Nebraska’s defensive coordinator took some time Friday morning to speak to Husker fans at the Big Red breakfast, talking NU football for about 45 minutes.
Below are a few highlights from Carl Pelini’s appearance at the Embassy Suites at the La Vista Conference Center. Look for more in The World-Herald’s Metro edition.
>>> The best thing about adding senior Alfonzo Dennard back into the lineup, according to Pelini? Swagger. “I’d love for him to play every play (Saturday),” Pelini said. “But that’s going to be up to him and his body.”
>>> Pelini didn’t share much about the status of defensive tackle Jared Crick, only to say the senior would have practiced this week if he were healthy.
>>> Junior Daimion Stafford will move down from safety and play a little at the nickel back position at times against Wyoming on Saturday. So expect to see more of junior P.J. Smith at the safety spot this weekend, according to Pelini.
>>> Redshirt freshman Corey Cooper is among the NU defensive backs that Pelini expects to play in some fashion against Wyoming’s spread offense Saturday. Redshirt freshman Harvey Jackson, who’s taking second-team reps now, could play as well, Pelini said.
>>> Watching film of Wyoming, Pelini said the Cowboys’ quarterback, Brett Smith, doesn’t look like a freshman. Pelini’s word of choice to describe Smith: Scrappy. “He always seems to just get the job done.”
>>> Nebraska has moved Stanley Jean-Baptiste to cornerback, a position change that Pelini said he’s wanted ever since the sophomore’s recruitment. “This isn’t something that was decided overnight,” Pelini said. The hope is that Jean-Baptiste, listed at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, can adjust quickly enough to see some action later this fall, but Pelini acknowledged that there are some hurdles in his way. Said Pelini: “I like looking out there and seeing his body type out there at corner … He’s going to help us and hopefully, it’s sooner than later.”
>>> True freshman linebacker David Santos is still practicing with the intent to play this fall, according to Pelini. Santos hasn’t seen the field, but Pelini isn’t ready yet to officially label the 6-foot, 205-pounder as a redshirt. “There will be a point in the season where the cutoff happens … but right now it’s too early in the season to truly say (he’s going to redshirt),” Pelini said.
>>> Pelini said the NU defenders broke down their huddles this week by shouting “shirts,” in reference to the coveted Blackshirts. The tradition-rich black practice jersey still haven’t been handed out by the Nebraska coaching staff. But apparently, the players are using that as motivation.