Nebraska’s quarterback competition took center stage after practice Wednesday.
One by one, the most prominent members of football’s most prominent position fielded questions from media members after the Huskers completed the first third of their 15 spring workouts.
Casey Thompson — in his first general interview since joining NU from the transfer portal in January — broke down his decision and his early impressions of new teammates. Logan Smothers noted some changes within the offense, including more five-step drops and watching offensive coordinator Mark Whipple “do his thing” with coach Scott Frost less intimately involved. Chubba Purdy and Heinrich Haarberg discussed their outlooks as the young guys in the room.
“The biggest thing is we’re getting such good leadership from the quarterback position,” Frost said. “Those guys are driving the huddle, they’re pushing the team, they’re setting examples. We need that as a football team.”
Thompson – whom Frost said has caught on to the new tweaks to the offense the quickest – said spring ball has gone better than he might have hoped so far. The receivers are talented – he mentioned seven that have impressed him – and his relationship with teammates is growing stronger. Nebraska’s ability to help him financially with name-image-likeness opportunities has to be one of “the best,” he said, and certainly better than his old program at Texas.
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Thompson said he spent two weeks researching a new potential landing spot before he entered the portal in December. Nebraska stood out for its potential to win games and its offense, he said. He even called former QB Adrian Martinez for input, with the four-year NU starter having only good things to say about the Huskers.
Though Nebraska has five scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, Frost said it is effectively three right now when it comes to divvying out snaps. Purdy has been limited with a foot injury, Whipple said, though the QB added he expects to be full go after spring break next week. Freshman early enrollee Richard Torres is also out while recovering from a knee injury last fall.
>> Whipple said receiver Omar Manning has been working in the slot this spring. That would be a change from his use on the outside previously.
>> Ball security remains a focus for the offense, Whipple said.
>> The new assistants have made their marks early this spring, Frost said. Mickey Joseph (receivers), Bryan Applewhite (running backs) and Donovan Raiola (offensive line) in particular have brought a new energy to practices.
» Stay with Omaha.com for updates from Wednesday’s Husker press conference.
Video: Nebraska football’s spring camp, March 9
Scott Frost full press conference for spring practice, March 9, 2022
Chubba Purdy “anywhere you go, you will have to compete”
Sam and Evan recap quarterback day at Nebraska practice
Casey Thompson full press conference for spring practice, March 9, 2022
Logan Smothers “I came here from Alabama, this is where I want to be.”
Heinrich Haarberg “a healthy quarterback room is always good”
Mark Whipple ‘I’m more encouraged: than I am discouraged’
Heinrich Haarberg “Lincoln feels like home”
Heinrich Haarberg last year’s coaching changes “it was a little scary”
Nebraska’s Chubba Purdy on his brother Brock’s influence
Nebraska’s Chubba Purdy on what drew him to Nebraska