Red-White Spring Game, 4.11.15

Nebraska quarterback Ryker Fyfe (17) throws a pass during the second quarter of the Red-White Spring Game on Saturday, April 11, 2015, at Memorial Stadium.

Someday, Ryker Fyfe said he may openly address his personal and health issues that caused his absence from the Nebraska football team this summer.

That day is not today. It won’t likely be tomorrow, either.

The junior from Grand Island has more pressing tasks at hand — namely, rising on the depth chart and reclaiming his status as backup quarterback behind returning starter Tommy Armstrong.

Fyfe admits there were times this summer he wondered if he’d ever see the opportunity again.

“It crossed your mind, but I battled through it and I’m here now,” he said. “That’s all that matters.”

Fyfe didn't offer details, nor was he pressed to delve into why he wasn’t around the program from early May until the final week of July, when he returned 23 pounds lighter. He’s since regained seven pounds.

“It wasn't a great summer. It was rough. Some things just happened, and I had to make sure I got healthy first before I could come back and play football,” Fyfe said, noting he had no such issues during spring practices in March and April. “I’m just happy to be here every day and just work.”

Fyfe thanked the team, his friends and his family for their support.

“And these coaches are just amazing,” he said. “They really helped me get through some things.”

They also told Fyfe he’d have every opportunity to claim the No. 2 quarterback position, a spot Fyfe held last season when he played in seven games and attempted 10 passes, completing four.

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“They said, ‘You keep competing, you come back, and you look healthy and fine, you’ll get a chance,’ ” Fyfe said. “Last week they kind of moved me up to the 2s and said, ‘You’re going to get a shot at this.’ I’ve been trying to come in every day focused.”

Fyfe got the first crack with the No. 2 offense in Saturday’s first major scrimmage of fall camp. Offense coordinator Danny Langsdorf said the backup job is “still a fluid deal,” noting redshirt freshman AJ Bush is playing well.

Langsdorf also likes Fyfe’s ability to make plays.

“He’s done a nice job looking at a defense, and getting in the correct order of the progression, finding the open receiver and taking care of the ball,” Langsdorf said. “I like how he’s relaxed and poised. He doesn’t get fazed by anything. So I like his calm demeanor and the fact he’s able to make a few throws.”

Junior receiver Brandon Reilly was pleased but not surprised with Fyfe’s play in Saturday’s scrimmage.

“He did what we’ve all seen throughout the past few years. We knew he can throw,” Reilly said. “When he’s confident back there, he’s a very, very good quarterback. I think he’s stepping up and showing he can contribute to this team. If Tommy gets hurt or comes out, we can be confident with Ryker stepping in.”

During his absence, Fyfe said he wasn't contacted by schools wondering if he was looking to transfer.

Meanwhile, teammates knew of Fyfe's circumstances and were supportive, Reilly said.

“I had texted him a few times and knew he was struggling,” Reilly said. “We didn’t want to dog on him, but once he came back, everyone was supportive and glad to have him back and healthy and contributing out here.”

Reach the writer at 402-473-7436 or brosenthal@journalstar.com. On Twitter @HuskerExtraBR.


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