August 17 Husker football practice report

Posted By: Sports

Lincoln, Neb. — The Nebraska football team continued to prepare for the season by practicing Wednesday morning on the Ed and Joanne Gass Practice Field for just under two hours in sweats.

Head coach Mike Riley spoke to the media following practice, giving a brief status update on the team.

“I love this team,” Riley said. “I think the focus has been good and the leadership has been good. I think that practices are being revved up well, I feel really good. I like the personalities. I think all of those parts look good”

Riley also addressed current injuries on the team, including freshman linebacker Greg Simmons and junior wide receiver De’Mornay Pierson-El.

“Greg has really come around and I think what it was was a stiff neck fortunately,” Riley said. “[As for Pierson-El’s recovery,] everything feels good and looks good. His continuation of playing football and confidence is on the rise. I’ve talked to him in depth about that, as far as being cleared and feeling comfortable. That’s all good. We got some guys with a little bit of soft tissue, not near as much as we’ve had in the past. It’s one of the reasons we are like this today [in sweats]. I thought we had a lot of good mental work and good technical work [and] just wanted to do that. We need a lot of refining. This is good refining time.”

Riley also discussed current options for replacing former starting punter Sam Foltz.

“I’m really pleased with both guys (redshirt freshman Isaac Armstrong and true freshman Caleb Lightbourn) because this is the tough shoes to fill,” Riley said. “But I’m totally impressed with Isaac Armstrong’s work and improvement through the summer. Caleb has been relatively consistent and he’s powerful and talented. So we are just working. I think it’s going to be a really good situation.”

Finally, Riley talked about options for kick-off returners.

“Kick-off return guys, we are running the gamut,” Riley said. “We got some guys like [senior I-Back Terrell ]Newby that’s back there, [sophomore I-back Mikale] Wilbon that’s back there. [Senior I-Back] Jordan Nelson is what we call an off returner…he’s smart he can catch the ball and run it effectively. He’ll be one of those guy who is the main returner is on the other side. We are looking hard at [redshirt freshman I-Back] Wyatt Mazour, He was such a productive player in high school and he’s got some of those characteristics that look good. [Freshman wide receiver] JD Spielman looked real good to me this morning. We have got to figure that out fast but I think we have good candidates. [As for punt returners,] the top candidates are De’Mornay, [senior wide receiver Jordan] Westerkamp, and [sophomore wide receiver] Stanley [Morgan Jr.]. My guess is they’ll all do it.”

The Huskers will continue practice this afternoon.

“Tonight we will go in shoulder pads, we will have officials here,” Riley said. “We won’t scrimmage but we will have a two-minute drill. We’ll have a mixture of plays, first and ten, second and one, third and nine, first and ten, second and nine, third and six — just football stuff. We’ll do some red zone stuff. We’re heading into situational subs, we are pretty far along on that.”

Although season tickets are sold out for the 2016 season, fans who want to see the Huskers in person this season at Memorial Stadium can purchase single-game tickets from returning visiting team allotments.

Nebraska Athletics is offering the B1G Pack, where fans can save $10 off single-game pricing and receive a ticket to both the Purdue and Maryland games for $120.

Single-game tickets are also available to the Huskers’ season opener with Fresno State on Sept. 3 ($75) and the Oct. 1 homecoming game against Illinois ($65). To order tickets, visit or call 1-800-8 BIG RED during regular business hours (8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday.-Friday). For more information, visit