HUSKER FOOTBALL: Foley, Cooper Discuss Position Groups

LINCOLN–(NU Athletics Apr. 9)–Nebraska special teams coordinator Ed Foley and defensive backs coach Evan Cooper met with the media following the Huskers’ spring practice on Tuesday.

Foley spoke to the importance of maintaining a level of consistency on special teams and the drive from long snapper Camden Witucki.

“I was just talking about this with Camden Witucki, where we try to get that level of consistency where the laces are perfect. Perfection is perfection. We’re always striving for it, but we don’t always get it. So sometimes, Amie (Just), we’re looking at like 85% or 90% when it’s all said and done. You’ve got to go in reps. So today, he said ‘coach, I shot that thing back the same today.’ It was a half turn, meaning Brian (Buschini) had to turn the ball. And next time, it was perfect. He has to have the feel for the velocity of the snap and literally count the rotations of the ball coming back. It’s that amount of detail. So he’s working with making sure that velocity and making sure how the ball feels coming off his hand is the same every time. Because he’s that kind of kid. He said to me – last practice, he had put a couple of snaps inside and he said, ‘coach look at my feet’ – one of his feet was staggered. I had to look at it real close. It was like two inches but it’s really like a golf swing. It’s the same thing over and over and over again with the perfect technique, the perfect hand motion, the feet placed the right way.”

Foley also talked about new players and new enrollees visiting his office throughout the spring season.

“There’s some that are and some that aren’t. The ones that do are a little ahead. But the team – there’s so much leadership and maturity in regards to special teams on our team. With the new enrollees, even if they are really good, a lot of those defensive players and those linemen are coming in. I tell the new guys, if you’re coming in for about five minutes, maybe six, I’m not going to give you a lecture on life. I am going to come in and say ‘here’s your reps and what you did in practice today. Here’s what you can do better.’ And I say ‘that’s five minutes, that’s it.’ I don’t want them coming in and saying. ‘I’m going into Coach Foley’s office. He’s going to give me a lecture. He’s going to beat me down.’ I’m not. I’m saying, here’s what we need to do. The older guys are so helpful. There’s so many veteran players that are helping with that now. You can learn from that.”

Cooper discussed his observations and confidence in the cornerback position.

“I try not to project too far out. I think the corners are doing a good job right now. And we’ll just keep working at it. It’s more of a reflection of my trust in Malcolm (Hartzog) to hold that position doing what he has to do. You know the corners will be fine. You know at this point last year, I had the same amount of questions. We just want to attack it day to day. I do see a difference in the knowledge and comfortability and playmaking ability outside. So it’s been good to watch.”

The Huskers will continue with spring practice on Thursday. The annual Red-White Spring game is scheduled for Saturday, April 27 at 11 a.m. (CT).