Northwestern vs. Nebraska, 10.24.15 (copied for 11.18.15 Red Report)

Nebraska offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf (right) talks to quarterback Tommy Armstrong before the Northwestern game on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015, at Memorial Stadium. Langsdorf, who is also the quarterbacks coach, says the Huskers are open to adding a junior college quarterback to add depth at the position.

Nebraska offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf said Tuesday the Huskers are open to adding a quarterback from the junior college ranks to the 2016 recruiting class.

Langsdorf, who doubles as quarterbacks coach, said such a player would be sought to provide depth, adding that it's not as if Nebraska is aggressively pursuing a junior college quarterback.

Asked if he's identified a certain juco quarterback or two, Langsdorf said, "I've got a couple names. But we're not really pursuing a J.C. guy."

Such a player would have to be the right fit, Langsdorf said.

"I'm just saying offensively, we're always looking at each position," he said. "Do we have the depth we want? Do we need to add?

"We're looking at all the positions in terms of, 'Is there a possibility there? And if so, can we get him on campus, can we get him into school?"

Huskeronline.com reported Tuesday that former Omaha North quarterback Zach Martin, currently the starter at Iowa Western Community College, will make an unofficial visit to the Nebraska campus Wednesday.

Langsdorf indicated that if Nebraska were to add a junior college quarterback to the 2016 class, that player would need to enroll in time to be on hand for spring practice. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Martin, listed as a dual-threat QB, is set to graduate in December.

"It's hard to bring them in in the summer and have them really be on the same page as everybody," Langsdorf said.

Nebraska's 2016 class already includes four-star quarterback Patrick O'Brien of San Juan Capistrano, California.

Illustrating how serious NU coaches are about recruiting during the bye week, defensive coordinator Mark Banker said he'll be recruiting at junior colleges in both Pennsylvania and Arizona, as well as Calabasas High School in California this week.

"I am specifically going to talk to two safeties," Banker said. "Hank (Hughes) has a couple D-ends he's going to see ... (Brian Stewart) is going to see a junior-college corner as well as some of the guys in the secondary high school-wise."

At linebacker, Banker doesn't know that the Huskers will dip into the junior-college ranks to finish this class. "I think we're going to continue the youth movement,"  unless coaches find a junior college player at the position that really knocks them over, he said.

* RUN-GAME RHYTHM: Nebraska found rhythm in the running game Saturday against Rutgers — 38 rushes for 174 yards (4.6 per carry) — after experiencing similar success in that area against Michigan State.

Langsdorf cited several reasons for improvement.

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"I think we're playing with better pad level," he said. "I think we're moving the pile. We're creating holes better than we have, being more physical up front. I think our tight ends have been heavily involved, and they're doing a nice job.

"And we've had good work from our fullback (Andy Janovich) in terms of lead blocks. I just think we're playing with good technique and fundamentals and doing a good job of staying physical throughout the game."

* OPEN TO CHANGE: Langsdorf said senior Zach Sterup's move from right tackle to right guard two weeks ago has been a big part of the line's improved physical play. The coach said Sterup's position switch is indicative of the staff's willingness to make lineup changes when necessary — even along the offensive line, where NU seldom substitutes.

"We're not going to just sit back and say, 'Well, these are the five we're playing with and that's it,'" Langsdorf said. "We're going to continue to evaluate it every day, and we want to play the best five. And right now I think we're playing the best five."

* LOCKED IN: During Nebraska's open weekend, many of the Huskers will be watching Iowa's game against Purdue on Saturday, eager to see if Iowa will come to Lincoln next week with an 11-0 record.

"I'm going to watch the entire game," junior wide receiver Alonzo Moore said. "I'm even going to watch the commercials, too, because there might be something in the commercials that I might need to use. I'm going to watch the entire thing. I'm going to be tuned in."

Moore said he'll be rooting for Iowa because the Hawkeyes being undefeated would make the Nebraska-Iowa game more fun.

Moore has played against Iowa before, so he says he already knows what to expect.

"They play very, very hard and they don't stop until the end of the game. We know we're going to get their best effort," Moore said.

* STAYING SHARP: The bye week was very welcome to the Huskers and their coaches.

"The bye week will definitely be good for us just to study Iowa a little more intensely and take care of our bodies a little better," senior running back Imani Cross said.

The Huskers went 11 weeks without a break, and they enter the bye with plenty of momentum.

Banker stressed the importance of the players remaining in game mode.

"You want to keep that juju going," Banker said. "I told the players, from a mental standpoint, it's good that we don't have a game, so the crush of the game is not there. But what we've got to do is we've got to prepare like we're getting ready for a game so you keep that sharpness."

— Steven M. Sipple, Clark Grell, Brent Wagner and Brian Christopherson

Reach the writer at 402-473-7440 or ssipple@journalstar.com. On Twitter @HuskerExtraSip.


Husker columnist

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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