Published Friday, November 8, 2013 AT 1:33 PM / Updated at 1:39 PM
Big Red Breakfast leftovers
Doug Thomas Omaha World-Herald

Emptying the notebook from Friday’s Big Red Breakfast featuring associate head coach Barney Cotton:

>> Even with the injuries at guard to starters Jake Cotton and Spencer Long, coaches hope to redshirt junior college transfer Chongo Kondolo. If they can, Barney Cotton said, the 6-foot-4, 290-pound junior from Fresno City College has a chance to give the Huskers two strong seasons the way Omahan Ricky Henry did in 2009 and 2010. Henry was an All-Big 12 selection as a senior.

>> Corey Whitaker, a redshirt freshman guard from Murrieta, Calif., has started “turning loose” after recovering from a “devastating knee injury” last year and has earned some practice time this fall with NU’s top two units. Whitaker didn’t have a great spring or preseason, Cotton said, but sometimes players need longer than six months to heal from knee injuries. “Sometimes it takes a whole 12, 13 months to actually get well. There’s a mental healing, too. Look at Derrick Rose. He didn’t play for 18 months.”

>> Like offensive line coach John Garrison at an October breakfast, Cotton raved about the potential of tackle David Knevel, a 6-foot-9, 305-pound true freshman from Brantford, Ontario. Cotton and Garrison, working with Nebraska’s top units on offense, caught themselves at a recent practice looking to the other side of the field and watching Knevel, on the scout team, operate against the Husker defense. Cotton said Knevel moves and gets low pad level exceptionally well for someone his size. “He’s an absolute behemoth,” Cotton said. “He has to get a little stronger. But he’s a guy who’s going to compete for playing time as a redshirt freshman.”

About Doug Thomas

Doug Thomas edits and writes stories for the Omaha World-Herald. He has worked at the newspaper since 1986 and filled roles such as Husker football writer, health and fitness writer and assistant sports editor. You can reach Doug at 402-444-1058 or