Published Tuesday, November 22, 2011 AT 6:34 PM / Updated at 6:44 PM
Alonzo Whaley now a Blackshirt
Sam McKewon Omaha World-Herald

Add junior linebacker Alonzo Whaley to Nebraska’s armada of Blackshirts. He found the black practice jersey hanging in his locker before Tuesday’s practice after solid spot play in NU’s 45-17 loss to Michigan.

This week, Whaley’s splitting No. 1 reps with linebacker Sean Fisher. That, defensive coordinator Carl Pelini said, triggered the Blackshirt.

“If two guys are splitting reps equally or they’re starting in a certain personnel group, we give them a Blackshirt,” Pelini said, explaining the Huskers’ 2011 philosophy more in depth than previous interviews.

The key to Whaley getting more playing time? The junior said it was stronger work in the classroom, where he had been “lagging” when the season began.

“They knew I can play football,” Whaley said. “But I just got a good grade report — I got my grades the way they’re supposed to be. Bo (Pelini) is that type of guy. What they build here is ‘we want to trust you off the field.’ I think that had a lot to do with me getting a chance.”

The 6-foot-1, 235-pounder isn’t sure he’ll start Friday. With a good week of practice, Carl Pelini said, there’s a good chance he will against Iowa, which runs a pro-style offense.

“He’s been too much of a thinker,” Pelini said. “It slowed him down. Now I see him much more aggressive and playing more physical, tackling harder. Just more decisive in his movements.”

About Sam McKewon

Sam McKewon covers Nebraska football for The World-Herald. Got a tip, question or rant? Good. Email him at And follow him on Twitter at @swmckewonOWH. And call him at 402.219.3790.


  1. Andy says:

    I think thats great news. Studies come first. Way to go! Keep working hard Whaley.

    1. Kenny says:

      Good deal, making kids accountable for a solid g.p.a

      Hope Alonzo knocks the snot out of Iowa’s RB-Coker, he’s a load. Might be the best running back we have faced all year.

  2. dave says:

    Congrats, Alonzo! Excellence off and on the field! Nice seeing his name called a few times last Saturday. It’s good to see some younger guys stepping up.

  3. Aaron Seyler says:

    the vaunted blackshirts are becoming entirely meaningless. Is that like 24/25 now? Who cares? We have a handful of good players at best, the rest suck.

    1. Bob says:

      They are all better than me.

      1. after you're gone says:

        bob-is that what your wife said?

    2. after you're gone says:

      aaron seyler-you are my hero-great take. 24 blackshirts on a defense that gives up 30 points a game? nebraska has also been outscored in its conference games-what a joke. as mark pelini says-this is all about the process. pelini starting to sound a lot like billy c.quote-i like the direction of our program. REALLY?

  4. kevin says:

    what the heck is going on ? that’s what’s wrong with this program and Pelini, were making Fball players accountable for thier own future after Fball… what next academic all american honors, than medical school ? ,CEO ? Senator ? Let’s get this back under control for a 19 /20 year old kid…. Fball, 1st,2nd,3rd nothing else… they aren’t their for academics !!!1 It’s about pleasing Corndevil, and Highdef with their play on the field…. this is stupid Pelini turning these Fball players into fine upstanding, responsible citizens…. ***** For those of you that don’t understand this post it’s a joke. I am making fun of the people who live their life through a 19/20 year old kid ****

    1. after you're gone says:

      kevin-get off your high horse. the university of nebraska’s football team is all that matters in this state. pelini is paid to make this team a champion-not to hold their hands as they study. c’mon kevin you know better.

      1. kevin says:

        My horse was shot along time ago. What was T.O record after 4 years ?what’s Pelini’s ?

        1. Dgardner says:

          Osborne after 4 — 76% (less games then)– 38 – 10 -2
          Solich – 82 % — 42 – 9 (and was 59 -19 for 75% for his career)
          Bill C — 55% — 27 -22
          Bo – 71%, 37 – 15 so far. could end up 68% or as high as 72%

          hmmmmmm, wonder if we made the right choice……..

          1. SBradley says:

            Dgardner – we? Did you have a hand in hiring Bo? Dr. Tom made the choice I think. Regardless, next year is the make/break year for this coaching staff, and frankly I don’t know how the defense will respond. I think the offense will be markedly better with the young starters having more experience under their belt and a schedule that has only one truly scary road game in Columbus (esp if Urban is the HC). Kinda fitting that Bo will be judged on his job with the D in a year when there’s no proven stars and only a couple that even look the part so far (Baker and Stafford). Should be an interesting ride, eh?

      2. MTS says:

        You need to get real. Bo is paid to do a lot which includes making sure players are ready for life after football! If you don’t think we are in a good place just remember the Callahan era

  5. after you're gone says:

    too bad it was your horse. look at the losses-the bad loses.and not to a top 5 team but unranked teams.and teams with losing records. are you related to mark? you sound like it.

  6. power OF red says:

    Should’nt we be taking them away!!!!! confused………

  7. kevin says:

    ok I did look it up. In the first 4 years Osborne was;

    38-10-2, lost all 4 games to OU, 27-0, 35-10,28-14, 20-17, LOST TO 4 Unranked teams, tied an unranked LSU 6-6-and an unranked OSU 17-17, had zero championships.

    Mark” Bo”Pelini in his first four years ( with 2 games still to go)

    37-15-0, Lost 4 games to unranked teams, and played for 2 BIG XII titles.

    *** T.O. took over after 1972 in the 3 years up to TO taking over NU was 33-2-1, with an unbeaten streak of 25 games in a row and 2 NC. Bo took over from a previous 3 year record of 22-16….No I’m not related to Mark, r u related to Corndevil ???

    1. kevin says:

      I will wait for your response !!!!!!!! Sorry to do research, But I’m sure you’ll have another excuse must people with sh*t on their nose like to save a little face…..

      1. after you're gone says:

        don’t talk about your mom like that.actually-i’ve seen your mom. go ahead.

    2. after you're gone says:

      nebraska(under osborne) managed to finish in the top ten all those years. mark has more bad losses in 4 years than osborne in 25.

      1. after your gone, get off your high horse. First off why do you insist on calling Bo Mark. Do you personally know this man, have you ever sat down with him to actually talk to him. No you call him Mark out of disrespect. Now as Keven has indicated about the records I aso did the research, in TO’s first 6 years he had 1 season that was a 10 win season the rest were 9 win seasons. Lets look at some other facts also. Lets look at the calibur of opponents TO never played against the calibur of oppents Bo has played this year. TO played in a two team horse race every year with all other teams being less than steller. The Big 10 has as of this very moment 5 teams all capable of winning 10 games this year, NU has played every one of them. Has TO every faced that in his first 4 years? No. NU’s other loss this year was to a bowl eligable team, in fact every opponent except two of NU’s games this year are bowl eligable. When did TO ever face that kind of schedule. TO took over a program that had a solid foundation in a lackluster coference. Try to remember the calibur of the Big 8 back in those years. Bo took over a program that was in shambles with almost every tradition we held dear to us thrown out the window by Billy C. Ever string of accomplishments as a team except one was ended under Billy C, I am wondering have you seen Austin’s presser. He tells it exactly how it is with the Husker program in the last 5 years. He has been through 2 AD changes 2 HC changes and 3 position coach changes in the short span of 5 years. He remarks on a foundation that is being laid even as we post here. The real truth of the matter is that now NU will have a tough road to travel to get to a title game from now on. In any given year there are 4 teams out of the 6 teams in our division that can honestly compete for the division crown. How many teams in the Big 12 North could compete for that title every year, maybe on an up year 3.

        Now everyone says Bo can not recruit but this problem was address early in the year. Bo recruited well for the type of player he needed to compete in the Big 12. The Big 10 he needs a different type of player and he is recruiting them now.

        As for or D and O lets also get real there to. Success all begins with the line. What has happened to both our O & D lines this year. The were torn apart by injuries, heck we pulled an O lineman and tried to place him on the D line because that line is so very thin now because of injuries.

        1. kevin says:

          Charles as I have discovered ppl like ,” i wish he was gone”, Highdef, and Corndevil DO NOT care about facts, Facts are simply for logic, and well…fact ! they hope that most people who read their garbage will think they have some sort of expertise that will be taken as fact. As for Butch who said that was 30 years ago, his right ! TO had it a heck of alot easier. NU only had to prepare for one game in November each year. And ALL these Saints who talk highly of Oz I guarantee bashed the snot out of him in the 70′s,and 80′s.

        2. Nick G. says:

          This is an amazing post. Thank you for grounding us in the reality of it all.

        3. Remember Scott Frost? says:

          AMEN CNC!!! All you have to do is look through the stats on huskermax through the years and realize we are playing in a much tougher league than the old Big 8 EVER was and that parity in College Football is more apparent than ever before. Bo and his staff are young and are recruiting the right guys and are developing them into men of high character. Husker Nation is behind him. These jerks that post on here are not fans of the team nor the school. They are just stirring it up.

    3. Butch says:

      Kevin, that was 30 years ago. Who cares? Fact is, in no way, shape, or form is Pelini even remotely close to the caliber of TO, it isn’t even a point for discussion. And this was before TO won the whole enchilada. TO had the team in the running for the NT more years than not…..Bo can even get us into contention for a conference title in a weak B10. These kind of arguments are completely meaningless.

  8. kevin says:

    AGAIN that’s not true, they both lost 4 games to unranked teams, and TO got blown out by OU in 3 of those years, TO also took over for a team that was kicking on all cylinders, Bo took over a 5-7 team. And Osborne only had 2 teams finish in the top 10, AND HE TOOK OVER A 2 TIME NC…. Would you like my mother to come over and teach you about how to do research, and while she’s at it she can teach you about respect,values, morals.

    1. after you're gone says:

      that depends. how does she look in a nighty? my guess is probably not very good. anyway, oklahoma was a top 5 team and national champ during that span. so -you are happy with winning the big 12 NORTH division. your standards are pretty low. i can’t imagine what your old lady looks like.also, i’m not the one swearing on my replys.anger management kevin. iget it-you are a psycho like your hero mark. get some therapy and try and improve your researching skills. tell your mom i’m proud of her for raising you so right and proper. you don’t resemble carl from slingblade? i reckon you do>

  9. kevin says:

    sux to look like an idiot, your like most Husker fans blow smoke w/o cause. Your part of the liberal entitlement mentality we’ve raised which is…. I expect others to do things for me ” …. sux to get told off by a guy who lives in… how’d you say it ?, oh yeah his mothers basement.

    1. after you're gone says:

      sux to look like an typed that didn’t you? am i talking to rush limbaugh? actually you sound like you have very little education. nice to meet you george w. and my living arrangements? great to meet you son? sucks to be you.

  10. after you're gone says:

    uh oh little kevin getting angry? why would your mom name you after nebraska’s d-coordinator from 2004-2007? were you adopted? dumb question. who would?

  11. kevin says:

    Never fails ignorant people always like to use certian words that they think show intelligence over others, primarily those words are like… “Son” it’s a word that shows your embarassed and got shown up in a public porum so you resort to a word like”Son”which shows power over someone else…. unless of course you just looked like an idiot. I sound like I have very little education ? really ? who posted something that couldn’t get supported with facts ?

    1. after you're gone says:

      kevin-slow down and check your spelling. by son i meant that me and your mom-you know-and then you came along. i do have the are seeing what you want to believe. word check -certian? public porum? who looks like an idiot.let the public decide. i call mark mark because that is his name. have you met him and know him well enough to call him by his nickname? i am pretty sure your mom has carnal knowledge of mark. good day son. and no-i’m not sending you a card this year. you have been a very bad boy.i do know that eventually mark will hand you out a blackshirt-everyone else is getting one for not playing defense. your mom looks good in ablackshirt and nothing else.

      1. after your gone, you are a complete arse. How dare you talk about someone’s mother as if she is some two-bit tramp. Have you no respect? As for your comment about if someone knows Bo well enough to call him Bo goes, yes we do know him well enough to call him Bo. We know him well enough to know that he prefers to be called Bo. Do do anything other than to call a man what he prefers to be called is disrespectful. But then again we question your ability to respect anything. You are a sad example of a Husker fan. We pride ourself on respect of others. We pride ourselves in conducting ourselves honorably, you sir have done niether.

  12. kevin says:

    Guess you have something for my mother, and I assume your just an angry person who makes stupid assumptions about my name and it’s references… so far you’ve asked if I’m related to Bo, and talk in a negative tune about a mother you don’t know, and now u refer to me as having the same name as D-Coodinator…. but I’m the ignorant uneducated one. I got to go. I’m going to spend my time talking to “DUMB people” your intelligence is just to much for me. Sorry to embarrass u. But just a little advice if your going to say something stupid in a blog be prepared to back it up with fact, and the fact is Osborne and Pelini have the same 4 – year results. But I’m sure after 4 years with Oz you TYPED up hate mail, and stuck an 8 cent stamp on a envelope as u mailed it off the OWH.

  13. jerry says:

    Charles and Kevin: Well said! All of these bashers were probably never even around the program in some of the “what the heck” years with losses to up and coming no name teams like FSU and ASU, never beating OU, some nailbiter losses and some days you wanted to drink to excess to forget. Some great kids/friends busting their butts to perform and having geeks who didn’t even know or hang around them put their team and coaches down. Instead in our great social networking era anyone with a computer anywhere in the world can put down people and programs from afar. Instead they should think of one thing that rings through to all REAL HUSKERS and that is GO BIG RED and be proud to be a HUSKER.

  14. Stephen Johnson says:

    Charles, Charles N China, Kevin and Jerry. I appreciate they way you make your arguments, with facts. Otherwise people just spout opinions. By the way, if you extend your research on Tom Os first 6 years, I think you will find he lost to OU every year. The one year they did manage to beat OU the Bowl gods rematched them in the Orange bowl and NU lost. I have hated rematches ever since. What is really interesting is if you look at what TO did after than year, he changed the offense from a mainly passing attack to a run based offense with some passing thrown in. Around 1979 they started killing teams and the offense soared. Of course 1983 was the big year for offense. If you buy the DVDs of Osborne’s 25 years you can detect the change in thinking. It was the genesis of where we are today. Keep it up and keep it classy.

    1. Stephen Johnson, just wondering I have a friend with your name, we both graduated from South High in 71, most likely not but are you him. It is funny that you mentioned that remach game against OU. I had a very good friend of mine since our daus at the South Omaha Boy’s Club that played on that very NU team. His name was Daryl Walton (another Douth High Grad) and he gave me tickets to the game. iIt was amazing to be able to go hang out with some of the team and all. I hate the end result but enjoyed the experience.

  15. jdock says:

    handing out blackshirts after we lose? whaley nor sean fisher even play in the games so y are u rewarding them? next year will be another 3-4 loss season.