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Sunday, August 20, 2006

This and That

•The 2006 team captains are Zac Taylor, Adam Carriker and Brandon Rigoni. The first two names were probably expected, while the last is a much deserved surprise. Rigoni joins the list of players from Lincoln who have been named captains that includes the likes of Barrett Ruud, Trevor Johnson, Rob Zatechka and Steve Damkroger.

•New JUCOs are continuing to make waves in Fall Camp. Maurice Purify, Kenny Wilson, Andre Jones and Carl Nicks, have all opened eyes and turned heads. You never really know what you are getting with JUCO guys and by definition they have little time to develop. The coaching staff was counting on these four to come in and make an impact and in this case, it looks as though it will happen.

•The cornerback position continues to suffer. Andre Jones recently tweaked a hammy and sat out a few days, and Grixby and Fluellen continue to practice in casts. Fortnunately, Tyrell Spain looks to be progressing in his position switch and may be able to provide much needed depth.

•Speaking of Spain, it will be interesting to see if he stays at CB next season. If he does we would have five senior cornerbacks in Grixby, Bowman, Jones, Spain and Brothers. Something will have to give there.

•Linebacker Steve Octavian also recently had surgery to remove his appendix. He was back jogging, however, at Friday’s practice. This is good news as I worried he was going to go all Lannie Hopkins on us.

•In special teams news, true freshman walk-on Michael Such is apparently pushing Dan Titchener for the starting punting job. Interestingly, all of our punters are currently sporting uniform numbers in the 90s, which seems to be a new trend at NU. Titchener is #97, Such #91 and Jordan Alegria #90.

•At kicker Jordan Congdon is hoping to handle both kickoffs and field goals this season after sharing the kickoff duties with Jake Wesch last year. Congdon will also be trying to avoid the sophomore slump that afflicted current NFL kickers Kris and Josh Brown while they were at NU. After connecting on 81% of his tries as a freshman in 1995, Kris Brown was successful on just 63% of his attempts as a sophomore. Josh Brown hit 70% of his field goal tries as a freshman in 1999 and just 50% of his attempts in 2000. Last season, Congdon nailed 19/23 attempts.

•Tom Shatel raved about the stadium improvements. Those of you outside the Lincoln area can see some decent shots of the stadium project here. In addition, I have also occasionally been able to view the new big screen in action here.

In other news around the college football world:

•Burnt Orange Nation has a detailed write-up of the Longhorns' scrimmage on Saturday. The QB job looks like it is Colt McCoy’s to lose and I fear that Texas still has as much talent as anybody.

•Scott Wolf looks at some possible defensive alignment changes at USC.

•Rutgers is going all out in promoting Brian Leonard for the Heisman. The interesting part is that Leonard is a fullback. Good luck with that Scarlet Knights.

•Finally, EDSBS notes that Solich’s GHB hearing has turned into a "dorkfight".