Roughly a dozen Husker players chatted with the Media at the top of Memorial Stadium Friday. Here’s some quick highlights from the hourlong session.
>> The sense of urgency for Nebraska to win a conference title — after losing in the league title game three of the last four years — is growing.
“The bar just keeps getting higher every single year,” offensive guard Spencer Long said. “We have to make changes. In order to do something better, we have to do something different. Obviously we haven’t been getting it done. Every single year that we fail, the sense of urgency goes up even more.”
What can NU change to win its first league title since 1999?
“All the little things that we see as negative — however small they may be — eliminate them even more,” Long said.
>> Junior guard Jake Cotton — not senior tackle Jeremiah Sirles — is NU’s offensive line assistant captain. The line has worked on a variety of things in the offseason, including pass protection, which I’ll cover in a Sunday story.
>> Senior Andrew Green will start training camp playing almost exclusively at safety. He’s started more games than any other defender on the team, but he did it at corner.
“I know it’s kinda late, but whatever’s best for the team,” Green said. “I feel like I’m a fast learner … I kinda like having the vision of seeing everything.”
Green’s unsure whether he’ll play strong safety or free safety.
>> Jon Nyatawa will have more on linebacker David Santos — who bears a scar on his head from an offseason fight that resulted in the dismissal of Thomas Brown and Ernest Suttles — but Santos called the incident “unfortunate” and wanted to move on.
Senior defensive end Jason Ankrah elaborated on the offseason fight a little more, without using either Brown or Suttles names.
“One of the players, he had previous incidents of starting things. That night was the last straw for him. Unfortunately, he brought along another person with him. It just went down the wrong way. We all know what to do. We know right from wrong. The fact that they chose to do that, that’s the only issue. We’re moving on.”
>> Left tackle Brent Qvale looks to be the best shape of his career. He still weighs 315 pounds, but he’s “redistributed” the weight. He said he’s certainly as healthy as he’s been at NU. No knee troubles.
“I’ve been doing that I need to make myself healthy and making myself the best I can be,” Qvale said.
Incoming junior college recruit Matt Finnin has caught on quickly, Qvale said.
“He’s picking up the offense really well,” Qvale said. “We’ve embraced it. We need more guys who can step up and play. That keeps us fresher. Matt has a good mental outlook. And I think he’s embraced the work ethic needed to play here at Nebraska.”
>> Though junior college recruit Randy Gregory will not be at Fan Day — he would have had to arrived earlier in the summer for that — Ankrah has met the 6-foot-6, 234-pounder and welcomes the potential Gregory brings to the table.
“We’re excited he’s here and if there’s anything he can bring to the table, we want it, we need it,” Ankrah said. “If it’s him starting or him playing a secondary role — whatever role he plays — we need him.”