four are winnable games. If the Hoosiers can pull out 3 wins, 1 against Wisconsin, they will be 4-4 in the Big 10, and that would give them the default Big 10 Leaders Divisions crown, with Ohio State and Penn State being out of the running. So yes, Indiana could still win the Big 10 Legends Division.
I heard Bo Pelini gave out Blackshirts this week, who all got one?
That is correct. The coaching staff gave out 11 blackshirts in practice this week. The players that were awarded a black practice jersey were, Eric Martin, Cameron Meredith, Baker Steinkuhler, Jason Ankrah, Will Compton, Sean Fisher, Alonzo Whaley, Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Ciante Evans, Daimion Stafford, P.J. Smith. I really think that Santos, Corey Cooper, Andrew Green and Charles Jackson will all earn Blackshirts by the end of the season.
I saw that Ameer Abdullah, and Imani Cross got carries against Michigan. Why didn’t Braylon Heard see playing time against Michigan?
Heard is out with a knee injury. He has practiced all this week, and should get about 5-8 carries against Michigan. Senior running back Rex Burkhead did not practice this week again. So Heard should get a heavier load as this season goes on.
Taylor hurt his ankle this week against Michigan, can he hold up against that punishing Michigan State defense? If not will we see Tommy Armstrong?
Redshirt junior Taylor Martinez did ding up his ankle, but he has had practiced every day this week. I am sure the coaching staff is limiting his practice reps this week to make suer he is as close to 100% as possible for Michigan State.If he does go down Ron Kellogg will be the go to guy. Freshman quarterback Tommy Armstrong has had a season ending surgery on his knee. Nothing to serious that will affect him long term, but he will keep his redshirt on this season.
By Jimmie Allen
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