Ron Brown confirmed Wednesday that the plan for now is to redshirt true freshman running back Adam Taylor.
The decision ultimately belonged to Taylor, who is part of a seemingly loaded backfield of Ameer Abdullah, Imani Cross, fellow true freshman Terrell Newby and walk-on King Frazier.
"There was a good chance I would have just played Adam if he had wanted to play. He's good enough to play. That's not the issue," said Brown, NU's running backs coach. "The issue is that it was his request. I wanted to consider that and honor him. If we absolutely need him right now, we'll ask him to pull the redshirt."
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound back from Katy, Texas, sounds like a good option to have in an emergency.
“I’ve been really impressed with his straight-away speed," Brown said. "I knew he was fast, but I didn’t know he was that fast. And he’s not only fast, he’ll put a dent in you.”
* MOVING PAST MISTAKES: With so many young players expected to play Saturday, Nebraska defensive backs coach Terry Joseph was asked how much leeway those youngsters will get if they look lost against Wyoming.
“We know there’s going to be some mistakes, but we’re not going to drop our standards and our expectations," Joseph said. "We’re going to correct those mistakes and then throw them back out there. We’re not going to fire somebody in the first game of the season and have them lose confidence, because the season is a marathon, not a sprint."
Joseph said veteran players like Corey Cooper and Ciante Evans — two of the seven players who received Blackshirts on Wednesday — have talked to the young players a lot about understanding how to let bad plays go.
“Just play the next play, and when they get to the sideline we’ll make corrections," Joseph said. "What we don’t want is to have the snowball effect. We need to get away from last year, when we’d have four or five bad plays in a row.”
* IT'S IN THE DETAILS: It will be a memorable moment for Cooper when he trots out to start his first game at his natural position of safety Saturday.
Joseph said Cooper's attention to detail this past year has made all the difference.
"It kind of gets blown out of proportion for young players and they think when they first get here they can get by on their ability alone," Joseph said. "And Coop is one of those guys who realized over time, 'Hey, I'm a great athlete, I'm big, strong and fast, but at the end of the day, I have to know the details of the defense a little better.'
"And I think he's dedicated himself in that respect, and now we're seeing a different player who's playing as fast as you think he is."
* ZAIRE'S GROWTH: Defensive coordinator John Papuchis said junior linebacker Zaire Anderson is "light-years ahead" of where he was a season ago, when he was called into action against Arkansas State.
Anderson was just "in survival mode" at that point, Papuchis said.
The linebacker's season came to a premature end after that game when it was discovered he had a torn ACL.
A downer at the time, it now could be a positive, since Anderson received that year of eligibility back and still has two to play.
"I told him this a year ago, and I think it's kind of coming true, the injury was really a blessing in disguise for him," Papuchis said. "Because I don't know that he was really prepared to be thrust into that role a year ago, and now he has had a year to learn everything he needs to know. He's much more prepared to play in games."
* RETURN UPDATES: At this moment, Kenny Bell and Terrell Newby are Nebraska's top kick returners.
Jamal Turner is the top punt returner. Other options there include Newby, Abdullah and redshirt freshman Jordan Westerkamp.
Special-teams coordinator Ross Els has said Westerkamp's hands make him a good option at a spot where Nebraska lost five fumbles a season ago.
"He's just a good athlete. I mean, at wideout, that kid catches everything," Els said. "Obviously, with what happened last year, we need a guy like that back there."