A quick update laced with a few questions regarding Nebraska running back Braylon Heard's possible transfer:
-- The situation is a bit confusing. MyValleySports.com reported Monday night that Heard is set to transfer. I heard the same thing from what I would describe as an OK source Monday night. The confusion comes from Bo Pelini's response. He was completely caught off-guard when I asked him via phone about the MyValleySports.com report. He was very reluctant to comment on news he hadn't heard about. He was pretty angry. We talked again later that night, presumably after he learned more. As of 11:15 p.m. Monday, Heard hadn't asked Pelini for a transfer, Pelini said. Would Heard make a final decision to transfer without first talking face-to-face with his head coach? Heck, maybe I'm too old-school.
I'm told that offensive coordinator Tim Beck also was surprised by the MyValleySports.com report. Not sure about Ron Brown.
-- I say "possible" transfer because we asked for official confirmation Tuesday and never heard from Pelini.
-- Heard will remain enrolled at Nebraska for the rest of the semester. He'll remain on scholarship, as far as I know. In other words, he has plenty of time to reconsider, if in fact his present plan is to transfer.
-- I've heard Nebraska coaches did ask -- or at least planned to ask -- Heard to perhaps play some reps as a slot receiver, with emphasis on "some reps." I think it would be a good way to get Heard on the field with greater regularity. He is versatile enough to handle the role. Think about a four-receiver set with Quincy Enunwa, Jamal Turner, Kenny Bell and Heard. Lots of talent there.
That said, I've always believed Heard would be given a fair shot to win the starting I-back job over projected starter Ameer Abdullah. Yes, I think Abdullah would emerge No. 1 in that race. But he wouldn't be handed the job, nor would he expect to be handed the job. Abdullah has said he has great respect for Heard's ability as a RB.
-- I know this is nit-picking. But I get a kick out of folks who label Abdullah as Nebraska's starting running back for next season, as if he won't have to win the job with his performance in practice. I would almost guarantee Abdullah understands he'll have to work hard for the starting role, whether Heard is on the team or not.