Huskers practice report touches on Stoltenberg, I-backs, others

Huskers defensive lineman Mick Stoltenberg (44) stands on the field during a Nebraska game against Fresno State, Sept. 3, 2016 (KHGI)

LINCOLN - The Nebraska football team practiced inside Memorial Stadium Tuesday afternoon, working out for just over two hours in full pads and helmets.

Head Coach Mike Riley met with the media following practice and commented on the ongoing preparation for the Sept. 2 season opener.

“We had good work,” Riley said. “This was a pretty long day today for them. The ending period was enthusiastic and good work which is a good sign. [It was] kind of an indicator of how they’ve been most all the time so it’s good stuff.”

Coach Riley briefly touched on the status of defensive lineman Mick Stoltenberg, who missed practice last week because of injury.

“(Mick is) good, he came back Monday and has done these two days all day,” Riley said. “He’s doing well.”

Riley mentioned offensive lineman Cole Conrad about how he changed positions and now is projected to be the starter at center.

“Cole Conrad is a great story,” Riley said. “Cole has always had the confidence . . . When given the opportunity, he proved himself to be a good football player and a very reliable person. (Coach Mike Cavanaugh) does a nice job of basically looking at the big picture, deciding physically what might fit and then talking to the players about it himself. He’s blended all that very well.”

Riley detailed the current I-back situation with Tre Bryant, Mikale Wilbon and Devine Ozigbo as the starting contenders.

“As far as singling somebody out, maybe the top guy, not ready to do that,” Riley said. “I actually think that the three guys that are healthy right now; Tre Bryant, Mikale Wilbon and Devine (Ozigbo) throughout camp have been fairly consistent and flashed as good players throughout. They’re making it difficult. The other guy that before, he’s missed a few days here with the ankle, Jaylin Bradley has really flashed also. All I can say is that we’ll have it by the first of the week, probably in the depth order. There’s not a big separator right now.”

Riley also touched on who will be the punt returner, mentioning senior wide receiver De’Mornay Pierson-El as the top guy for the job while mentioning Tyjon Lindsey and Stanley Morgan Jr. as other possibilities.

“We all love De’Mornay (Pierson-El) and what he can bring,” Riley said. “We also have to have other guys trained. Tyjon Lindsey is a natural. He can go back there. We know Stanley Morgan Jr. is very reliable to make big plays for us. We’re pretty versatile but De’Mornay will be the initial guy.”

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