Red Report: Lindsey ‘shocker’; RBs have a sharp week; Verduzco familiar with Madison
Troy Walters knew Tyjon Lindsey wasn’t happy with his role in Nebraska’s wide receiving corps through four games, but saw potential for the sophomore to make more of an impact as the season progressed.
Instead, Lindsey asked for and was granted release from his scholarship on Tuesday and will transfer from NU.
“It was a shocker,” Walters, Nebraska’s offensive coordinator, said Wednesday morning. “I know he didn’t play as much as he would have liked to, but we have a long season and things happen.
“But he felt it was best that he pursued other opportunities.”
Lindsey, a heralded prospect in the 2017 class, had three catches (eight targets) for 22 yards this fall and finishes his Husker career with 15 receptions.
“He was getting better and better,” Walters said. “But he was frustrated with the reps that he was getting and he wanted to move on. We’ve just got to focus on the guys that are here.”
What’s unclear is what exactly Lindsey gains by leaving now. He can still take a redshirt for this year, but the understanding from NU’s end is that a player leaving at this stage will still result in having to sit out next season, barring any last-minute changes from the NCAA.
Even quarters system schools on the West Coast have started classes by now, so Lindsey or other players transferring now cannot move now and enroll elsewhere midsemester. Given the point in the semester, Lindsey can’t drop his classes here without failing them and thus will have to finish his coursework here this semester. As of late Wednesday morning, he was still listed in UNL’s student database.
RBs sharp this week: NU running backs coach Ryan Held admitted junior Greg Bell did not take the news well last week that Devine Ozigbo won the starting job against Purdue.
“I’ll be honest with you, and he knows this, last week when I told him Devine was starting it might have got in his feelings a little bit and he maybe felt sorry for himself,” Held said. “So when you feel sorry for yourself, you’re worrying about things you can’t control.”
But Bell, Ozigbo and freshman Maurice Washington — who did not play against the Boilermakers because he missed the whole practice week with an illness — have been sharp this week.
“Because they see that I’m not playing when I come to this stuff,” Held said. “There’s no participation medals at Nebraska. You don’t get a ribbon. You get it done or you’re not going to play. That’s just the way it is.”
Warner switched positions, won job: Kade Warner got his chance last week when freshman receiver Andre Hunt was ruled out for the week with a knee injury.
Warner, a redshirt freshman, had been playing in the slot — behind Lindsey, actually — but Walters tried him outside given the shortage of perimeter receivers.
“He had a good Monday, a good Tuesday, made some plays and knew what he was doing,” Walters said. “By Thursday, he was working with the 1s.”
Martinez’s next big challenge: Adrian Martinez’s growth as a quarterback will continue inside one of the Big Ten’s more hostile stadiums Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
Husker quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco can offer a few pointers to his true freshman quarterback. Verduzco was an assistant at Northern Iowa when the Panthers played Montee Ball and the Badgers in 2012 in Madison.
As for where Martinez has grown since the Colorado game, Verduzco says it’s learning how to practice like a champion no matter the period or tempo of the period.
In other words, staying even-keeled.
“The time to get fired up, (the) time to get down on yourself is after the game,” Verduzco said. “It’s the same thing at practice, and so that keeps you at least on an even keel with regards to playing at tough places like Michigan, Ohio State, Madison.”