Huskers Host YMCA Youth at Practice

By NU Athletic Communications
Santa Claus made an appearance at the Husker Family Christmas party Sunday following practice.
Santa Claus made an appearance at the Husker Family Christmas party Sunday following practice.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Lincoln Nebraska continued preparations for next month’s Cotton Bowl showdown with Auburn with its second straight day of workouts Saturday inside the Hawks Championship Center. Near the end of practice, the Huskers welcomed more than 60 youth from the Lincoln YMCA Community Learning Center to the Hawks Center and treated them to a Husker Family Christmas.


The kids first had an opportunity to watch the final 30 minutes of the Huskers’ afternoon workout. Immediately following practice, the children were able to play on the Hawks Center field for approximately 30 minutes.


Nebraska’s coaching staff and players then shared a Christmas meal with the children. In addition to a Husker gift bag presented by Santa Claus, the youth each received a gift personally chosen and paid for by Nebraska players. Each player was assigned a gift partner and the groups purchased a gift for one of the youth. The event concluded with the players and YMCA Youth singing three Christmas carols.


A monetary gift was also presented to the YMCA Strong Kids Scholarship Program. The money was a combination of monetary gifts by football staff and athletic department staff, with a matching donation by Coach Callahan Charities.


For photos from the event, please vist the web site.


Prior to the post-practice activities, Defensive Coordinator Kevin Cosgrove and Offensive Coordinator Jay Norvell took time to cover several topics with the area media. Norvell described Saturday’s practice as “high energy” and “high intensity,” despite to the absence of nine Husker seniors who took part in commencement ceremonies.


“We had some guys miss today to walk at graduation, so it gave some of the other guys an opportunity to practice,” Norvell said. “They were really excited. Joe Ganz got all of the reps with the (first-string offense) and did a phenomenal job. It was great for him, and Beau Davis got a lot of reps.”


While Nebraska has not played since the Big 12 Championship Game two weeks ago, Norvell said the squad is still finding ways to keep the level of intensity high at practice.


“We’re just practicing. We’re practicing and putting guys in competitive situations to keep them sharp,” Norvell said. “When those competitive juices get flowing you get a lot of quality work, and that’s what we had today. We had a highly, highly intense Husker (one-on-one) drill today, and everybody was into it. Those young kids don’t get as many opportunities as the older guys, so we were excited about that.”


Cosgrove used his first opportunity Saturday to praise recently hired defensive line coach Buddy Wyatt, who experienced his first practice working with the Huskers during the afternoon.


“He’s fit in very well,” Cosgrove said. “He’s a good guy who knows a lot of guys on our staff. He comes from an outstanding program that has played great defense over the last few years. He’s an impressive guy.”


Nebraska will practice Sunday afternoon before Monday’s scheduled off day.


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