LINCOLN — Nebraska coach Scott Frost reiterated Thursday that he supports the Big Ten-issued one-game suspension of defensive lineman Khalil Davis.
Frost said he and his staff had “no idea” during the game what occurred. One video angle appears to show the senior throwing a punch at an Ohio State lineman last Saturday.
“The referees told me there was a little extracurricular going on with (Davis),” Frost said. “Now, that was going on both ways. But there’s a difference between a little shoving after a play and what happened.”
Frost echoed his Wednesday statement that he agrees with the league’s decision, adding that Davis will receive “some internal punishment” in addition to the suspension.
Davis started the first five games at defensive end. The 6-2, 315-pound Davis is Nebraska’s leader in tackles for loss (six) and sacks (three) among his 17 total tackles.
Junior Ben Stille will start in Davis’ place Saturday, and Deontre Thomas could see an uptick in snaps, Frost said. Junior college transfer Keem Green is another option after he made his Nebraska debut last weekend.
Freshman running back Rahmir Johnson is “ready” to contribute, Frost said, whenever that may be. Frost said Johnson’s speed adds a different element to the offense, but Nebraska waited to play him more until he could execute the entire offense confidently.
“I think he’s been close coming up to this game,” Frost said. “I think he’s ready now. ... His time’s coming very shortly.”
Johnson has appeared in one game, carrying three times for 9 yards against Northern Illinois.
Asked about the planned debut of tight end Chris Hickman, Frost said NU is bullish about his potential. The Omaha Burke graduate will play on at least one special teams unit Saturday, tight ends coach Sean Beckton said earlier in the week. Coaches are rotating freshmen in to relieve older players on a few special teams snaps when possible.
“We’re really excited about Chris Hickman and his potential here,” Frost said. “He can run, he’s a tough kid.”
Frost confirmed that true freshman running back Ronald Thompkins is out for the season after undergoing another minor knee surgery to “clean something up.” The Huskers don’t expect him back until spring. Thompkins, from Loganville, Georgia, also had both knees operated on in high school.