Spielman takes leave from football program
Nebraska senior wide receiver JD Spielman has taken a personal leave from the Husker football program.
In a written statement, NU head coach Scott Frost said Spielman will not be with the team this spring, as he currently is back home in Minnesota dealing with a personal issue.
HuskerOnline has learned that Spielman has not been with the team in the last two weeks of winter workouts.
Frost said in the statement the hope is for Spielman to re-join the program when he's ready to return. At this time he remains enrolled in his classes at UNL.
“JD Spielman is dealing with a personal health matter currently, and at this time is not expected to participate in spring practices,” Frost said in a written statement. “Everyone’s focus right now is on JD’s well-being and providing him with the appropriate support. We anticipate JD returning to the team in time for summer conditioning.”
Nebraska does not expect Spielman’s eligibility to be affected by this temporary absence.
Spielman is currently NU's third all-time leader in both receptions (170) and receiving yards (2,546). He ranks second all-time in career 100-yard receiving games with eight, and eighth in receiving touchdowns with 15. He led the Husker offense with 898 yards receiving on 49 catches in 2019.
Back in December at Nebraska's early-signing day press conference, Frost said they were "lucky" to have Spielman back another season.
"JD (Spielman) has been a phenomenal player around here for a long time," Frost said at the time. "We’re lucky to have him back another season. I’m excited to coach a guy who could be the all-time leading receiver in Nebraska history and have a piece of that as a coach. I’m really impressed with his toughness and what he’s done for his entire career at Nebraska."
The Huskers will have to rely heavily on sophomore Wan'Dale Robinson to fill Spielman's shoes this spring, along with multiple members of the five-man wide receiver class they signed in 2020.
Rivals.com ranked NU's 2020 receiver class third in the country behind just Ohio State and Georgia. Newcomer Alante Brown will be the only one of the five receivers on campus for spring practice.
Pickering, McQuitty both placed on medical scholarship
In other news on Monday, Nebraska also announced both sophomore kicker Barret Pickering and junior wide receiver Jaevon McQuitty have both left the team and will be placed on medical scholarship.
Pickering battled a hip injury that only allowed him to play in four games in 2019, after starting all 12 games in 2018.
Meanwhile, McQuitty saw action in nine games over the last two seasons. He had two catches for 14 yards. According to PFF College, he played a total of 70 offensive and special teams snaps at NU, 20 total snaps in 2019.
The release by NU also confirmed the news that walk-on kicker and UNL Club soccer player Matt Waldoch will not return to the program in 2020.