April 1, 2015

Abdullah, Bell and Gregory set for NFL Combine. What the experts are saying.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers will send three players to the NFL Combine which gets started with interviews and exams on Wednesday from Indianapolis, IN. The on-field workouts begin this Friday, February 20 with the offensive linemen and tight ends, and continues with the running backs, quarterbacks and wide receivers on Saturday, February 21, linebackers and defensive linemen on Sunday, February 22 and defensive backs on Monday, February 23. Coverage of workouts begins each day at 8 a.m. CT which you can watch on the NFL Network.

Here is what the NFL.com experts are saying about the Huskers.

 

Ameer Abdullah

Ameer Abdullah

Ameer Abdullah-RB
STRENGTHS
Decisive runner with good lower-body drive and a willingness to run behind his pads. Finishes his runs. Has NFL-caliber burst and can hit top speed quickly. Defenses must respect his ability to turn the corner on play-side. Patient runner with plus vision. Willing to seek out cutback lanes. Rarely dances to the line or makes unnecessary lateral moves. Isn’t a predictable runner. Lacks blazing top-end speed but plays fast. Highly competitive with a high football IQ. Hasn’t dropped a pass in two years and can be a valuable weapon in passing attack. Will make arm tacklers pay and is better in short yardage than most backs his size. Can help immediately as a punt or kick returner. Personal and football character is considered off-the-charts by the scouting community.

WEAKNESSES
Lacks ideal size that teams look for from a three-down running back. Frame is close to maxed out. Doesn’t always go through his pass routes at full speed. Smallish frame causes some issues in pass protection. Tenacity in protection needs to improve. Ball security is a legitimate concern with 13 fumbles over his four years at Nebraska.

Kenny Bell

Kenny Bell

Kenny Bell-WR
STRENGTHS
Can get on top of cornerbacks quickly and can ramp up acceleration to create enough air space for quarterbacks to target him up top. Has made big catches at big times for Nebraska. Displays concentration and boundary awareness up the field. Has big-play ability that was untapped at times at Nebraska. Shredded with little body fat. Smart player and very well-coached in college. Plus competitiveness when going up to snag a pass against defenders. Ball winner.

WEAKNESSES
Has some stiffness to his routes. Doesn’t get into and out of breaks as cleanly as scouts would like to see. Likely limited to a roll as an outside threat. Thin frame and has struggled at staying on his route when muscled by big corners. Needs to diversify his approach to getting off the line of scrimmage on the next level.

Randy Gregory

Randy Gregory

Randy Gregory-OLB
STRENGTHS
Tall with long levers and a lean, sinewy build. Batted down four passes in 2014. Stronger than expected at point of attack. Able to lock out and stay square against big offensive tackles and can whip most tight ends. Unhinges and gets tentacles on running backs bursting through gap. Room for more thickness on long frame. Competitive and shows toughness against run. Can chase and limit outside runs with speed. Secondary motor to stay in hunt downfield as tackler. Explosive hips. Gets instant change of direction to hound quarterbacks in play-action. Played standing up and with hand in ground. Rushed occasionally from ILB spot. Stride and second gear for quick close. Has bend and hips to convert speed to power. Showed improved timing and understanding of how to set up inside pass-rush move as season progressed. Hands are a blur. Explosive play traits to overwhelm technically deficient tackles. Can counter and recover from cut blocks. Flashes plus hand-feet coordination. As blitzer from ILB, will coil and explode into guard on contact step. More than tough enough. Willing to take on pulling guards with low pad level and aggressive pop. [Read more…]

Charlton Warren leaving Nebraska football coaching staff

nebraska_cornhuskers-helmet-logoStatement from University of Nebraska Head Football Coach Mike Riley:

“Charlton Warren has informed me of his plans to take a similar coaching position at another university. This is an opportunity that Charlton feels is right for him and his family, and I respect his decision. We appreciate the valuable role Charlton has played in our transition to the University of Nebraska and wish him and his family nothing but the best. Charlton is an outstanding man and a bright, energetic football coach with a great future ahead of him in this profession.

“We will search for a talented teacher, coach and recruiter to fill the open position on our defensive staff. This is a high priority, but we will take the necessary time to find the individual who is the right fit to help lead the young men in the University of Nebraska football program.”

Riley wraps up first recruiting class with big gains on the defense

Mike Riley is pretty happy with his first recruiting class at Nebraska

Mike Riley is pretty happy with his first recruiting class at Nebraska

Nebraska Head Coach Mike Riley introduced his first Husker recruiting class on Wednesday. The 2015 signing class includes 20 scholarship players that come from 13 states.Riley was hired at Nebraska on Dec. 4 and he and his staff quickly put together a class that includes 12 on the defensive side.

Riley had to get after three defensive backs ready to enroll early in Avery Anderson and Eric Lee from Colorado and Aaron Williams from Georgia.  That was his first priority. He also stopped over in Blue Springs, Missouri and made sure Carlos and Khalil Davis (6’3, 280/270 respectively) were on board.

Riley said selling the University of Nebraska to recruits was a rewarding experience for him and his staff.  In a release from the NU Athletics Department, Riley said:

”I think kids also, and especially parents who have input, look at the big picture of going to college and what does this university have to offer. This is where Nebraska is off the charts. The resources for young men here, academic support, life skills, nutrition, just go down the line in all of those things and it is at a high, high level. So they’re joining a place that really knows what it is talking about when it is talking about student athletes and what you can accomplish here. That part of it, that is pretty easy.”

2015 Scholarship Recruits

Lavan Alston WR 5/11 173 CA
Avery Anderson S 6/1 172 CO
Jalin Barnett OL 6/4 315 OK
Mohamed Barry LB 6/1 210 GA
Alex Davis DE 6/5 220 FL
Carlos Davis DT 6/3 280 MO
Khalil Davis DT 6/3 270 MO
Michael Decker OL 6/4 280 NE
Tyrin Ferguson LB 6/2 205 LA
Christian Gaylord OL 6/6 270 KS
Eric Lee CB 5/10 175 CO
Stanley Morgan WR 6/1 185 LA
DaiShon Neal DE 6/7 240 NE
Jordan Ober LS 6/0 190 NV
Devine Ozigbo RB 5/11 225 TX
Antonio Reed LB 6/2 210 MS
Matt Snyder TE 6/5 245 CA
Adrienne Talan LB 6/1 205 FL
Aaron Williams DB 5/11 185 GA
Dedrick Young ATH 6/1 215 AZ

8 walk-ons 
Fyn Anderson DL 6-3 260 NE
Jared Brugmann LB 6/2 225 NE
Brody Cleveland LB 6/2 220 NE
Austin Hemphill FB 6/0 220 NE
Reid Karel QB 6/3 190 NE
Wyatt Mazour RB 5/9 190 NE
Jacob Weinmaster LB 6/0 200 CO
Conor Young ATH 6/1 170 NE

Husker signing day off to a bang (updated 9 a.m)

nebraska_cornhuskers-helmet-logo2015 Signing Day is here and names continue to roll in from student-athletes committed to the Nebraska football program under first year head coach Mike Riley.  Here are the bios of those who have signed letters from Huskers.com

1. Avery Anderson is one of four defensive standouts who joined the Nebraska program in January. Anderson was regarded as one of the top prospects from Colorado and among the nation’s top defensive back recruits. Anderson helped Pine Creek High School in Colorado Springs to consecutive Class 4A state championships.

Pine Creek posted a perfect 14-0 record in 2014 as Anderson starred in all three areas of the game. As a defensive back, he recorded three interceptions, while making 52 tackles, including six tackles for loss. Anderson also contributed on offense, rushing for 226 yards and a touchdown, while catching 16 passes for 318 yards and one touchdown. He also handled kickoff return duties for Coach Todd Miller.

Anderson was an All-Colorado choice by the Denver Post for his play in 2014, and he was a first-team Class 4A choice by the Colorado High School Activities Association.

In helping the Eagles to the 2013 Class 4A state title as a junior, Anderson was named a first-team all-state free safety by the CHSAA. He also earned all-league and all-region recognition after totaling 53 tackles, one interception and three breakups while leading Pine Creek to its first state championship and a 12-2 record. Offensively, Anderson had 53 carries for 386 yards and eight touchdowns.

Anderson was a consensus four-star prospect, and he was rated as the No. 2 player in Colorado, behind fellow early enrollee Eric Lee Jr. Anderson was a member of the Rivals250, coming in at No. 224 on the list of the nation’s top prospects. Additionally, the service ranked Anderson as the nation’s No. 24 cornerback, while Scout.com listed him among the top 35 safeties in the country and 247Sports ranked him among the top 40 athletes nationally. In May, Anderson earned defensive back MVP honors at the Rivals Camp Series in Chicago.

Anderson committed to Nebraska in February of 2014, after considering offers from Arizona State, Kansas State and Utah, among others. Anderson is the son of Killian and Angela Anderson, and he was born on Sept. 11, 1996.

2. Oklahoma product Jalin Barnett is regarded as one of the nation’s top offensive guard prospects after a standout career at Lawton High School. Barnett is Nebraska’s first signee from the state of Oklahoma since Phillip Dillard and Craig Roark in 2005. Barnett played at the same high school that produced former Husker greats Mike Minter and Will Shields.

[Read more…]

Two former Huskers named to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Will Shields (photo/KCChiefs.com)

Will Shields (photo/KCChiefs.com)

A pair of former Nebraska offensive line greats were among eight individuals selected to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of the 2015 class of inductees.  Mick Tingelhoff was a standout center for the Minnesota Vikings following his Nebraska career, while Will Shields followed his Husker career by becoming a perennial All-Pro for the Kansas City Chiefs.

The announcement of the Hall’s 2015 class came on Saturday evening in Arizona as part of the NFL’s Super Bowl weekend. Tingelhoff was chosen for induction by the Hall’s senior committee, while Shields was elected in his fourth season as a modern-era Hall of Fame finalist.

They are joined in the 2015 class by Tim Brown, Jerome Bettis, Charles Haley, Junior Seau and contributors Bill Polian and Ron Wolf. The class of 2015 will enshrined on Saturday, Aug. 8 in Canton, Ohio.

Tingelhoff and Shields will become the fourth and fifth Nebraska players to be elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The duo joins Guy Chamberlin, Roy “Link” Lyman and Bob Brown as Nebraska players to be a part of the Hall of Fame. Brown was the most recent Husker inductee, being enshrined in the Hall in 2004.