Ward Emerges

Little-known Lester Ward is making a name for himself during spring football. The 6-foot, 3-inch redshirt freshman has emerged as Nebraska's #3 I-back.

"Lester Ward has really done well," running backs coach Tim Beck said. "I've been pleased with his progress."

Ward is working behind Quentin Castille and Roy Helu, who combined to rush for nearly 1,000 yards last season. Castille has been impressed with Ward's commitment this spring.

"He's at square one like I was at my freshman year," Castille said. The junior I-back, along with Helu, is helping Ward and the other young I-backs pick up NU's offensive system. "They'll pick it up pretty fast."

Beyond Castille and Helu, the Huskers feel their #3 I-back is an important position. Running backs coach Tim Beck says the physicality of Big 12 play makes it necessary to have a reliable third I-back. "Every play he gets hit," Beck said. "So you better have three."

At 215 pounds, Ward is a physical runner who welcomes contact.

"He has a knack," Beck said. "He's a tough kid."

Ward is being challenged by Collins Okafor and Austin Jones for Nebraska's 3rd I-back spot. Beck says Okafor and Jones have made strides this spring, but are still lacking consistency.