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Big Ten media days: Bo Pelini wants more efficiency

CHICAGO – The buzz word of Bo Pelini's chat with the press at Big Ten Media Days: Efficiency.

More efficient on offense. More efficient with turnovers. And more efficient in practice. Pelini told reporters he's considering changes to the way the Huskers practice after doing “research” in the offseason.

“I'm leaning toward staying with the practice on Sunday with Monday off and we're strongly considering flipping Thursday and Friday for a lot of different reasons,” Pelini said.

Nebraska may shorten the amount of time the players are on the practice field, as well.

...

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Big Ten media days: Day one odds and ends

A final sampling of the sights and sounds at Big Ten Media Days on Monday:

>> Wisconsin really is committed to a quarterback competition, which could mean shelving two-year starter Joel Stave for Tanner McAvoy, who played safety last year.

"Joel Stave and Tanner McEvoy will come in and split the reps,” UW coach Gary Andersen said. "Those first four practices when we're split, obviously one's going to be a 1 in the morning and one will be a 1 in the afternoon... It's going to be interesting to watch. It was a great, competitive battle in spring as even though Joel was ve...

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Big Ten Media Days: Devin Gardner's bad rap

Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner amassed 3,443 total yards and 32 total touchdowns last year for the Wolverines.

That's better statistically than any year Chad Henne had at Michigan. Or Todd Collins. Or Tom Brady. Or Brian Griese. Or Jim Harbaugh. Or Elvis Grbac.

But those Michigan quarterbacks – most of them legends within the program – led teams that won big. Gardner's Michigan team went 7-6 in 2013. And he took a chunk of the heat for it, enough that some pundits suggested the fifth-year senior might lose his job to true sophomore Shane Morris, despite the fact that Morr...

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Video: Big Ten coaches speak at media days

Watch each football coach's appearance at Big Ten media days on Monday:

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Big Ten Media Days: James Franklin's 'Scream, Hug Em, Go Crazy' brand

James Franklin said he was like this as a kid. Loud. Excited. Emotional. Franklin doesn't add “hyper-aware,” but perhaps he was that, too, because he was particularly locked in during Big Ten Media Days sessions Monday, giving sharp, substantive answers to a variety of questions from reporters. 

“I'm emotional, passionate guy,” Franklin said on the second floor of the Hilton Chicago. “I think a lot of times people get into these roles – whether it's management, whether it's a CEO, whether it's a head coach, and they try to act 'like a head coach is supposed to act.' And I'm going t...

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6 Husker notes you may have missed from Big Ten media days

Big Ten media days is kind of like a firehose of information. Through the first day, we've heard from all 14 coaches, commissioner Jim Delany and had countless interviews with players, coaches and analysts in Chicago for the event.

Here are six of the Husker-related news items you may have missed:

>> Apparently Nebraska and Wisconsin are working on a rivalry trophy.

>> The Huskers' trip from Lincoln to Chicago was made in style, including a private jet and a tricked-out Mercedes.

>> NU I-back Ameer Abullah said at first he didn't track the Big Te...

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Big Ten media days: NU players approve of possible practice changes

CHICAGO – Nothing's set in stone yet. And not too many specifics have been revealed. But Bo Pelini mentioned Monday that he and the Nebraska coaches are looking at lessening the players' physical and mental workload this fall.

The Huskers in attendance at Big Ten media days have no problem with that.

“We struggled with injuries last season. I think he took that into account,” safety Corey Cooper said. “His goal is to keep guys healthy and make sure we're just as strong in November as we are in August.”

And there's a mental aspect involved, too. They have team meetings, ...

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Shoulder injury had NU's Kenny Bell feeling 'terrible' in late 2013

In one of Kenny Bell's various appearance at Big Ten media day on Monday, the Husker receiver talked about injuries, his advice for Ameer Abdullah and more.

Check out the video and read the highlights below:

On advice for Ameer Abdullah, who is delivering a keynote speech at the event Tuesday:

"I've never given a speech like that," said Bell, laughing and shrugging. "I just said good luck. I couldn't give him any advice."

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Big Ten Media Days: Boss Jim Delany takes the stage

CHICAGO -- Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany is an unabashed fan of his league and lofty decrees. He's the last of the Power 5 commissioners to give his state of the union address to reporters, and his language is considerably more measured than some of his colleagues. Highlights from Delany's opening remarks and Q&A session with reporters:

>>Delany expects a NCAA proposal to give Power 5 conferences more autonomy to govern themselves will pass on Aug. 7.  

>>Does "cheating pay," as Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby suggested? Delany wouldn't bite, but he did call...

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They said it: A full transcript of Bo Pelini's Big Ten media day address

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini addressed the media Monday afternoon and then took part in a Q&A session at Big Ten media days.

Check out the entire transcript below, covering topics including Ameer Abdullah, Randy Gregory, recruiting, offseason work, and, of course, his cat.

Also, check out Lee Barfknecht's column on Abdullah and track live updates here.

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The complete transcript:

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Video: Nebraska coach Bo Pelini at Big Ten media days

Watch Nebraska coach Bo Pelini's address and Q&A session during Monday's Big Ten media day event:

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Abdullah, Gregory among 10 B1G players to watch

Nebraska football standouts Ameer Abdullah and Randy Gregory were named to the Big Ten preseason players to watch list Monday. The 10-player list, selected by a media panel, features five student-athletes each from the East and West divisions.

Abdullah earned first-team All-Big Ten honors when he rushed for 1,690 yards in 2013, the most of any player returning for 2014. Abdullah owns 2,977 career rushing yards to rank third among active returning players in career rushing yards, and he leads all active players with 4,914 career all-purpose yards.

Gregory became one of the Big...

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Big Ten Media Days: Pat Fitzgerald touts toughness, togetherness, QB

CHICAGO – Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald Monday casually dropped the “u” word to open Big Ten Media Days.

Not “union,” but “unified.” The Wildcats, who voted this spring to determine whether they'd form a union in the wake of a National Labor Relations Board hearing – the results of the vote are not yet known – are tighter than they've ever been.

“There's no more unified football program in the country,” Fitzgerald said during his usual polished apperance on the dais. “We've been through more since January than most. It's been nothing but positive in our locker room. I thi...

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Husker Camp Countdown: No. 16 Cethan Carter

From now until the start of fall camp, The World-Herald will be counting down the top 50 players you need to know heading into the 2014 football season.

Cethan Carter  |  6-4  |  240  |  Sophomore  |  Tight end

Potential seems to ooze from the talented second-year player who has the size of a tight end but runs like a receiver. The challenge will be for the offense to put him to better use — and take advantage of more mismatches — after Carter caught 10 passes as a true freshman but often seemed to be a target on plays that just didn’t work.

No doubt a full year in the ...

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Big Ten Media Days: The Chicago Way, and issues to watch

Located across the street from Grant Park and on one of the best-known streets in North America, the Hilton Chicago is a fitting locale for Big Ten media days and the ensuing luncheon.

Its Michigan Avenue address and old-school design fit the Big Ten’s idea of itself: A corporate player. And, indeed, the Big Ten is. According to the Lafayette Journal and Courier, the Big Ten projects schools will receive $44.5 million per year when the new TV deal rolls around in 2017. Those dollars will keep the league solvent in the long term.

Will the Big Ten win in the short term?

T...

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Husker Camp Countdown: No. 17 Jamal Turner

From now until the start of fall camp, The World-Herald will be counting down the top 50 players you need to know heading into the 2014 football season.

Jamal Turner  |  6-1  |  190 pounds  |  Senior  |  Wide receiver

It’s a repeated verse, but one of the keys for Turner will be staying healthy.

Last season’s problems with a hamstring and a leg injury limited him to eight games and 13 receptions. That spoiled the expectations that were brewing after a sophomore year in which Turner caught 32 passes, included the go-ahead scores against Michigan State and Penn State in 2...

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Husker Camp Countdown: No. 18 Zach Sterup

From now until the start of fall camp, The World-Herald will be counting down the top 50 players you need to know heading into the 2014 football season.

Zach Sterup  |  6-8  |  320  |  junior  |  offensive tackle

Never hard to spot with his height and hair, Sterup is about to be more visible than ever as Nebraska goes on without veteran tackles Jeremiah Sirles, Brent Qvale and Andrew Rodriguez.

Sterup spent all spring as the No. 1 right tackle as transfer Alex Lewis started taking over on the left side. Lack of experience isn’t a major concern. Line injuries led to Ster...

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Creighton assistant Spencer Allen leaves for Illinois

Creighton assistant baseball coach Spencer Allen has taken a job with Illinois. Allen served as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator for the past two seasons at CU.

"I am very excited to be a part of the Illinois baseball program, this coaching staff and the athletic department," Allen said. "I am very familiar with this program and the success it has had recently and in its rich history. I look forward to meeting with the players and getting things going once I get on campus."

Allen was in his second stint in Omaha, returning to Creighton after three seasons servi...

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Former Husker Carl Nicks parts ways with Bucs, may retire

The Tampa Bay Bucs and Pro Bowler Carl Nicks have mutually agreed to part ways, with Nicks saying it's time "to step away from the game."

While it's unclear whether Nicks' decision is a permanent retirement or could be temporary, the offensive lineman has struggled in recent years to fully recover from an MRSA infection in his foot.

In a team press release, Nicks expressed gratitude toward the Buccaneers.

"I’d like to thank the Buccaneers organization for working with me as I have attempted to get myself back on the football field,” said Nicks. "However, after careful c...

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Trio of Huskers projected as 'breakout players' in 2014

Nebraska offensive lineman Alex Lewis and defensive tackles Vincent Valentine and Maliek Collins are poised to make an impact in 2014.

At least that's what Athlon Sports predicts in its list of Big Ten breakout players to watch this upcoming season.

The NU defensive line won't give opposing offenses "much room to run on the interior," Athlon's Steven Lassan writes, adding that the Husker coaches have to be "excited about the talent in place."

More from Lassan on the defensive side:

"End Randy Gregory is one of the top defensive players in the nation, and the combi...

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Huskers offer Lincoln Christian tight end Jared Bubak

Lincoln Christian tight end Jared Bubak announced Friday that he has received a scholarship offer from Nebraska, and if Bubak's reaction is any indication of his future plans, it seems the 2016 prospect could indeed eventually be headed for Lincoln.

Bubak already holds an offer from South Dakota State, but the 6-foot-4, 235-pound Crusader said in a Twitter post that playing at Nebraska has been a longtime dream:

Just got offered by Nebraska!! God has totally blessed me! Been my dream since I was a kid to be a Husker! #c4c #GBR — Jared Bubak (@Bubaka_03) July 25, 2014 // <...

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Husker Camp Countdown: No. 19 David Santos

From now until the start of fall camp, The World-Herald will be counting down the top 50 players you need to know heading into the 2014 football season.

David Santos  |  6-0  |  225 pounds  |  Junior  |  Linebacker

With 26 games and 11 starts behind him, Santos can be counted on for his experience as well as his versatility.

He went from middle to weakside linebacker last season as the NU staff deemed it a better fit, and he might be targeted for strongside (buck) if Michael Rose and Zaire Anderson fill the other two positions.

Santos finished last season as the H...

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Video: Former Husker kicker Kris Brown on TBL

Former Husker and NFL kicker Kris Brown discusses the Big Ten, Dunkin' Donuts and more with Mike'l Severe on "The Bottom Line."

Brown will be signing autographs to represent Nebraska at Big Ten Media Days.

See the full interview below:

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Video: College football roundtable discussion

The World-Herald’s Tom Shatel, Sam McKewon and Jon Nyatawa joined “The Bottom Line” host Mike’l Severe for a special Big Ten football roundtable discussion.

Check out the videos below, or scroll down for a few highlights from the show.

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Video: Big Red Today Show, July 24

Watch the first edition of “The Big Red Today Show” as Jon Nyatawa and Sam McKewon preview next week’s Big Ten Media Days.

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Video: Husker commit Kendall Bussey talks NU, Texas Tech, 2014 goals

The New Orleans Times-Picayune recently featured Nebraska commit Kendall Bussey on its "Recruiting Corner" show, with the running back discussing various topics including his goals for the upcoming season, teams trying to pry him from NU and more.

"After committing to Nebraska, it really took off for me," Bussey said.

The New Orleans Isidore Newman standout said Texas Tech, Colorado, Arizona State and Arkansas reach out to Bussey fairly often, with the Red Raiders reaching out "almost every day."

But he's not wavering.

"I'm pretty solid to Nebraska," said the 5-fo...

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Husker Camp Countdown: No. 20 Jordan Westerkamp

From now until the start of fall camp, The World-Herald will be counting down the top 50 players you need to know heading into the 2014 football season.

Jordan Westerkamp  |  6-foot  |  195 pounds  |  So.  |  Wide receiver

The most prolific receiver in the history of Illinois high school football got his first chance as a redshirt freshman last season and produced 20 receptions, including a season-high five at Penn State. The most memorable of his plays, of course, was the clutching of a tipped Hail Mary pass that turned into a 49-yard touchdown to beat Northwestern.

An...

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TBL: SI's Chris Mannix talks Doug McDermott, the NBA, and Terence "Bud" Crawford's future

Sports Illustrated writer Chris Mannix joined host Mike'l Severe Wednesday on "The Bottom Line" to discuss Doug McDermott and the NBA Summer League, as well as Bud Crawford and his future prospects.

Watch the full interview below, or scroll down for some key quotes:

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On his impressions of Doug McDermott after seeing him in the NBA Summer League:

"I thought one thing Doug showed was he really has g...

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Rex Burkhead pushing tempo, finishing plays in bid to make Bengals' roster

As noted Monday, former Husker I-back Rex Burkhead is battling for a roster spot in Bengals training camp.

The second-year pro is projected to be one of the four running backs coach Marvin Lewis retains for the season, but it won't be easy. Still, Burkhead's having a positive impact on the Bengals' running backs group as a whole.

Giovani Bernard, who's expected to play a prominent role in Cincy's run game this season, told ESPN Tuesday that he's most impressed by Burkhead's work ethic in training camp.

"It's just his effort," Bernard said. "You can't teach that. That's ...

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Former Husker Kris Brown will sign autographs at Big Ten media days

Fourteen former players — including two-time Husker national champion Kris Brown — will attend the 2014 Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon and will be available for autographs and a photo session prior to the event, the Big Ten Conference announced Wednesday.

The luncheon, to be held Tuesday at the Hilton Chicago, kicks off with a 10 a.m. autograph session for fans in attendance. All 14 head coaches and one former player from each school will sign autographs, while current players will take part in live interviews. Fans will have the opportunity to take photos of head coaches along with curr...

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