August 20, 2014

NU football suspends LeRoy Alexander

The following statement is from the Nebraska Athletics Department:

“Nebraska sophomore defensive back LeRoy Alexander has been suspended from competition for the 2014 football season. Alexander will remain on scholarship as a member of the Nebraska football program and will be allowed to practice with the team. Coach Pelini and the Nebraska Athletics Department will have no additional comment on this matter.”

The sophomore from Toledo, OH was expected to play an increased role for the Blackshirts in 2014. The 6-0, 200-pound Alexander earned a spot in the regular rotation at safety last season and showed the ability to be a quality performer for the next three seasons.

Secondary depth will be tested with the loss of nickel back Jackson (AUDIO)

After practice, Head Coach Bo Pelini said that junior nickel back Charles Jackson will miss the entire 2014 season due to a knee injury suffered this week.  Jackson, a native of Spring, Texas was expected to compete for the starting nickel back job, a key position in the Husker defense.

“For his long term best interest, they are going to fix it, so he will be out for the year,” Pelini said. “Fortunately for Charles, he has a redshirt year so he still has two years left. It is not a horrible injury, it is a very unusual injury. He will come back and be better than ever,” Pelini said. “It was a hard deal for him, he has put in a lot of work in to it, I feel for him right now.”

Junior Byerson Cockrell and true freshmen Josh Kalu and Trai Mosley will now get the chance to compete at that position.

Here is more from Pelini on the injury, which is similar to the injury that Rex Burkhead suffered.

Lopers picked near the bottom of the MIAA conference

Nebraska-Kearney football team is picked 10th (media) and 11th (coaches) in the MIAA preseason polls for the upcoming 2014 season.  The polls were released today as a part of MIAA Media Day at Sporting Park in Kansas City. The stadium is the new home of the NCAA Division II Championship game.

Last fall, the Lopers posted a 3-8 (3-6 MIAA) mark. Head coach Darrell Morris returns 13 starters, including All-MIAA picks Romero Cotton (running back), Tyke Kozeal (inside linebacker), Cole Manhart (left tackle) and Pete Trausch (right tackle).

Defending national champion NW Missouri State is first (466 points) as they picked up 37 of the 39 first place votes. Pittsburg State (422) and Emporia State (353) each received a first place nod with Missouri Western State (348) and Washburn (306) rounding out the top five.

UNK is at NW Missouri State on Thursday, September 4th, to stat the 2014 campaign. Washburn (Sept. 11th) visits the following Thursday night, the first of six home games for the Lopers.

Chadron State picked for second place in the RMAC

The Chadron State College football team is picked to finish second in the 2014 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches Poll.  The Eagles, who finished the 2013 season with an 8-3 record and a 7-2 mark in the league, received 69 votes to edge third-ranked Colorado School of Mines’ 67 votes. Colorado State University-Pueblo is picked to finish first in the 10-team conference with 81 votes.

“Being ranked second is an attribute to what our team accomplished last season,” third-year head coach Jay Long said. We’re excited to get into camp and contend for another RMAC championship.”

Three Chadron State College football players were placed on the Preseason All-RMAC Team. They are offensive lineman Mike Lorenzo, linebacker Dylan Furrier and safety Lane Haller.

Lorenzo, a senior from Oak Park, California, has started 23 consecutive games at left guard for the Eagles. A season ago, he helped pave the way for Harlon Hill finalist Glen Clinton and was a reason why the Eagles led NCAA Division II in third down conversion. Following the season, he was selected to the All-RMAC Third Team.

Furrier, a junior from Tucson, Arizona, was also an All-RMAC Third Team selection in 2013. An outside linebacker, he was second on the team with 75 tackles and added 3.5 sacks and seven tackles for loss.

Haller, a senior from Gordon, Nebraska, is a two-time All-RMAC performer and has started three seasons. He had 74 tackles and added two interceptions, including one he returned for a game-winning 79-yard TD against Missouri S&T.

The season opening game is Saturday, Sept. 6 against Missouri S&T in Chadron. Kickoff is set for noon.

Shorter practice time works out well for the Huskers (AUDIO)

The Nebraska football team hit the practice field for the first time in 2014 going through just a one-hour and 40-minute workout in shorts and helmets on Monday evening.   Head Coach Bo Pelini enters his seventh year for a team that includes 14 returning starters from last year, and finished 9-4 including a Gator Bowl victory versus Georgia on New Year’s Day.

“I thought it was what you expect after the first day, I liked the tempo and I thought it was an efficient practice,” Pelini said. “I think guys competed and there were a lot of first-day mistakes.”

In an attempt to save the players for later in the season and keep them fresh, Pelini has cut the practice time nearly in half, doing away with walk throughs and individual workouts.

Pelini also announced that sophomore long snapper Gabe Miller will be day-to-day with a minor injury, as well as freshman linebacker Jaevon Walton will miss a few days due to a personal issue.

Skip the fluff, hear the highlights from Pelini’s press gathering.