Coach Bo Pelini, Taylor Martinez, Quincy Enunwa and Ciante Evans all shared plenty of noteworthy insight and detail during two hours of media interviews Thursday.
Below are a few more comments from Thursday (Disclaimer: some are useful; others are just plain silly)…
>> Redshirt freshman Jared Afalava appears to be the early favorite to start at Nebraska’s strongside (BUCK) linebacker spot. Freshmen Courtney Love and Josh Banderas will compete for reps there, too. Pelini thinks redshirt freshman Michael Rose has the physical makeup to play that spot as well, though he’ll start camp at middle linebacker. It should be noted that Pelini’s pretty comfortable with the fact that he’s not yet permanently assigned positions to his linebackers.
>> Asked about the challenges that the Huskers’ schedule (full of spread offenses early) presents for a team trying to groom new linebackers, Pelini had this to say: “You’ve got to make sure you keep progressing. That’s why camp is so important. To get ready for multiple things and things you probably aren’t going to see early on, especially in the first couple of weeks.”
>> Enunwa wasn’t trying to be arrogant or cocky when asked about his practice battles with Husker cornerbacks. But reporters kept pressing him. So the senior receiver eventually laid out the truth: “I can push all of them around. I’m not even going to lie to you. I’m stronger than every single one of them.” It’s up to the defenders to use their other skills to keep Enunwa on his toes. And they’re pretty good at it, he said. “There’s no shaking them because they can turn around really fast. I try to use my size, and I also have a little speed to use against them.”
>> A combination of Michael Vick and Drew Brees. That’s the kind of quarterback Martinez wants to be. He’s spent time watching both of them. Vick, for obvious reasons (the guy can fly). As far as Brees, Martinez said he appreciates the way the New Orleans QB moves around in the pocket and “the way he throws the football, how accurate he is.”
>> Plenty more coming on this subject in a story for Friday’s edition of The World-Herald, but Evans said he was responsible for leading meetings with the full defense once a week this summer. He relied on other veterans to help, too. In conversations with younger players, the upperclassmen tried their best to emphasize the mental aspects of the game this summer. “It’s fine to get reps, in 7-on-7 and stuff, but at the same time, during the summer is when you need to be studying the most because when you come into the fall … you don’t have as much time to study,” Evans said.
>> Offensive coordinator Tim Beck may have some head coaching offers after the next season, if his versatile system gives defenses as much trouble as it did in 2012. But … “I think he’d like to be a head coach someday, but I don’t think he just wants to take any job just so he can say he’s a head coach,” Pelini said. “There’s a lot of head coaching jobs that aren’t as good of a job that he’s in right now.”
>> The question was about Hy-Vee, the sponsor of the annual Nebraska-Iowa game. A weird one, yes. Even for media days, nearly two hours in. And it seemed like Pelini was about ready to telepathically KO the reporter with one of his heart-stopping death stares — but then the head coach smiled and started an impromptu endorsement for his favorite grocery store. Who knew? Pelini likes Hy-Vee. A lot. “Hy-Vee’s got a great meat department. That’s where I buy all my different brats. They’ve got good burger patties there. Ten for $10. Sometimes 12 for $12. Good, quality stuff.”