Husker head coach Mike Riley is excited to head into spring ball with a roster that has 121 guys on it.

That's something not many programs, including his past home Oregon State, have going for it.

But as usual, not everyone is walking without a limp as next Saturday's opening practice approaches. Here are some of the injury updates Riley provided during a Friday conversation with the Journal Star.

* Jamal Turner. The senior, who received a medical hardship after suffering a torn Achilles in Week 2 last fall, is "limited" heading into spring. During the first two weeks of practice, prior to spring break, it'll likely be more individual drills for the wide receiver, Riley said. "Then after spring break maybe he can get more involved."

* Michael Rose-Ivey. Riley said the junior linebacker "is going to be limited for two weeks, and then we'll see if we can go more with him." Rose-Ivey is coming off a torn ACL.

* Davis Santos. The senior linebacker, recovering from knee surgery, will be out this spring.

* A.J. Natter. The coach labeled the sophomore defensive end as "questionable" after a recent knee surgery. "Scoped though. So he probably won't do much this spring, but possibly after spring break ... Some of these guys might be limited at the start, but after spring break, he might be more involved."

* Corey Whitaker. The offensive guard also falls in the "limited" category. He's on his way back from a torn ACL suffered last fall.

* LeRoy Alexander. After a suspension that kept him out of the 2014 season, the junior safety will be practicing in the spring. "It's kind of up to him right now," Riley said. "He's got to make those good choices and take advantage of it. I'm looking forward to seeing him succeed."

Riley confirmed that Freedom Akinmoladun has moved positions from tight end to defensive end. Also, Luke Gifford is now a linebacker after playing safety.

"The Gifford thing looks like a natural," Riley said. "Athletically, size, the whole deal. And then it was also out of almost necessity with the depth at linebacker. That's the worst place for depth on our team right now. So I think it's a great move for him for opportunity, and I think it's a good fit for him with his ability."

And Akinmoladun? "I think athletically, just watching him in the offseason program, he needs to try to play defensive end. It'll be interesting to see what he can do here. Everyone's always looking for that guy, right? That can impact you on the defensive line."

Much more to come, on many different issues, on Riley's talk.

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


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