Thursday notes: Morgan moving forward after off-season arrest
Here's Thursday's complete notebook breakdown of all the major news and notes that came out of practice.
It hasn't been exactly the summer junior Nebraska wide receiver Stanley Morgan Jr. wanted.
Morgan was initially cited with a marijuana drug charge back in Florida this past May, but those charges were recently dropped.
It was a situation Morgan has learned a lot from, and hopes his experience will help him grow for the future. It remains to be seen if Morgan will miss any time for the past incident now that the charges have ultimately been dropped.
“You live and you learn,” Morgan said. “It was a learning experience, and just putting that in the past and build off that and grow as a young man.”
NU wide receivers coach Keith Williams can obviously relate with Morgan, after going through his own incident last August.
Williams said it's something he and all his guys try to learn from.
“We talk about that stuff in our room,” Williams said. “We talk about everything. Not only (Morgan's) experience, but we all share experiences in our room and we talk.
"That helps everybody when we talk like that in our room in terms non-football issues. His issue just adds to that when we have those kinds of conversations in our room.”
Morgan now is looking forward to being more of a leader on this football team in 2017. His approach going forward is a pretty simple one.
“Just going about my day every day saying I’m going to do right,” Mordan said.
Freshman Bradley making big first impression
As true freshman Jaylin Bradley joined an already heated competition at Nebraska’s running back position this fall, it was fairly easy to leave him out of the conversation about the 2017 backfield rotation.
But based on what the former Bellevue (Neb.) West standout has shown during his first week of fall camp, Bradley is becoming harder and harder to ignore.
Offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf delivered some nice praise for the three-star prospect who ranked as the No. 2 overall player in the state last season.
“He’s really athletic,” Langsdorf said. “He’s talented that way, which has stood out to me. He’s got a ways to go in learning and understanding what we’re doing, but he’s working on it. When has the ball in his hands he’s explosive, and that’s been fun to see.
“He’s doing a good job of showing what he has talent-wise. He’s just got to continue to learn, but he’s pushing this group. It’s been fun seeing how quickly he’s picked it up.”
Langsdorf added that as good as Bradley has looked in the reps he’s seen through five practices, it’s been how quickly he’s learned the offense and transitioned to the college game that has stood out as much as anything.
“He looks like he’s a veteran guy,” Langsdorf said. “He doesn’t look like a freshman who can’t line up. He goes out there and for the most part knows what to do. He’s still learning, but some freshmen you can say, ‘Oh he definitely looks like a freshman out there.’ I wouldn’t say that about Jaylin.”
- Robin Washut
Freshman wide receiver Warner suffers a hand injury
After getting off to a solid start the first few days of training camp, freshman wide receiver Kade Warner suffered a hand injury during Wednesday's practice.
Warner's NFL Hall of Fame father Curt broke the news on Twitter late Wednesday as he landed in Canton, Ohio to be inducted into the Hall.
Williams said it was a tough blow to lose Warner this early in camp.
“He hurt his hand. He was doing well,” Williams said. “I like Warner a lot. He’ll be back. It’s always unfortunate when a guy gets injured.”
Williams joked that hopefully some day he will get Cade's dad to Lincoln to throw to his receiver group.
“Not yet,” Williams said when asked if he’s asked Warner to come throw. “I’m sure we would accept that though. I know a couple guys pretty well that he threw to, so maybe I can get them to talk him into it.”
Davis breaks down his three backs
The running back battle in Fall Camp continues to be interesting on paper. Between sophomore Tre Bryant and juniors Mikale Wilbon and Devine Ozigbo things appear to be fairly tight.
Running backs coach Reggie Davis said all three backs continue to have their moments, and ideally they'd like for one to emerge as the featured guy. Davis added that he was real impressed with the physical shape Ozigbo reported to camp at.
“Devine did a great job of trimming down and really improving his body,” Davis said. “He did an excellent job there, so that’s helped him on the field. There’s not a huge difference right now.
"Tre, he’s consistent and that’s what you like about Tre. He can do it all and is consistent for us. With Mikale, he’s the most sudden and dynamic guy in the room. We are going to have to see what we are going to do there. We are still working that.”
Lee's pocket presence should make life easier for o-line
There’s something to be said for how many times Tommy Armstrong was able to escape sacks with his athleticism and scrambling ability over the past four seasons.
But with a much more pocket-centered quarterback in Tanner Lee now under center, Nebraska thinks life might get a lot easier for its offensive line when it comes to pass protection.
“I think having that consistent pocket and consistent drops and footwork is going to help the line,” Langsdorf said. “Tanner’s good with that. He’s got good footwork. He’s not too deep or too shallow in the pocket.
“The line knowing exactly where he’s going to be is a huge deal. They want to protect from that launch point spot, so I think good footwork by the quarterback will help protection.”
Junior left guard Jerald Foster echoed that sentiment, saying the task of protecting the quarterback becomes much easier when you know where he is going to be behind you on most every snap.
“Tanner is definitely a pocket guy,” Foster said. “He loves his pocket presence. Knowing where he’s going to be in the pocket the whole time, it’s easy to just keep your horseshoe and just run the pocket the whole time. It’s not too bad.”
- Robin Washut
***Langsdorf praised freshman receiver Tyjon Lindsey, calling him another explosive playmaker who has lived up to everything the coaching staff thought they were getting with him so far this fall.
***Senior receiver De’Mornay Pierson-El was only in half pads per NCAA rules because of the two practices he missed to attend his sister’s wedding, but he said he’s in the best shape of his life and his legs feel stronger than ever this fall.
***Asked about his impression of the quarterback group as a whole, Pierson-El chuckled and said, “Phenomenal.”
***Receivers coach Keith Williams said it wasn’t really a question of whether Lindsey would play right away this season, but more how much depending on how quickly he picks up the offense. Pierson-El said he’s taken Lindsey under his wing this fall, and even gave him a new nickname: “Slim Jim”.
***Running backs coach Reggie Davis said he was very pleased with the shape Devine Ozigbo was in entering fall camp. He said Ozigbo put in a lot of work this offseason and it shows.
***Offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh made it very clear that the standard has been raised for his group this season. He said this season will start and end with the offensive line for Nebraska, and he’s made sure the unit is aware of that. Cavanaugh used the word “tough” multiple times in describing what he wants from the o-line, and so far he said the group has done a good job of that.
***While Tyler Hoppes has received the bulk of the attention at tight end, Langsdorf said Jack Stoll and Matt Snyder “have really come a long way” since last season, adding that both were tough and smart players.
***Former Husker quarterback Beau Davis was in attendance for Thursday’s practice.
***A scout from the Seattle Seahawks also watched Thursday’s session.