Husker football spring practice, 3/28

Nebraska linebacker Tyrin Ferguson (43) heads outdoors with his teammates during spring football practice on Tuesday, March 28, 2017, at Hawks Championship Center.


Keep an eye on reserve linebacker Tyrin Ferguson.

That was one major takeaway from Nebraska linebackers coach Trent Bray's session with media Tuesday. Bray said Ferguson, a sophomore inside backer from New Orleans, worked diligently in the offseason, watching a lot of film and asking a lot of questions.

Bray was among Husker assistant coaches and select players who were available for interviews after practice at Hawks Championship Center.

Bray also said he's impressed by the work of field-side outside linebackers Marcus Newby and Luke Gifford, who are competing for a starting job.

"Luke is really stepping up his game every day," Bray said.

Other nuggets from Tuesday's media availability:

* Ben Stille, a reserve defensive end, is flying around and providing a good pass rush, according to defensive line coach John Parrella.

"He's got to keep doing that every day, and we're excited about his potential for the future," Parrella said of the Ashland native.

* Nebraska defensive coordinator Bob Diaco once again praised the players' effort in camp, which is just over a week old.

In addition, he agreed with head coach Mike Riley that there were some missed tackles in the open field during Saturday's scrimmage.

"I didn't hear or read the comment (from Riley), but having to make tackles in the open field is an appropriate comment for any contest in American football (or) anywhere in the world," Diaco said.

He seemed pleased with the defense's overall performance Saturday.

* Peyton Newell, a junior from Hiawatha, Kansas, was told by Parrella the day before preseason camp he was moving from defensive end to nose tackle.

"It was a last-minute decision (by the coaches)," the 6-3, 298-pound Newell said. "They obviously knew that's where I would be the best fit. It was where they see me contributing, and I'm liking it a lot."

Reach the writer at 402-473-7440 or


Steven, a lifelong Nebraskan, newspaper enthusiast and UNL grad, joined the Journal Star in 1990 and has covered NU football since 1995.

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