Lincoln, Neb. – The Nebraska football team held the first of two Wednesday practices with a 90-minute morning practice at the Ed and Joyanne Gass practice fields outside of the Hawks Championship Center.
Nebraska Head Coach Bo Pelini met with the media following practice, noting that he has been impressed with what he has seen so far out of the team.
“We have made good progress, and we have good competition going on,” Pelini said.
With the loss of sophomore linebacker Michael Rose-Ivey, there has been some shuffling in the linebacker corps. Redshirt freshmen Marcus Newby and Courtney Love both have impressed Pelini and will likely be contributors for the Blackshirt defense.
“Newby is playing the Buck linebacker and Love is playing the Will, Pelini said. “Both of those guys have made some good progress over the last few weeks. Those guys are getting better.”
Newby, a North Potomac, Md., native, was a highly touted linebacker out of Quince Orchard High School, the same high school that produced recent NU defensive end and current Houston Texan Jason Ankrah. Love is a Youngstown, Ohio, native and graduate of Cardinal Mooney High School, Pelini’s alma mater.
Pelini also gave high praise to the Huskers’ depth at defensive line, noting that a few freshman have been impressive.
“There is a lot of good competition going on there as well,” Pelini said of the defensive line.
“Those guys are getting better, (Joe) Keels, (A.J.) Natter, (Jack) Gangwish and some of the true freshmen,” Pelini said. “(Mick) Stoltenberg, he has not played a lot of defensive end and is a little behind but I think he is going to be good. (Peyton) Newell has also done a nice job over the last couple of days.”
Pelini noted that it has been highly competitive when the offense and defense have faced each other during practice.
“They have gone back-and-forth a lot,” he said. “I think a couple of days ago the offense really got after the defense and it was really vice-versa last night. It has been pretty spirited competition.
“The thing is, it is about executing both offensively and defensively. It is not about who wins and losses in a particular drill. We are looking at execution on both sides of the ball, guys doing the right thing. We are mixing a lot of things personnel wise, and I am seeing a lot of good things but I see we have a ways to go.”
Nebraska fans are reminded about their opportunity to be on hand at Memorial Stadium as the Huskers kick off the 2014 season. Fans can purchase the Cornhusker Kickoff Combo package for the Florida Atlantic game on Aug. 30 and the matchup with McNeese State on Sept. 6. The two-game package can be purchased at Huskers.com for $100. Fans can also purchase single-game tickets to all games other than the Miami and Minnesota games at Huskers.com.