Seven Husker defenders were awarded Blackshirts at Wednesday’s Nebraska football practice, three days before the team’s first game of the 2013 season.
It is by far the earliest coach Bo Pelini has handed out Blackshirts to top defensive players during his six years at Nebraska.
The World-Herald’s Jon Nyatawa spotted the following players sporting the symbolic practice jerseys: Ciante Evans, Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Corey Cooper, Josh Mitchell, David Santos, Jason Ankrah and Thad Randle.
Shortly after Nyatawa’s report, Pelini and the official Huskers.com Twitter accounts offered some insight:
Proud of 7 guys on Defense earning blackshirts today. They epitomize what the tradition means.
— Bo Pelini (@BoPelini) August 28, 2013
Coach Papuchis said 7 Blackshirts given to guys who showed leadership during camp. The rest still up for grabs. #Huskers
— Nebraska Huskers (@Huskers) August 28, 2013
Here’s a quote from defensive coordinator John Papuchis after practice: “We decided that some of the veteran guys, some of the leadership, have done a tremendous job helping the younger guys on our defense come along. Their effort on the field, their attitude, their work in the meeting room. If part of being a blackshirt is being defined by your work ethic, your attention to detail, and the leadership you bring to the team – the guys we awarded them to are certainly all of those things.”