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The 3-2-1: Nebraska hits the halfway point of spring practice

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Sean Callahan

Nebraska will cross the halfway point of spring practice on Thursday. We hit on that and more in today’s 3-2-1 column.

THREE THINGS WE LEARNED THIS WEEK

1 – Nebraska easing back into Week 3 of spring ball

This is always a tough week in spring ball. Nebraska got all of its players back into town by Sunday night and then got back on the practice field Tuesday morning.

In years past, we’ve seen the Huskers sometimes go right on the practice field the Monday after spring break, but Scott Frost and his staff have learned a few things over the years.

By altering the schedule to Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday this week it will help the team ease back into the flow of things.

One NU coach told me after practice Tuesday, they obviously had some rust coming back, but practice looked a lot better than if they would’ve come back to work right away on Monday morning.

The Huskers will also host their annual high school football coaches clinic on Friday and Saturday.

The keynote speakers are Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph and former Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith.

2 – Cam Jurgens has made himself some money

We knew the numbers from Cam Jurgens’ Pro Day were elite on Tuesday, but when you see that his 9-11 mark in the broad jump would rank as the best-ever mark for a center prospect, that gets your attention.

Jurgens mark of 7.19 seconds in the three-cone also would’ve ranked No. 1 overall at the NFL Combine for all offensive linemen.

Jurgens is an elite athlete, and there’s no question he moved up his stock on Tuesday with the numbers he put up, along with what he had already shown on tape.

Just go back to the Oklahoma game, Jurgens looked different on the field against a Sooner team that featured 10 players invited to the NFL Combine. He was flying all over the place hitting guys 30 or 40 yards downfield. Scouts have now taken notice, and Jurgens is poised to be the first Husker player drafted this year.

3 – Nebraska continues its aggressive spring recruiting approach

After wrapping up three Junior Days in January and March, we’ve now seen Nebraska shift its recruiting approach over to VIP unofficial visits.

This week alone, the Huskers are expected to host at least four priority targets on VIP unofficial visits.

To be successful in recruiting at Nebraska, this is what it takes. You need to get as many people on campus as possible to show them everything NU has to offer and debunk any preconceived thoughts they might have about the state of Nebraska. I thought it was very telling to hear offensive lineman

talk about his visit to Lincoln this week.

Green was blown away by what he saw and now plans to come back and more than likely use one of his five official visits in May and June to visit Nebraska again. Before that visit, the Huskers were on the outside looking in, but now they are very much in the conversation with one of the top prospects in the region.

TWO QUESTIONS THIS WEEK

1 – What are your biggest concerns at the halfway point of spring ball?

When I look at this team through the halfway point of spring practice, these would be my two biggest concerns in terms of position groups.

On offense, today it would be tight end. With questions surrounding the health of Thomas Fidone, and both Chris Hickman and Travis Vokolek out from shoulder surgery, there are so many questions with this group now. What is Fidone’s outlook? Can Vokolek stay healthy for an entire season? Also what about Hickman? What does his return timeline look like, as he’s another guy that really hasn’t been able to stay fully healthy for an entire season since he’s arrived at Nebraska?

On defense, my biggest question still remains on the defensive line. Deontre Thomas and Damion Daniels deciding not to come back was a game-changer. If NU had these two players for one more year, things would look a lot different right now. With that said, the Huskers need to find at least one more quality body from the transfer portal.

2 – What is the biggest difference between Casey Thompson and Adrian Martinez thus far?

I thought it was interesting to hear Alante Brown talk about the biggest difference between quarterbacks Adrian Martinez and Casey Thompson thus far.

Brown told me that Thompson has been a much more vocal leader both on the field and behind the scenes.

It wasn’t necessarily a knock at Martinez, just more insight on how Thompson has operated so far and how much time and effort he has put in to make this work.

ONE PREDICTION: Ernest Hausmann won’t redshirt in 2022

Both inside linebackers Nick Henrich and Luke Reimer have been injury-prone over their Husker careers so far. Their lead back-up Garrett Snodgrass is out this spring recovering from an injury.

That has opened the door for several new faces to get opportunities this spring. One of those players is freshman Ernest Hausmann, who I’m told has looked very good in spring practice.

I predict today you will not see Hausmann redshirt in 2022 and he’ll find a way onto the field, either on special teams or eventually in the mix at inside linebacker.

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The 3-2-1: Nebraska hits the halfway point of spring practice

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