• Video Below: NU's first practice, Pelini speaks to the media
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LINCOLN — Nebraska's football team opened fall camp Saturday without two touted line recruits from the 2011 class.
NU head coach Bo Pelini announced Ryan Klachko, a 6-foot-4, 295-pound offensive lineman from Springfield, Ill., will transfer after one redshirt year in Lincoln.
“We have a culture around here,” Pelini said, “and if somebody doesn't feel they fit into that culture — for whatever reason — he decided to take his talents someplace else. I wish him well.”
Reached by phone, Klachko declined to comment. He was a four-star recruit according to the Rivals, Scout and 247Sports recruiting services.
Todd Peat Jr. — another four-star recruit in the 2011 class — didn't make the 105-man roster. The 6-foot-3, 305-pound defensive tackle from Tempe, Ariz., missed all of spring practice with a back injury. Lingering effects from that injury, Pelini said, were “part” of the reason Peat didn't make the 105 Saturday.
Two more four-star recruits — 2012 signees Jared Afalava (linebacker) and Alonzo Moore (cornerback) — await word from the NCAA on their academic eligibility.
“They're both day-to-day — we're still waiting back on some paperwork and things that had to be refiled with the NCAA,” Pelini said.
Their absence helped make room on the 105-man roster for seven true freshman walk-ons — easily the most of the Pelini era. The previous high was two in 2011.
“I do like this walk-on class,” Pelini said.
The players: fullback Andy Janovich (Gretna); running backs King Frazier (Lee's Summit, Mo.) and Graham Nabity (Elkhorn); tight end Trey Foster (Lincoln Southeast); and wide receivers Brandon Reilly (Lincoln Southwest), Jordan Nelson (Omaha Burke) and Sam Foltz (Grand Island).
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“A lot goes into who makes the 105,” Pelini said, “and at the end of the day we bring in the guys who obviously provide us with the best depth offensively, defensively, special teams-wise.
“It's not easy, because we do have a roster full of guys who we feel can play and help this football team ... you bring in the guys who you feel are going to give you the best opportunity to win.”
NU brought in five quarterbacks: juniors Taylor Martinez and Ron Kellogg III; sophomores Brion Carnes and Bronson Marsh; and true freshman Tommy Armstrong. Aurora redshirt freshman Tyson Broekemeier –— a walk-on who made the 105 last year — reinjured the same knee he tore up last fall, but should recover, Pelini said.
As for the practice itself: The coolest temperatures in weeks greeted the Huskers, who sported new adidas practice jerseys for the occasion. NU worked out for two hours.
“It is what it was — a first day,” Pelini said.“Obviously the older guys are way ahead of the younger guys, but everybody on that field got significant reps. Young guys got their feet wet. I'm sure their heads are spinning a little bit.”