CHICAGO — Nebraska coach Bo Pelini walked off the podium inside the grand ballroom of the Hilton Chicago and over to a horde of local reporters looking for updates on incidents and questions.
Pelini, in a five-minute spate, obliged, adding one more in a later break-apart session in front of cameras.
The quick hits:
» Junior linebacker Trevor Roach is out for the season with a foot injury suffered in a “freak accident” while running. Asked to specify the location of the injury, Pelini said “mid-foot.” Roach competed in the spring with sophomore David Santos and redshirt freshman Michael Rose at middle linebacker.
» Fullback Mike Marrow left the team. The decision was made by Marrow and his family. Mike's dad, Vince, recently took an assistant coaching job at Kentucky after spending two years as NU's graduate assistant. NU was Mike Marrow's third school after Alabama and Eastern Michigan.
» Incoming recruits Randy Gregory (junior defensive end), Dimarya Mixon (true freshman defensive end) and Chongo Kondolo (junior guard) will make it in time for the start of fall camp. Of the three, Gregory, one of the nation's top junior college recruits, is expected to contend for a starting job.
» Incoming freshman linebacker Marcus Newby still has “paperwork” to finish before he's able to come to campus.
» Trevell Dixon, who signed with the 2013 class after wavering several times just before signing day, is likely headed to a junior college. Nebraska may help him find a school and will continue to recruit him for future years.
Previously, former NU lineman Ricky Henry took a similar route. Running back Braylon Heard (2010 class), defensive back Charles Jackson (2011 class) and defensive back D.J. Singleton (2013 class) chose to sit out a year of football rather than head to junior college.
» Redshirt freshman defensive end Avery Moss is in “good shape” in the program, according to Pelini. Moss faces an indecent exposure charge in Lancaster County Court and is scheduled to appear in court sometime next month.
» The status of Colorado transfer Alex Lewis, who faces a felony assault charge in Boulder, Colo., remains up in the air. Lewis has a Friday court date regarding the assault charge and disturbing the peace.
“We'll just see how that all plays out,” Pelini said. “There are no guarantees for Alex Lewis. There never were.”
» Pelini dismissed redshirt freshman linebacker Thomas Brown for a “violation of team rules.” Brown is thought to have been involved in the team fight that led to Ernest Suttles' dismissal, which was announced at the same time as Brown's, but he was not charged with any crime. He's no longer enrolled at NU and, according to a university spokesman, is not under any further investigation for infractions.
Asked to explain how he determined which players got the boot for team rule violations, Pelini said: “At the end of the day, we hold our guys to a pretty high standard and that's the way it's gonna be as long as I'm the head football coach.
“We're going to help kids grow, we're going to help them develop as human beings, but at the end of the day, you're not only accountable to yourself and family, but my family, anyone associated with Nebraska football and your teammates. If, at any time, something is being done, a player is acting in such a way that it's taking away from any of that, they're not going to be a part of our program.”
» In other comments, Pelini said on defense the young Huskers can get “more multiple” — even more than it was last year with a raft of seniors — because the kinds of athletes Nebraska has recruited.
“We're doing some different things,” Pelini said. “We've experimented through the spring. We're going to have some different options because we're going to have some different dynamics with some of the talent and skill set that maybe we haven't had in the past.”
Worried about experience? Not really. Worried about scheme after blowout losses to Ohio State and Wisconsin last year? Not at all, Pelini said during his main session the ballroom.
“It's about tackling better and executing better,” Pelini said. “It's not a scheme thing. At the end of the day, you have to execute. When those things happen, they happen for a reason. We've studied it. We addressed it. We need to be better and more consistent than we were last year.”
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