LINCOLN — About a week after leaving the Nebraska football team for personal reasons, defensive tackle Chase Rome was back at practice Thursday and could play Saturday.
Local reporters didn't spot Rome at NU workouts until Thursday, but coach Bo Pelini said the sophomore from Columbia, Mo., has practiced all week. Rome is available to play against Idaho State on Saturday, Pelini said.
“He had some personal issues that he needed to get worked out,” Pelini said. “It worked itself out. He's come back with the right attitude. We'll see how it plays out.”
Rome started the Huskers' first two games this year, but it was announced on Sept. 12 that he'd temporarily parted ways with the team. The 6-foot-3 295-pounder played in 10 games last year.
Junior Thad Randle started in Rome's place against Arkansas State, lining up next to senior Baker Steinkuhler. Redshirt freshman Kevin Williams, true freshman Aaron Curry and redshirt freshman Todd Peat are all also expected to be in the rotation at defensive tackle.
Tyler Moore is transferring out
Offensive tackle Tyler Moore, who left Lincoln in August, will not return to Nebraska, Pelini confirmed Thursday.
Moore has decided to transfer to Florida, according to several media reports. He was also considering Florida State.
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Moore never ruled out a return to NU until Thursday, either. Pelini said Thursday that he “tried to help (Moore) through it initially.”
Moore didn't enroll at Nebraska this fall, instead choosing to spend the semester taking classes at St. Petersburg College, near his hometown of Clearwater, Fla. It appears that he'll stay close to home next year, too.
“I wish him well,” Pelini said. “But he's not a part of our football team anymore so he's the least of my concerns.”
Moore, 6-foot-6 and 290 pounds, set a Nebraska record by starting four games as a true freshman last year. He was competing for the top left tackle spot during the Huskers' preseason camp.
Santos, Cooper to split time
Redshirt freshman David Santos and sophomore Corey Cooper will split playing time at weakside linebacker this weekend, Pelini said.
How Santos and Cooper are rotated in and out of the lineup will likely depend on Idaho State's personnel groups, Pelini said. Both are expected to play, though.
Senior Alonzo Whaley was the starter at the position to begin the season, but he lost his job to junior Zaire Anderson. A season-ending knee injury, diagnosed this week, has taken Anderson out of the mix, though.
Cooper is technically a safety, but he's also the team's top dime back, a spot with similar responsibilities to weakside linebacker. Pelini said Cooper has improved considerably since the beginning of the season.
“He's figuring a lot of things out,” Pelini said. “He's developing a better understanding and he's playing with a lot more confidence. That needs to continue.”
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