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Nebraska football quarterbacks ahead of schedule, plus more spring highlights

Nebraska football head coach Matt Rhule talked about the progress of his quarterbacks, plus more highlights from spring practice.



Nebraska football
Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska football was back on the practice field Saturday, three weeks before the spring game on April 27th. This wrapped up another week for the Huskers who scrimmaged and will scrimmage the next two Saturdays.

The spring game isn’t that much different from a scrimmage. I liked how Nebraska football approached it last season and treated it “like a game” for the most part with a lot of situational stuff.

Nebraska fans should remember though, that Jeff Sims looked like a baller last spring. We were all feeling good about the quarterback after that game and things didn’t pan out. So don’t overreact — to anything that happens in the spring. It’s just a part of the process but players have to keep building and improving.

So far, it doesn’t seem like there should be any concern about that. Rhule said the team is executing at a much higher level. He also talked about the leadership of guys.

Matt Rhule talks Nebraska football quarterbacks

Rhule mentioned how Nash Hutmacher “nearly got in a fight” with Terrance Knighton because Nash wanted to do more reps. That’s leading by example stuff and it’s great to hear about.  Yet, what caught my attention was Rhule’s talk about the quarterbacks on Saturday.

“They’re further ahead than I probably thought,” Rhule said. “There was a time where I used to be like, ‘Hey, guys, don’t worry about where you’re at on the depth chart, just learn and grow. But if the players are obsessed with where they are then I’m like, ‘OK, figure it out. Go win.’ Just worry about you. Be great at what you do. We’ve never kept a great player on the bench. We never have.”

While Dylan Raiola has been the talk of camp, Daniel Kaelin has been impressive too. Damon Benning said this after watching Kaelin: “He was fantastic, the reads, stepping up in the pocket”. “His ability to stay in the moment while Raiola is doing his thing on the field.”

Both young quarterbacks have had their moments this spring, which is a really good thing for Nebraksa football and if you believe Rhule, they are even farther ahead than he thought they would be at this point. That’s promising.

Another Nebraska spring football highlight

It was another day of the spring football league — a competition created by Rhule — between Nebraska players as they are divided into three different teams to compete in challenges as they try to “win the day.”

Well, the guy who won the day on Saturday was Riley Van Poppel. The rising sophomore who played in 11 games last season for the Huskers, notched a pick-six as he dropped back in coverage. It was a thing of beauty and might be the best play of spring practices so far.

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Chris has worked in sports journalism since 2005 writing for multiple newspapers and websites such as the Bleacher Report and Fansided before starting Husker Big Red, A fan site for hardcore followers of the #Huskers offering articles, podcasts, videos and more exclusive content on all things Nebraska