Lincoln - The Nebraska football team welcomed the fans to Memorial Stadium, as a crowd of over 5,500 fans came out Friday afternoon for Fan Day.
The 90-minute event unofficially kicks off the 2012 season as fans had a chance to get autographs with the players as well as get their first look at the special adidas jersey Nebraska will wear for its Big Ten opener against Wisconsin on Sept. 29.
"It was a good turnout and shows why they are the best fans in America," Nebraska Coach Bo Pelini, who begins his fifth season at NU, said. "We appreciate them coming out in the heat today, and now we will prepare for practice tomorrow. Our players have put in a long off season and it is time to get to work and I think they are excited to begin."
For fifth-year senior linebacker Will Compton, the annual event gives the players an appreciation to the devotion that Husker fans have to their team."
"We had a blast today," Compton said. "We signed a lot of autographs and heard a lot of stories from the fans. Some of them drove hours to get here and were waiting in line three hours before the gates opened today. This is one way that we can show our appreciation to them."
The Huskers, who were ranked 16th in the USA Today Coaches Poll released Thursday, will hit the practice field for the first time tomorrow morning, the first of 30 practices before the Huskers kick off the season against Southern Miss on Saturday, Sept. 1.