Quick takes from Saturday night's media availability, which featured Nebraska defensive coordinator Mark Banker, defensive assistant and a handful of defensive players. 

>> Banker lauded the competition at several spots on the defense, declining to pick one out above the others. Some players who had been No. 2 or No. 3 on the depth chart heading out of spring, Banker said, are making moves early in training camp. 

>> Because Nebraska's new offense won't use much no-huddle, hurry-up tempo, the Husker defense is still looking at lining up quickly, based on the season-opener against BYU. The Cougars, Banker said, are one of the fastest teams in the country in terms of getting plays off in a rush. 

"Seven to 11 seconds at times," Banker said. "We're working on that, because it's a lot easier to slow it down than it is to speed it up." 

>> After Kevin Williams "I am not a backup" comments from Thursday, Banker said he's talked to Williams more than once about getting a full shot at starting this year. Williams has started two games in his career, and even NU's online biography lists Williams as a "third defensive tackle" behind Maliek Collins and Vincent Valentine. 

"We've had that conversation before about things that have happened to him in the past in the program," Banker said. "I've tried to help him with that. We've had that conversation going back to December. Obviously, it runs deep with him. But it's not about one person, it's about everybody, and that's what everybody needs to understand." 

Said defensive line coach Hank Hughes: "Kevin's a conscientious guy. He wants to play. It's important to him. It all derives from there. He's a good guy, good football player, and he's doing a good job. Those kinds of things, they don't affect me one way or the other. I know where Kevin's heart is." 

>> Freshman safety Aaron Williams name keeps coming up. Though he's working with the No. 2 defense right now, he appears to be angling for a starting job, and when Nebraska puts on full pads, he could work with that top unit while Byerson Cockrell fully recovers from shoulder surgery. 

"Aaron, man, he's just getting after it," Cockrell said. "I tell him all the time: From watching him, I learn myself because, honestly, he do some things better than me." 

Said safety Keiron Williams: "Aaron's good. Aaron's good. He can do things I couldn't do when I was that age." 

>> Among true freshman who arrived over the summer, Banker said the physiques of defensive end DaiShon Neal, end Alex Davis, linebacker Tyrin Ferguson and linebacker Mohamed Barry look good. Among the four true freshmen who enrolled early, Williams and linebacker Dedrick Young have stood out.

>> Keiron Williams said Nebraska players are welcome to put in longer hours under the new coaching staff. NU players generally come in around 9:30 a.m. and leave at 9:30 p.m., Williams said, with film sessions at noon and 4. Participation is voluntary, of course, but players generally partake.

>> Defensive backs coach Brian Stewart said there's a good chance position coaches would be on the field during games.  

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.