Camp is here: What to watch
The Nebraska football team will officially take the field for the start of fall camp tonight at 6:45 pm. Just like in the spring, practices this month will be open to the media to watch and observe.
This was very beneficial in the spring in painting a more accurate picture of what was going on. It's rare in today's age of college football to have open practices, but it is something head coach Bo Pelini decided to go with last spring and stick with through fall camp.
Here are few things I'll be watching closely in day one of fall camp.
Shorter practice times
In the past Pelini's team would hold meetings before practice, then take the practice field for a 30 to sometimes 45 minute walk-thru session before the start of a two-hour practice.
This year Pelini and his staff have reworked that format and they will no longer spend so much time before practice doing a walk-thru. The actual practice time will also be closer to 90 minutes.
This means their time on the field will be shortened considerably, but what Pelini hopes is we'll see a fresher team not only physically, but mentally in 2014. It will be very interesting to see how this first week goes.
Let's get 'rowdy'
The theme at Friday's media day was Nebraska wants to be a "rowdy" bunch in 2014. The Huskers want to play with confidence and swagger, something that has been inconsistent at times over the last couple of seasons.
During the spring that was something the defense really hit on. Defensive coordinator John Papuchis wanted to see his guys have more fun. That's something the team has taken to heart this off-season and I expect to see a confident bunch take the field for the start of practice on Monday night.
Fresh new faces
Former Nebraska and now Oklahoma offensive coordinator Jay Norvell said it best back in 2005. The first day of fall camp is like Christmas morning for the coaches. They get the chance to open and play with their new toys for the first time, and most importantly see what they can do.
With that said, I think there are several newcomers that could make an impact this August. A few names I'll be watching closely are kicker Drew Brown, wide receivers Demornay Pierson-El and Glenn Irons, running back Mikale Wilbon, offensive linemen Tanner Farmer, Nick Gates and Jerald Foster, linebacker Jaevon Walton, defensive end Sedrick King and defensive backs Trai Mosely and Kieron Williams.
I think there's a good chance we could see a few of these guys have significant roles this year, a lot just depends how they adjust to the level of competition.