Nebraska raised between $160,000 and $170,000 for the state’s flood victims between the Huskers’ spring game and the NIT home basketball game in March, NU athletic director Bill Moos said on his monthly radio show Monday night.
“It was heartwarming,” Moos said of fans’ generosity. The Huskers’ pregame Tunnel Walk featured NU players talking about flood relief in the state.
More from Moos:
» Nebraska will adding two “pioneers” to the Nebraska Athletics Hall of Fame for their contributions to the school. NU will announce the 2019 class later this week and induct the coaches, athletes and pioneers around the Ohio State home football game.
» Moos said he wants to continue studying whether NCAA schools should add a third full-time assistant to baseball teams. The Big Ten and the Big 12 had preliminary votes against the proposal, Moos said. He wants to study the issue further.
“There’s debate on it, and you get the purists and then you get those ‘if we do it for baseball, we need to do it for softball,’” Moos said. “I think it needs to be studied more.”
Nebraska can probably absorb the expense for baseball and softball, Moos said, but not every team in the Big Ten is in as fortunate a financial spot as NU.
» Moos said he wants to “phase in” more tumbling and stunting with Nebraska cheerleaders because it “adds to the overall show” of a college football game. NU discontinued tumbles and stunts starting with the 2007 fall sports season. Moos said he and his wife, Kendra, were impressed by the show put on by Indiana’s cheerleaders when Nebraska played a basketball game there.
“We’re losing really talented young people who want to go and do these things,” said Moos, who also authorized the addition of men’s cheerleaders back to the team. Moos said NU’s cheer coaches and trainers are experts in preserving the safety of the cheer athletes.
“We’re not going to pyramid two, three, four-high,” Moos said. “We may down the road.”
» Moos again intimated new golf facilities are on their way after Nebraska’s men’s team lost a “very, very good recruit” – whom Moos couldn’t name – because of facility deficiencies.
The golfer is believed to be Luke Kluver, who picked Kansas over NU.
» Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany – retiring in 2020 – will be difficult to replace, Moos said.
» Most college football coaches will meet in Arizona in late April. Big Ten athletic directors and administrators will meet in May.
“We get along great,” Moos said of Big Ten ADs. “A lot of respect for each other. We know how complicated these jobs are.”
Nebraska punter Caleb Lightbourn enters NCAA’s transfer portal
Nebraska punter Caleb Lightbourn confirmed Monday he’d entered the NCAA transfer portal, seeking a new destination to play his senior season of football.
Lightbourn was NU’s starting punter for two-and-a-half seasons before he was replaced by walk-on and senior-to-be Isaac Armstrong midway through the Wisconsin game last season. He later lost kickoff duties as well after a botched onside kick attempt at Ohio State.
The 6-foot-3, 250-pound native of Camas, Washington, still has a redshirt season remaining because he was thrust into the starting punter role as a true freshman after the death of Sam Foltz, who was Lightbourn’s brief mentor in college. Lightbourn spoke to students and media on the day of Foltz’s passing, communicating he’d do the best he could. Over three seasons, the 2017 campaign — when he averaged 42.1 yards per punt and was coached by defensive coordinator Bob Diaco, who put Lightbourn through rigorous drills — was his best.
Armstrong is the odds-on candidate to start at punter in 2019. NU also welcomes a transfer from Michigan State, William Przystup, this summer.
While Lightbourn retains the right to remove his name from the portal, once he enters in, Nebraska has the right to remove Lightbourn from scholarship at the end of the semester.
Nebraska lands defensive tackle Jahkeem Green as a late add for 2019 class
LINCOLN — Nebraska’s defensive line was already considered a strength heading out of spring camp. The addition of Highland (Kan.) Community College defensive lineman Jahkeem Green — should he complete all of his coursework — is likely to make it stronger.
And NU has an SEC rule to thank for the four-star’s pledge.
The 6-foot-4, 300-pound Green is choosing to complete a college algebra class online at a school other than Highland. The SEC won’t accept such classes. That meant Green, a Sumter, South Carolina, native, couldn’t sign with the home-state Gamecocks in February.
Enter the Huskers. The Big Ten will accept the online math class. Hence, Green can sign with Nebraska when he completes all of his academic requirements at Highland, said Judd Remmers, one of Green’s Highland coaches. So NU pursued Green for a late addition to its 2019 class, hosting him twice in three weeks. Green committed in person to Nebraska coaches on Sunday, less than 24 hours after the spring game.
Monday, he gave Remmers the green light to announce the commit. Green, who has not responded to multiple World-Herald requests for comment, is a private guy, Remmers said. Doesn’t talk much. But he liked what Nebraska was selling on his trip, especially position coach Tony Tuioti.
“The Nebraska coaching staff was up front and honest with him the whole way,” Remmers said. “They didn’t pull any punches with him. And when he went up there and saw Nebraska, he saw it was the truth.”
Green had 67 tackles — seven for loss — last season at Highland, which employs former NU tight end Kyler Reed. It’s also one of the many coaching stops for current Nebraska running backs coach Ryan Held, who was at Highland when NU signed former defensive end Joe Keels. Remmers said Green accumulated all of his offers after his freshman season — including Alabama — but had his heart set on returning to South Carolina.
It’ll be Nebraska instead.
NU is getting a player who didn’t mail in his sophomore season — despite having earned all of his scholarship offers — and possesses natural toughness.
“His strength is his strength,” Remmers said. “He has a pretty good get-off, and he does a good job of using his hands. He has long arms, he can create separation and he runs to the football. He’s not just a plugger. He can run to the football.”
Green has three years to play two seasons. He’s taking 20 credit hours in the spring semester — including the three-hour online math class — and then will have one more class to complete the short semester in June. After that, Remmers said, he’ll be headed to Nebraska in time for training camp.
“He’s putting in the work,” Remmers said. “He has a lot on his plate now academically. He’ll get it done.”