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September 15, 2009After not seeing a single snap in any of Nebraska's first two games this season, senior linebacker Phillip Dillard may finally get a chance to prove himself on Saturday at Virginia Tech.
Following Tuesday's practice, Dillard told Huskeronline.com he has been moved from Mike to Will linebacker and he's already working with the No. 1 defense.
Dillard was informed of the news late Monday night when linebackers coach Mike Ekeler told him to be at the North Stadium football offices first thing Tuesday morning to learn his new position.
"I can't tell you how excited I am," Dillard said. "The last few months have been very hard for me, but I've learned a lot from this experience and I'm excited to finally get my chance. I've worked awfully hard to get here."
The 6-foot-1, 235 pound Dillard has played in 33 games over his career and he was NU's starting middle linebacker last season, but he went down with an ankle injury on Oct. 25 in the Baylor game.
The Oklahoma native hasn't seen the field since then, and he's seen his spot on the depth chart fall considerably over the last year until now.
Dillard said he wasn't told why he was moved over to Will, but he doesn't really care to ask either.
"They just told me I'm moving and that's it," Dillard said smiling. "The only thing Coach Pelini told me was 'learn Will by 3 o'clock.'
As Dillard was walking off the field following Tuesday's practice, several of his Husker teammates were congratulating him on his new promotion.
Making the transition to Will also isn't that big of a concern to Dillard, because he said the biggest difference for him will be learning some of the different checks and calls.
Dillard said he's not for sure if he'll start on Saturday against Virginia Tech, but the fact that he was already working with the first team defense on Tuesday is a pretty good indication he'll see action against the Hokies.
"Virginia Tech is a really good team and it's going to take our best effort to win," Dillard said. "I'm really excited to get this chance. The first two games were really hard for me to sit on the sidelines like that and not get a chance to prove myself."