Wilbon making push in running back battle
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[rl]In most of the discussions regarding Nebraska's running back depth chart going into the start of fall camp, Mikale Wilbon wasn't just the odd man out, he didn't even crack the consensus top three on the list.
That all might change if he continues to play the way he has been through the first four fall practices, though.
According to offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf, the redshirt freshman has caught the attention of NU's coaching staff with his ability to break big plays both in the zone read running game and as a receiver out of the backfield.
With the Huskers looking to incorporate the screen pass game much more into the offense going forward, those flashes could end up earning Wilbon a role on the field come game day.
"You saw some of his speed," Langsdorf said. "He's caught a couple screen passes that have been exciting. He bounced a zone read (run) out and hit a big one. I like how he's come along. He's picking up our offense, he's doing a good job in protection, we've motioned him out and he's caught some passes. He's been a good threat there that's kind of a home run hitter in the zone game and then being able to catch the ball in the passing game has been exciting."
Wilbon came to Lincoln in 2014 as one of the top running backs in his class. A four-star prospect ranked No. 19 nationally at his position coming out of De La Salle (Ill.) Institute, the 5-foot-8, 190-pounder had just rushed for more than 1,200 yards in just six games as a senior.
The Chicago native then impressed so much during his season on the scout team that he was named the team's 2014 Scout Team MVP. Even with a new coaching staff taking over in the spring, Wilbon's play thus far has him very much in the mix to be a factor for the Huskers this year.
"Mikale's having a really good camp," running backs coach Reggie Davis said. "Talking to the strength guys, he did an exceptional job in the weight room in the summer time and you can see it right now. He's doing a great job in all aspects of the game right now. I'm excited about the improvements he's made from spring to now."
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