Mosley prepared to make his mark if called upon
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[rl]Of the three cornerbacks in Nebraska's 2014 recruiting class, two have already carved out significant roles. Joshua Kalu is a starter and is arguably the team's best defensive back, while Chris Jones has been a valuable contributor on special teams and has started a pair of games on defense this year. The outlier is Trai Mosley, who redshirted last season, played solely on special teams and is still looking for his first career tackle.
But that could change this weekend. With Jonathan Rose suspended and Jones questionable for the Purdue contest, Mosley could see time in nickel packages across from Daniel Davie.
Defensive backs coach Brian Stewart said Mosley's lack of playing time isn't necessarily an indictment on him. The coaching staff just thought the other cornerbacks submitted better performances in fall camp, but the Huskers are confident Mosley can produce if called upon.
"He's a confident kid and he's been doing fine," Stewart said. "He's waited his turn and he's paid attention to all the details in meetings as well as practice. He's ready and he's excited."
Mosley is cut from a different mold than most of Nebraska's other cornerbacks. Listed at 5-foot-10, he's one of the shortest players on the team, and defensive coordinator Mark Banker generally prefers his cornerbacks to be long and lanky.
But what Mosley lacks in size he makes up for with quickness, and Stewart said his lack of height isn't holding him back.
"Despite his size, he's a physical kid," Stewart said. "The other guys are kind of long and their short-area quickness isn't the same. He's shorter and quicker, so he's going to get to things quicker on the underneath routes and things like that."
If Mosley does indeed get his opportunity against Purdue, he'll be in for a test. The Boilermakers don't have an explosive passing offense (eighth in the Big Ten in passing yards) or any game-breaking receivers. But safety Byerson Cockrell warns that just seeing the field for the first time is a challenge, and it's one he believes Mosley can pass.
"He works hard. He hasn't played as much but if he goes in, he'll be ready," Cockrell said. "It's something you don't really know until he gets out there. Practice is a lot different from the game. You can't make mistakes out there."
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