The Nebraska football team concluded its fall camp on a rainy Saturday at the Ed and Joyanne Gass Practice Fields. Head Coach Bo Pelini addressed the media following practice, and noted that five previous walk-ons were awarded scholarships for the 2012 season.
“It’s a great walk on group, and they have been a big part of our program for a long time.” Pelini said.
Senior kicker/punter Brett Maher was awarded a scholarship after being a stand out special teams performer last year. A native of Kearney, Neb., Maher earned All-Big Ten honors as a junior for the Huskers, winning the Big Ten Kicker of the Year Award, as well as the Big Ten Punter of the Year award after the 2011 season.
Senior offensive lineman Spencer Long also received a scholarship Saturday. Long, a native of Elkhorn, Neb., will be a force on the offensive line this year, earning preseason first-team All-Big Ten honors for the 2012 season.
Safety Justin Blatchford also earned a scholarship on Saturday. The senior native of Ponca, Neb., will be a key member of the Blackshirt defense and special teams units in the 2012 season.
South Korea native, and Lincoln Christian graduate Seung Hoon Choi also received a scholarship for his senior season. Choi, will be a leader of the NU offensive line this upcoming season, where he is likely to earn a starting job at offensive guard.
Senior offensive lineman Justin Jackson received a scholarship for the 2012 season as well. Jackson, a native of Roca, Neb., will bring senior leadership to the line, and he is currently battling for the starting center spot.
Saturday’s announcement continued to show the importance Pelini has placed on continuing to make the Husker walk-on program a priority. With the five players placed on scholarship for the 2012 season, Pelini has now awarded 18 scholarships to walk-on players during his first five seasons as head coach.
While speaking to the media after practice, Pelini liked how his team practiced, especially during the team scrimmage on Saturday.
“We had a good scrimmage, we got the chance to look at a lot of guys, and also give a lot of guys rest.” Pelini said. “There was a lot of mixing and matching, and we got well over 100 plays in the scrimmage.”
*Pelini also noted that freshman linebacker Jared Afalava has been cleared to play by the NCAA, and will be joining the team once he gets to Lincoln.
The Nebraska football team will return to the practice field Monday, to continue to prepare for their season opener against Southern Mississippi on Sept. 1. The Huskers will finally get to bring their entire team to the practice (NCAA only allows a 105 man roster during fall camp).