The Nebraska football team completed its first week of fall camp on Saturday and there was more than a little bit of news that came out of it.
Right at the top of the list of pieces of news was that Isaac Gifford appears to be having no problems stepping into the role vacated by the departure of Myles Farmer. Farmer’s absence wasn’t known until the day before fall camp started and was made official during the first post practice press conference.
However, it appears the coaches knew to be ready to find someone to fill the gap. Isaac Gifford has, according to head coach Matt Rhule on Saturday, filled it admirably. In fact, it turns out that Gifford has moved to the top of the rover list before Farmer left, prompting his departure.
Teddy Prochazka hurt again
The Gifford news was a sort of positive surprise. The news that offensive lineman Teddy Prochazka is hurt once again was the opposite. Rhule told the media that the big offensive lineman was banged up and missing some practices.
He did try to and make it clear that it’s an injury that isn’t supposed to linger that long. Without divulging what the issue was, Rhule said that they expect Teddy back by the first game, and if he’s not ready for Minnesota, they expect he’ll absolutely be back for Colorado.
It’s still deflating news for a key cog who was hoping he could finally be healthy and really ready to contribute. That’s on hold again as we wait and see.
Marcus Washington is full go
Veteran wide receiver Marcus Washington showed up to Nebraska Football Fan Day with a cast on his hand but last Monday, Rhule made it clear he wouldn’t miss much practice. On Saturday, he said that Washington is ready to be “full go” when the team returns to practice on Monday.
That’s certainly good news considering he’s being counted on to be a veteran presence in a wide receiver locker room with many new faces.
Nebraska football defensive line shaping up
It’s certainly going to be interesting to see how everything shakes out with new defensive coordinator Tony White’s units. As far as the defensive line goes, Rhule said that
Ty Robinson, Nash Hutmacher, and Blaise Gunnerson were the leaders in the clubhouse at the moment. He added that Ru’Quan Buckley has made a “huge jump” this offseason and could have a big role once the season starts.
A couple of Rhule recruits from last year in Cameron Lenhardt and Princewill Umanmielen were also mentioned as possibly playing quite a bit in their first seasons with Nebraska football. Princewill for one talked quite a bit this spring about how that was his ultimate goal for a while.
Young Nebraska football receivers impressing
While Billy Kemp IV, Marcus Washington, Zavier Betts, and Isaiah Garcia-Castaneda could be veteran leaders in locker room, it’s youngsters like Malachi Coleman that are really impressing so far in camp. During Big Ten Media Days, quarterback Jeff Sims said Coleman was one of, if not the fastest guy on the team.
It appears he’s showing that in fall camp so far as Rhule said on Saturday that the youngsters are “fast, dynamic, explosive” and will be “unbelievable” at some point. He added they just need to find consistency and get the plays down.
Josh Fleeks is back
Josh Fleeks was mentioned alongside Myles Farmer as being sent home just ahead of camp. Fleeks was sent home because he came into camp overweight. While it’s unlikely he lost a ton of weight in less than a week, it appears he’s convinced the coaches that he’s ready to be dedicated as he was spotted practicing with the team on Saturday.
That’s a positive sign since buy-in is going to be very important for the team this year.
Nebraska football has an off-day on Sunday and then will return to the practice field on Monday morning with three and a half weeks of practice before opening its season.