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Nebraska First Football Practice of the Upcoming Season, 8.4.16

Nebraska wide receiver JD Spielman practices in August at Hawks Championship Center.

Media wasn't allowed to watch Saturday's scrimmage inside Hawks Championship Center.

Judging from Mike Riley's reaction, though, it must have went OK.

The third-year Nebraska head coach said the scrimmage entailed 86 plays -- with first-unit players getting about 25 apiece. The action was moved inside because of lightning.

"I think it was a mixed bag a little bit," Riley said after the Huskers wrapped of their sixth practice of preseason camp.

He said the first-string defense played well -- made a lot of plays. He said the secondary "definitely made some plays."

"The one offense made some plays and -- not consistent -- but had some nice runs," Riley said. "I was excited about that, too."

He said all four quarterbacks "actually functioned OK."

He said false starts were an issue, indicating that most of those flags occurred with the lower units.

There was an injury to monitor in coming days, as junior wide receiver Bryan Reimers, a Lincoln East graduate, landed on his back catching a pass in drill work.

"I don't think right now that it's a long-term deal," Riley said.

A few other nuggets from Riley's session with media:

* Redshirt freshman receiver JD Spielman made some nice plays in the slot, both catching passes and running the ball, Riley said.

* Riley singled out redshirt freshman Ben Stille as a player who has "really caught everybody's eye in the last few days." A graduate of Ashland-Greenwood High School, Stille spent last year adding strength to his 6-foot-5 frame. The defensive end weighs 255.

Junior outside linebacker Sedrick King also drew praise from the coach, as did true freshman running back Jaylin Bradley. 

"He's been impressive all week long physically," Riley said.

* Kade Warner, the true freshman walk-on receiver from Scottsdale, Arizona, was taken off the 105-man preseason roster after suffering a broken hand earlier in the week.

* Riley described it as a "seamless, smooth" first week of drills, praising the team's overall leadership.

He singled out inside linebackers Chris Weber and Dedrick Young for their leadership. He also mentioned nose tackle Mick Stoltenberg in that regard.

"They do everything they're supposed to do," the coach said.

* Much more coming in a full report by Chris Basnett.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7440 or


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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