Husker Assistants Talk to Media About Offense

Following practice on Thursday, assistant coaches Ryan Held and Mario Verduzco met with members of the media over video conference to discuss updates coming from the running back and quarterback rooms.

Held discussed how the eligibility freeze this season impacts the unit’s preparation for the upcoming season.

“It is nice to have that luxury to be able to have everybody all hands on deck,” Held said. “I have to get all these guys ready to play and they are one play away from being the No. 1 guy or the No. 2 guy. That is our mentality. With an eight, nine, 10 game with a bowl game season, you are going to need everybody. It’s a physical league as we know. We have to embrace that and get our guys ready.”

Held, who added the title of recruiting coordinator during the offseason, addressed how the Huskers’ recruiting efforts have been impacted by the global pandemic, particularly the inability of recruits to take visits to campus.

“We have embraced what the situation is. You have to figure out a way to make the most of it,” Held said. “We have been doing different Zoom recruiting calls with guys, showing them some facility things, showing them academics. All the different areas we feel we are at a championship level here at Nebraska. We have a lot to sell here, so our recruiting department has done a great job putting together presentations for these guys to where, yes, it’s not in person, but it’s really, really good.”

Coming into the season, Verduzco said he prepared as he usually would, making sure his players were ready to compete whenever an announcement to play was made.

“I just looked at it as we are playing and I worked and prepared as if we were going to play,” Verduzco said.” I told the quarterbacks to think of it that way.”

Keeping things simple for the quarterbacks has been a focus for the offense, and Verduzco feels good about his group’s preparation leading up to the season.

“Coach(Matt) Lubick has done a great job figuring out the base plays and even some of the third down situation offense and pass offense kind of stuff that we have been able to rehearse over and over,” Verduzco said. “For us right now in terms of what we have gone through, it has been really good. How it is going to translate into competition, we are going to find out, but I feel really good about it right now.”

Despite the unusual season so far, attention remains on keeping the players safe and healthy.

“It has been interesting,” Verduzco said. “You certainly don’t want to lose your quarterbacks, or any person on the team for that matter, but you certainly are cautious about that and making certain you are doing everything to keep those cats healthy.”

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