Dedrick Mills

Nebraska running back Dedrick Mills had an impressive day running in the Nebraska drill. 

Nebraska's football team had an open portion of practice Wednesday morning for reporters. Sights and sounds from the event: 

SEEN: The Nebraska drill, in which three sets of blockers face off against three defenders and a running back or wide receiver has to navigate the gantlet. The blockers — on offense — generally had the best of the day, and two running backs in particular — Maurice Washington and Dedrick Mills — were very good. Washington juked, spun and hurdled his way to a couple scores, while Mills was exceedingly hard to tackle in a scrum. 

SEEN: Scouts from the NFL's Chargers, Raiders and Colts. 

HEARD: Running backs coach Ryan Held yelling to those scouts that Mills "runs his ass off." 

SEEN: Receiver JD Spielman performing a little magic during the Nebraska drill, managing to navigate traffic without getting touched much. Spielman has uniquely good feet — light and always moving — and they help him be elusive without being flashy. 

SEEN: Receivers Wan'Dale Robinson and Kanawai Noa, outside linebacker Alex Davis and inside linebacker Joey Johnson not practicing. Left tackle Christian Gaylord was not at the early portion of Husker practice. 

SEEN: Freshman defensive end Ty Robinson with a monster play during the Nebraska drill, overwhelming his blocker and tackling the running back. That's rare in the drill — a lot of times, the best a defensive lineman can do is force the ballcarrier toward another tackler — but Robinson hulked his blocker quickly. Several defensive linemen cheered him on as he did it. 

HEARD: "Let me point out some of the new guys to you." Associate athletic director for football Matt Davison escorting Gov. Pete Ricketts around practice. Ricketts met with Scott Frost at midfield and the two chatted for about five minutes, body guards surrounding both. ​

SEEN: Running backs coach Ryan Held talking with Wan'Dale Robinson, not in pads, while the running backs took handoffs.

HEARD: Hair metal all morning, to the delight of coaches.

SEEN: Wide receivers going out for passes, then being tossed a tennis ball to catch.

SEEN: Miles Jones with the running backs for one drill, then jogging over to the wide receivers for the next drill.

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SEEN: Freshman Demariyon Houston dropping a pass, and offensive coordinator Troy Walters giving him a stank face for it.

SEEN: JD Spielman taking a handoff for the Nebraska drill and squeezing between a lineman and a linebacker for a score. Mike Williams did the exact same thing the next play.

HEARD: "Seek and Destroy" by Metallica blaring during the Nebraska drill.

SEEN: Nebraska has a neat drill for offensive linemen that makes them work on their kick slides while moving through a series of pads. 

SEEN: Jahkeem Green participating in drills wearing No. 4 and black compression shorts without pads. The 6-foot-5, 315-pounder flashed his athleticism throughout his first NU workout. During the team's "perfect jumping jack" portion of warmups, fellow defensive linemen Tate Wildeman and DaiShon Neal explained to Green what was happening.

SEEN: Freshman receiver Darien Chase tripping out of a cut on a post route, knocking off his timing with the pass.

SEEN AND HEARD: Junior safety Eli Sullivan missing the ball on a dive on a loose-ball drill. A crowd of watching defensive backs let out a loud "Ohhhhh!"

SEEN: Tight ends coach Sean Beckton greeting the kickers and long snappers with handshakes, helmet taps and a big smile before the dynamic "stretch" portion of warmups.

SEEN: Quarterbacks throwing into a net from about 15 yards out twice, then firing a third time on the run. True freshman Luke McCaffrey was especially accurate on this particular cycle.

SEEN: Offensive line coach Greg Austin demonstrating to AJ Forbes how to grab a lineman's pads and lift up during a drill.

SEEN: Offensive lineman Cam Jurgens in full pads but not participating in drills.

SEEN: Tight end Katerian Legrone sitting against the wall with his helmet off while the other ends went through a blocking drill.

SEEN: Defensive backs coach Travis Fisher demonstrating a drill to a frustrated Cam Taylor on how to guard the speed out route without getting beat to the spot by a receiver. Taylor got it right on the second try. Lamar Jackson got it right on the first try. 

SEEN: Freshman quarterback Luke McCaffrey throwing a perfect back-shoulder fade pass to Darien Chase during a drill. McCaffrey's ball is flatter than the rest of the quarterbacks, but that can help on a back shoulder throw because the defender gets less time to react. McCaffrey's throwing style and motion is much improved in camp from spring. 

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Chris Heady covers Husker football and is the Nebraska men's basketball beat writer. He started at The World-Herald in 2017. Follow him on Twitter @heady_chris. Email:

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