Nebraska Music City Bowl Football

Nebraska defensive back JoJo Domann, front, warms up during practice, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. Nebraska is scheduled to play Tennessee in the NCAA college football Music City Bowl Friday. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Surgery was three months ago exactly, and JoJo Domann happily reports he's "ahead of schedule" in his recovery.

What the Husker sophomore safety doesn't want to do, however, is try to come back earlier than is wise. Just as it was suggested when he suffered an ACL injury in the spring, a redshirt season is still very much a possibility while not a complete certainty.

Mike Riley initially said in early April a full recovery for Domann could take until around October -- that time of year when a touch decision may need to be made on whether to bring a player back for a limited season or not.

"I just want to make sure I don't re-injure myself," Domann said. "And I know Coach and I are on the same page. We're in good hands with Joshua Kalu and Aaron Williams back there right now, and Kieron Williams rotating in. So I think unless I'm going to be needed a lot, we're planning on just redshirting.

"But we'll sit down when that time comes and reiterate whatever we want to do."

Domann played last year as a true freshman, mostly working on special teams. He had eight tackles, and forced a fumble in the fourth quarter of the bowl game against Tennessee on kick coverage.

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Out of Colorado Springs, Colorado, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Domann was quickly rising in the safety competition this spring, seeming like the potential third guy at the position behind Kalu and Aaron Williams prior to the noncontact injury.

Domann spoke on Wednesday of the lessons he learned this spring from Bob Elliott, and how he hopes to carry those with him when he gets on the field again and works under the direction of new Husker safeties coach Scott Booker.

Working in Domann's favor is the fact he hasn't redshirted yet, allowing him the opportunity to sit out 2017 and still have three years of eligibility remaining.

If key players remain healthy at the safety spots this fall, the Huskers could work around Domann's absence without any panic necessary. But it was already clear by April he figures to be a major cog in this defense in the years to follow, especially considering that Kalu and Kieron Williams both won't be around next year.

First steps first: Keeping up that recovery pace so that he can have that conversation with Riley about how the rest of his 2017 will go.

"I'm just going to keep on working on my rehab, and in the weight room and in the film room," Domann said. "And whenever I'm ready to get cleared, I know Coach Riley and I are going to sit down and talk about what we want to do again, and just see what's the best for me and what's best for the team."

Reach the writer at bchristopherson@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraBC.


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