LINCOLN — Nebraska coach Bo Pelini is changing how the Huskers pick captains for the 2013 season.
In fact, Husker Sports Radio football analyst Matt Davison reported that four captains for the entire season have already been selected. Davison announced Friday on Twitter that quarterback Taylor Martinez, wide receiver Quincy Enunwa, guard Spencer Long and nickel cornerback Ciante Evans had been selected as captains for the year. All four are seniors.
“With leadership positions come great responsibility,” Davison's tweet said. “These guys will do well. Great move by Pelini and staff.”
An NU spokesman confirmed the accuracy of Davison's tweet, but had no further update. Pelini didn't immediately return a phone message. No players were available for comment.
Previously, Pelini named four “game captains” for each coin flip, then the team elected captains after the season and announced them at the team banquet. The last captains to be elected before the season were in 2007, when Bo Ruud, Zack Bowman and Brett Byford were picked by teammates. From 1930 through 1949 and 1954 through 1957, Nebraska also appointed game captains.
Martinez, from Corona, Calif., enters this season holding many career records for quarterbacks at NU, including total yards, passing yards and total completions. He was first-team All-Big Ten, as selected by the league coaches, last season. Enunwa, from Moreno Valley, Calif., caught 42 passes last season and has 64 for his career. Long, a former walk-on from Elkhorn whose twin brother, Jake, is slated to start at tight end, was first-team All-Big Ten and second-team All-America last year at guard. He's started for two straight years. Evans, from Arlington, Texas, has 20 career starts, 98 career tackles and 13 career pass breakups. Evans played nickel, Peso and cornerback.
NU-UCLA to kick off at 11 a.m. on Sept. 14
Nebraska's marquee nonconference game against UCLA will get a kickoff at brunch.
The Big Ten announced Friday the Sept. 14 game — one of the few Big Ten nonconference games that's likely to match ranked teams — will get an 11 a.m. kickoff at Memorial Stadium and a national telecast on ABC. It gives NU three morning kickoffs at home this year, joining games vs. Illinois and Iowa.
Last year, the Bruins beat NU in the Rose Bowl 36-30, racking up 653 yards. Nebraska's defense struggled throughout to cover UCLA's running backs and wide receivers, especially Johnathan Franklin, who ran for 217 yards.
At the time, the loss appeared to be an upset. But the Bruins advanced to the Pac-12 title game. They return quarterback Brett Hundley, who threw for 3,740 yards and 29 touchdowns last year, and top receiver Shaq Evans, who caught 60 passes for 877 yards. All-Pac 12 guard Xavier Su'a-Filo also returns.
On defense, All-Pac 12 linebacker Anthony Barr is back for his senior season. Barr is considered by several NFL draft prognosticators as a top-10 pick in 2014.
The Bruins have an open date to prepare for the Huskers, but the 11 a.m. kickoff is the equivalent of a 9 a.m. kickoff in Los Angeles. Should UCLA want to travel to Nebraska early to acclimate to the time change, it could without missing class; the Bruins' academic quarter doesn't start until Sept. 23.
UCLA last played in Lincoln in 1994 and has lost four of five games at Nebraska. The Huskers lead the series 6-5.
NU's Aug. 31 season opener vs. Wyoming kicks off at 7 p.m. on BTN. Nebraska kicks off against Southern Mississippi at 5 p.m. on Sept. 7. The Huskers' Oct. 5 homecoming contest against Illinois will start at 11 a.m. with television arrangements to be determined. Nebraska's regular-season finale against Iowa on Nov. 29 will also kick off at 11 a.m. and will be televised by ABC.
Game times and television information for the rest of NU's 2013 schedule will be determined six to 12 days in advance.
Recruiting class arriving; two delayed
Most of the Huskers' 25-man 2013 recruiting class will arrive on campus this weekend in advance of enrolling in summer classes that start Monday.
One key recruit who won't make it until July: junior college transfer Randy Gregory. Expected to be an immediate contributor at end on the Huskers' embattled defensive line, Gregory told reporters — including The World-Herald — he'd arrive “the third week in July” after his transcripts are fully received by NU. In a previous interview, Gregory said some of the classes he took at Arizona Western did not transfer to Nebraska, so he had to take more online courses while staying at his parents' house in Michigan.
Earlier this week, Huskers Illustrated reported that Gaithersburg, Md., linebacker Marcus Newby wouldn't arrive until July, as well.
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