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Red-White Spring Game, 4/21/18

Tyjon Lindsey eyes the White defense during the fourth quarter of the Red-White Spring Game last month at Memorial Stadium.

KAYLA WOLF, Journal Star file photo

Scott Frost has preached a no-fear-of-failure mentality since he and his coaching staff arrived at Nebraska in the winter.

For Tyjon Lindsey, that means leaving behind a true freshman season in which he says he played scared.

Sure, 18-year-old kids are going to swim in it a bit that first season. There's a lot to learn. A lot to adjust to. A lot to soak in.

There's added pressure.

That was especially true for Lindsey, a heralded recruit out of Bishop Gorman High School in Nevada, who showed flashes of his potential throughout fall camp last year. It never fully carried over into games.

"What people didn’t understand is, one, he didn’t play almost at all as a senior (in high school)," said Keith Williams, Lindsey's former position coach at NU. "He wasn’t one of those incoming freshmen who was an All-American as a high school senior. So, when he got to practice, he was kind of rusty just in terms of the tempo and everything about football.

“Now we’re all saying, 'Get out there in the Big Ten.' He had to get up to speed."

Lindsey finished with 12 catches for 76 yards and seven carries for 4 yards, and he'll go into his sophomore season aiming for his first collegiate touchdown. More importantly, Lindsey is not afraid to fail.

"Last year I was very, very scared," Lindsey said after Nebraska's Red-White Spring Game last month. "I was new, I was a freshman, new type of offense. My biggest downfall in that was I was always nervous going into the game. I never wanted to mess up because you know it's my freshman year.

"I always had that in the back of my head, 'Don't mess up, don't mess up.'"

Count Lindsey among those embracing the no-fear-of-failure seeds planted by Frost and company.

"What that means, you just got to go 100 percent every play," Lindsey said. "No matter if you mess up, make sure you give it your all, leave it all on the field and have no fear of failure.

"A lot of players, we're all young and we always have the mentality to not mess up. We get into each other's heads and say just go 100 percent no matter what. You're going to get coached, that's why the coaches are here. You're an athlete for a reason. You're not going to be (perfect)."

Now preparing for his second year in college, Lindsey is feeling more comfortable, especially in Frost's up-tempo spread offense, a system more suited for the 5-foot-9, 160-pound Lindsey.

"With the spread offense it gives me more opportunities and more room," said Lindsey, who caught four passes for 14 yards and had one rush for 28 yards in the spring game. "You see me playing running back, wideout, slot, everything right now just to utilize me, seeing what fits me perfectly rather than be set on one position."

Lindsey also lined up to return punts during the spring game, another indication the coaches want the ball in the hands of their speedy playmakers.

The coach who recruited Lindsey, Williams, is excited to watch from afar.

“He has all the God-given ability," Williams said. "He’s quick, fast. But the one thing about him is, he’s really level-headed as a young man. He’s focused. He loves football, and he can really catch. The thing about him, in terms of not being the biggest guy, is he has natural hands. He’s able to play wide, in the mold of Santana Moss, Brandin Cooks — shorter guys who play outside at wideout. He can do that.”

Reach the writer at 402-473-2639 or cgrell@journalstar.com. On Twitter @LJSSportsGrell; Steven M. Sipple contributed to this story.

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Sports editor

Clark Grell is sports editor.

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