LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska football team practiced for a little over two hours on Wednesday morning in full pads inside the Hawks Championship Center. Defensive Coordinator Erik Chinander spoke to the media after practice about how he thought his defense has looked during the second week of spring ball.
“Today’s workout, I thought the offense got up a little bit early and then we made a nice comeback,” Chinander said. “The guys kind of huddled themselves together and got the energy up, and we started flying around. We finished practice really, really strong, and I think we’re moving in the right direction.” He went on to discuss the strides the defense has made and how far the unit has come since last spring.
“Even talking to some of the parents down there today, they noticed it,” Chinander said. “It’s faster-paced, it’s cleaner. The guys know how to practice, they know how to transition from drill to drill, and we almost don’t have to tell them. The stamina, maybe, is better. It was hard at first for these kids to get through practice the way we wanted them to and at the tempo we wanted…this year they are easily doing it. I think the strength and conditioning has a huge part in that with Coach [Zach] Duval. I think the tempo of practice is the most impressive thing right now.”
Chinander also talked about what has stood out to him about the defensive line. “It’s a deep group right now,” he said. “With the Davis brothers [Carlos and Khalil] and [Ben] Stille coming back, and now the two Daniels brothers [Damion and Darrion] and the addition of [Darrion]. There’s just a ton of guys, but I really like the violence they’re playing with up front, and they’re really running to the football right now.”
Chinander sang the praises of Darrion Daniels, a graduate transfer from Oklahoma State, and explained what he brings to the defensive line. “I think he’s brought some experience, he’s brought some leadership,” Chinander said. “He’s not afraid to speak his mind and he does it in a proper manner. He’s not trying to be the guy that comes in here [and says] ‘I’m going to run this team right away.’ By the way that he works, the way that he drills and the way he runs to the ball in practice, those guys are naturally starting to listen and follow along with him.”
The Huskers will continue their spring season with a morning practice on Friday. The annual Red-White Spring Game will be played on Saturday, April 13 at Memorial Stadium with kickoff set for 1 p.m.