Just four practices in to fall camp, the Huskers have already hit the ground running, according to defensive coordinator Erik Chinander.
“Yeah, I think they’ve picked up where they’ve left off,” Chinander told reporters at the Hawks Championship Center following Nebraska’s practice. “A lot of retention from the older guys. Installs come a lot faster than last year.”
However, the newer additions to Chinander’s unit have had some struggles trying to keep up. “I think they’ve hit the rookie wall a little bit, practicing like we practice, lifting and all that kind of thing so I think they might be getting a little heavy legged,” Chinander said.
The gains NU has made from last year are most apparent when it comes to their forcing of turnovers in practice, something that was a struggle for them last year. Chinadner said that there were 3-4 interceptions as well as a couple of stripped balls Monday morning.
“What happens in practice shows up on Saturday and right now, it’s happening in practice,” Chinander said. “Is it going to continue? That’s my challenge to them.”
Outside linebackers and special teams coach Jovan Dewitt spoke to reporters as well. Dewitt has spent the better part of the year battling cancer. He told reporters that throughout the ordeal, he lost 102 pounds that he’s only now starting to slowly gain back. All of that is in the rear view mirror though for Dewitt, who is just happy to be back at work.
“Felt really, really good,” Dewitt said with a smile, stifling coughs as he spoke to the media members huddled around him. “Like I’ve said before, It’s not what we like to do, it’s what we’re obsessed with doing. For me, it’s my ultimate release to be able to be on the grass, coaching ball and being with our guys.”
Dewitt feels good about his group, too. “Just watching the drill work over the course of the last couple days… you feel so much better about some of the stuff that’s going on with our guys.”
In other news and notes from practice:
- Chinander had praise for both Collin Miller and Darrion Daniels, praising the former’s strength and speed and the latter’s leadership ability.
- Chinander cited Wan’Dale Robinson and Dedrick Mills as impressive additions to the offense.
- Junior OLB JoJo Domann has not been cleared for camp, Dewitt said. No specifics were given on why he was not cleared. Domann was not present at the Husker’s annual Fan Day last week either.