Nebraska football’s fall camp schedule has been fluid under Mike Riley. Since the coach’s first fall camp with the Huskers in 2015, he’s adjusted the schedule every year by bumping practice up in the day.
“I think every year has been different [but] you adjust,” senior linebacker Chris Weber said after practice Tuesday. “It gets foggy when you look back [and it’s] my fifth fall camp. I know we’ve had night practices. We’ve had morning practices.
“You show up when they tell you to show up and you put your head down and go to work.”
This year, practice typically begins at 9:15 a.m. Monday through Thursday and at 10:45 a.m. on Saturday.
Junior linebacker Luke Gifford and his teammates get to the stadium around 7:15 a.m. That can create a long day for the athletes, especially when most don’t head home until 9 p.m. With meetings, recovery, meals and more, there’s plenty of things to fill the day.
No one seems to mind. At least not from Gifford’s perspective.
“It’s a long day, but honestly it’s been pretty good so far,” Gifford said. “I think everyone likes practicing in the morning. It helps the days go by faster.”
When practice concludes, players typically get a break. It’s not long, but a couple of hours is enough. When practice ends around 11:30 a.m. on weekdays, players head to lunch and then have part of the afternoon off.
They return to the stadium at 3 p.m.
“We come back up and do some recovery stuff with the strength coaches,” Weber said. “We have a meeting defensively where we go over this practice’s corrections and then we get a break for dinner and we’re back for more meetings.”
Upperclassmen know what it’s like to have fall camp practices at all hours of the day. After 7 p.m. practices in 2015 and 3:30 p.m. practices in 2016, it sounds like the coaches have hit on a time that’s good with most players.
“I like having it in the morning here now because you’re not waiting around for practice all day,” Weber said. “You can get your practice out of the way and then come up to the meeting rooms and correct the film.”
Sophomore defensive lineman Khalil Davis agrees. He uses the full day after practice to recover, which helps him feel refreshed by the next day.
“I like the early-morning practices because you get out of bed and you’ve got to wake yourself up and get pumped to go,” Davis said. “You wake your body up and you get to rest and heal the rest of the day.
“That’s why I like that. You’re back in the AM, so you basically get to rest your body up for the next practice.”
Sure, it’s an all-day event. Players can find themselves at Memorial Stadium and the Hawks Championship Center for 12-14 hours per day.
It can be a lot, but it’s temporary.
“It’s camp. You have three weeks of it,” Gifford said. “You’ve got to love it, embrace it, and I think everybody is, so far.”
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