LINCOLN — Nebraska quarterbacks impressed Mark Whipple in the offseason. A week into fall camp, nothing has changed.
NU’s new offensive coordinator could actually work more with his QBs in recent months than he was allowed to as a coach at the NFL level. He’s seen them grow more confident in what they’re doing. Guys aren’t looking around for guidance. When somebody makes a misstep, everyone else quickly recognizes it.
“They had a really good summer just kind of going over the things they can see themselves in the throw game and in the run game (and) the mistakes they made,” Whipple said Monday. “I’ve seen the offense take a step forward.”
The right thumb of Casey Thompson — which had him on a pitch count of sorts into the summer — is “much better,” Whipple said. The Texas transfer and lead starting candidate can make all the throws but his biggest strides of late have come in how quickly he can move through his receiver progressions.
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Chubba Purdy has also consistently made his throws, Whipple said, while Heinrich Haarberg enjoyed his best two days this week. Freshman Richard Torres may have the strongest arm of the bunch.
Meanwhile, other offensive players who missed some or all of spring ball with injuries have recovered with a vengeance, Whipple said. Receiver Isaiah Garcia-Castaneda is one. Running back Gabe Ervin has “made a big push” bouncing back from a torn ACL last fall. Offensive linemen Turner Corcoran and Teddy Prochazka and tight ends Travis Vokolek and Chancellor Brewington are part of that group too.
Camp chatter: Sights and sounds of Nebraska QBs, a new OL coach and special teams drills
Other quick hits following the Monday workout:
» NU’s primary punt returners in camp have been receiver Trey Palmer and defensive back Tommi Hill.
» Receivers coach Mickey Joseph said players need to continue to improve at figuring out their own problems instead of relying on coaches for it on the field. He also said the defensive backs “dominated” receivers during Monday’s practice.
» Joseph said he’s adjusted to the reality of recruiting at Nebraska, where — unlike his time at LSU — it’s necessary to put great effort into recruiting outside of the state. But the goal remains the same, he said: to land the most talented players possible.
» The battle for No. 2 tight end behind Vokolek remains “fierce,” position coach Sean Beckton said. He listed Chris Hickman, Nate Boerkircher, AJ Rollins and Brewington among the contenders.
» Stay with Omaha.com for full coverage from Nebraska’s fall camp