Nebraska football has had three practices leading up to its week off for Spring Break. Husker Corner breaks down the position battles that are heating up and who is most likely to come out on top based on what has happened thus far at practice.
Offensive guard initially appeared to be set in stone entering spring ball, but it was clear from the first snap of practice that there would be a fierce competition.
Andrew Rodriguez started every game he was healthy enough to play in throughout the 2011 season until the end. An injury to Rodriguez kept him from being with the team, and as a result, walk-on Seung Hoon Choi started in the Capital One Bowl. Most Husker fans believed Rodriguez would resume his role as starter for the 2012 season.
Spring practice started and Rodriguez wasn’t with the starters – it was Choi. Rodriguez spent the first chunk of spring practice working exclusively with the second team, and remains with the backups. Teammates said Choi is the starter because he worked hard and earned it in practice during Rodriguez’s absence.
Now that the coaching staff has shown they are willing to overlook Rodriguez’s 5-star high school rating, this battle can come down to performance on the field. Choi has shown that he is more than capable of competing with Rodriguez. While Rodriguez has a bigger upside, Choi seems to have exceeded expectations much more than Rodriguez. This matchup will come down to effort on the field. If Rodriguez can put forth a reasonable effort, he has the physical tools to win his job back.
It appears as though coaches are moving forward with Choi as the starter. A lot can change between now and August, though. If Rodriguez can hit the weights and bust his butt in practice, he should be able to win the job back. However, Choi’s work ethic has paid off, and it doesn’t appear as though he intends on backing down in practice. It looks like Choi could actually escape as the winner in this battle.
By Chris Peters
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