Lincoln Nebraska returned to the practice field Friday after a four-day layoff with a two-hour workout in full pads inside the Hawks Championship Center. New Husker defensive line coach Buddy Wyatt officially joined the team Friday, and Head Coach Bill Callahan welcomed him during a brief press conference following the afternoon’s exercises.

 

“Buddy comes from the University of Alabama and has an extensive career of coaching defensive linemen. He has done an outstanding job at every stop he has been. We are certainly glad to welcome him to Nebraska. He has all of the things we look for in a complete coach—he can recruit, he can coach, he can motivate and, most importantly, he can put his arm around these kids and take them to a new level. This is an excellent hire for us.”

 

Wyatt said he was excited to join the Huskers as they prepare for next month’s Cotton Bowl matchup with Auburn in Dallas, Texas.

 

“First of all, I am excited to be here. When you get into coaching, you dream of coaching at a place like Nebraska. It is rich in tradition. The job Coach Callahan and his staff have done is amazing. When you are in this game, you don’t get to watch everyone play, but I’ve had an opportunity to watch (Nebraska) here and there and I’ve been impressed.”

Callahan also took Friday’s media opportunity to congratulate nine current members of the Husker football team who will receive degrees on Saturday afternoon. Among those football players receiving degrees are quarterback Zac Taylor; defensive lineman Adam Carriker; safety Brandon Rigoni; tight ends Matt Herian and J.B. Phillips; linebacker Stewart Bradley; defensive tackle Ola Dagunduro; defensive end Newt Lingenfelter; and fullback Will Otto.

“I want to commend those players,” Callahan said. “Again, good luck to those guys who finished on time and early and showed that commitment to academics. It is so important.”

Friday’s return to practice also marked the end of the semester. The squad had not held an official full-scale workout since Sunday due to finals week.

“The kids have been off essentially the entire week with the exception of some lifting, running and a little bit of throwing on Tuesday and Thursday. It was just good to get them out on the field. I know they are kind of glad to get back and going again, because they had finals all week.”

The Huskers will hit the practice field again on Saturday before hosting a group of approximately 70 youth from the Lincoln YMCA Community Learning Center after practice for the Husker Family Christmas party.

 

Nebraska Post-Practice

Friday, Dec. 15

Hawks Championship Center

 

Head Coach Bill Callahan

On Buddy Wyatt

“Buddy comes from the University of Alabama and has an extensive career of coaching defensive linemen. He has done an outstanding job at every stop he has been. We are certainly glad to welcome him to Nebraska. He has all of the things we look for in a complete coach—he can recruit, he can coach, he can motivate and, most importantly, he can put his arm around these kids and take them to a new level. This is an excellent hire for us. We are excited about Buddy Wyatt joining our staff, and we look forward to great success in our defensive line.”

 

Defensive Line Coach Buddy Wyatt

On coming to Nebraska

“First of all, I am excited to be here. When you get into coaching, you dream of coaching at a place like Nebraska. It is rich in tradition. The job Coach Callahan and his staff have done is amazing. When you are in this game, you don’t get to watch everyone play, but I’ve had an opportunity to watch (Nebraska) here and there and I’ve been impressed. Coach (John) Blake did a wonderful job. I had a chance to watch tape with Coach (Kevin) Cosgrove, and he has done a wonderful job with these guys. What I want to do is continue to add to the success that they have had. I just want to do whatever I can do to make this team successful.”

 

On the talent of Nebraska’s defensive line

“It looked like there were some good young kids out there. I had a chance to meet them after (practice), they welcomed me with open arms and that’s always good. I know they are going to miss John (Blake), and John is a good person. I hope that we can have the same relationship with the guys that John had.”

 

On Nebraska’s defensive style

“Coach Cosgrove and I, we watched a lot of film on Tuesday. He explained his system and scheme, and the good thing about it is the technique and things he wants out of the defensive line are some of the same beliefs that I have. It is going to be an easy marriage.

 

“It’s always comfortable when your systems are married together nicely, so there won’t be as big of a learning curve. That’s going to be big not only for me, but especially for the kids.”

 

On melding his style into this season’s bowl preparation

“The one good thing is there isn’t a whole lot of difference in what I teach. Our defenses (Nebraska and Alabama) are a little different, but I just want to come in and help this team be successful. I don’t want to come in and start changing a whole lot of things. The best way to handle this on short notice is just get in there and try and help the kids do what they are doing now better. If we want to make some changes, we’ll do it in the spring and off-season.”

 

On his recruiting preference

“I think the more athletic, the more explosive, that’s what’s important to me in a defensive lineman. You don’t want to get caught up in size and weight. I like to recruit football players, because they are going to win for you. Obviously you have standards you look for when you look at certain positions, but I believe the most important think I believe is how they play the game. I want to see them play the game and make plays, and I want to see their motors run hard.”

 

On visiting Nebraska on a recruiting weekend

“Recruiting is about establishing relationships, and the sooner I can do that with these guys, the better chance we have to get them to come to the University of Nebraska.”

 

On having a second chance to play Auburn this season

“Not too many people get that opportunity to go face a team that has beaten them. It’s going to be fun. I know a lot of those guys at Auburn, and maybe like my wife said, “Maybe we can finally get a chance to beat Auburn.”

 

On Auburn

“Coach (Tommy) Tuberville does a good job with that team. They play hard, have a lot of team speed and they are well coached. They are a good football program.”

 

On Nebraska’s facilities

“Tremendous. They are great. You are not going to go too many places in the country with facilities like this, and I’ve been to a number of them.”

 

On comparing expectations at Nebraska and Alabama

“I haven’t been at Nebraska very long, but I know the expectations are high at both places. That is the one thing you notice right off the bat. It is important to win at both institutions. When you are coaching, that is important. You want to be at a place that wants to win.”