Nebraska Football: 5 Reasons Why Jamal Turner Is Playing Spring QB
Nebraska Football: 5 Reasons Why Jamal Turner Is Playing Spring Quarterback
What will the 2014 season of Nebraska Cornhuskers football hold in store? Let the speculation begin today. The Big Red kicked off spring practice with media being allowed to watch for the first time in the history of man under Bo Pelini. Some very interesting developments have taken place since we last put Memorial Stadium under a microscope.
Corey Cooper, one of the most experienced safeties was in a boot, officially nursing turf toe. Harvey Jackson, a player thought to be near him on the field for much of the season, has been dismissed from the team. Long time non-contributing defensive tackles Jay Guy and Tobi Okuyemi have also vanished from the team's roster.
There were some less interesting developments such as linebacker Josh Banderas switching up linebacker assignments. Ameer Abdullah checked in a little heavier, but still the same running back all Husker fans know and love. What's the all the ruckus about? Fans expected to hear about Jamal Turner's route running or if his catching improved. It turns out that he's taking snaps.
Yes, No. 10 is a signal-caller (for the time being, anyway), the position he originally played in high school at Sam Houston High School. He's been a slot receiver for the Cornhuskers ever since taking the field in Lincoln, NE. This doesn't appear to be a one time deal in terms of practice, either. Pelini stressed that he'll be getting plenty of snaps during spring ball.
This is Turner's senior season, after all. There was some initial excitement during the his first spring when he snagged catches, but he'd eventually become unreliable. Receptions were a 50/50 chance at best. If offensive coordinator Tim Beck's going to make good use of Turner during his final year, spring experimentation's a great way to see how it can be done.
Let's run down five reasons why this could be happening.
5. Better Use Of Talent At For Turner And WR
As mentioned before, Turner's been unimpressive as his wide receiver career's progressed. Perhaps a move back to signal-caller offers another wide receiver a chance to compliment him as a quarterback. He could also be used in wildcat formations or as Kain Colter was while as a member of the Northwestern Wildcats.
4. Coaches Want 2013-Style Inexperience-Experience Backup
Considering Darlington and Bush's statuses, a setup like Nebraska had in 2013 may serve the Cornhuskers well in 2014. Armstrong and Ron Kellogg III were a serviceable dual-headed quarterback down the stretch. Perhaps he or Stanton (depending on who wins the QB race) and Turner could offer the same injury insurance.
3. Coaches Want To Preserve A.J. Bush's Redshirt
While Bush shows promise, he's still raw and needs to work on his mechanics. There's no reason he should see the field in 2014.
2. Darlington's Status Up In The Air
While incoming quarterback recruit Zack Darlington insist his concussion issues aren't a factor anymore, that injury is a touchy subject. Darlington's taken some severe hits that rocked his noggin. While I admire his passion to play, you can never be too careful when it comes to another injury that could be potentially heart-breaking.
1. No True No. 3
Pelini suggested that redshirt freshman Johnny Stanton and sophomore Ryker Fyfe were tied in the initial race for No. 2 behind Tommy Armstrong. I don't buy that and Pelini shouldn't be selling it. A walk-on isn't a threat to a former Elite 11 quarterback. Turner has far more experience in the college game than Fyfe and knows how to sling the ball around properly.