Nebraska freshman inside linebacker Nick Henrich is unlikely to participate during preseason camp, according to his position coach, but is still expected to play — perhaps extensively — this fall.
The Omaha Burke standout had shoulder surgery during spring ball and has made progress in the months since, but likely will not be added to the 110-man camp roster.
“We won’t get him for camp, I’m pretty sure of that,” inside linebackers coach Barrett Ruud said. “He’ll be back this season for sure, it just depends on how that shoulder goes and how strong he gets.”
Ruud said recently that Henrich looked like a player ready for an extensive role before his injury and the staff remains very high on him. Assuming he isn’t added to the camp roster, the 6-foot-4, 220-pounder can be present at meetings and practice when classes start Aug. 26.
“We’re going to be smart with him, too,” Ruud said. “Coming off a shoulder surgery, we’re not going to do anything that would jeopardize his rehab. He’s got a big future here and we’re going to make sure we’re smart about it this year.”
Thompkins added to camp roster: Freshman running back Ronald Thompkins (knee) has been added to NU's camp roster, a school spokesman confirmed to the Journal Star on Tuesday.
Thompkins, a 6-foot, 195-pound back from Grayson, Georgia, was eased into college work after he tore the ACL in his left knee at the beginning of his senior season and suffered an ACL tear in his right knee halfway through his junior year.
On Tuesday, he was seen coming off the practice field with no pads on and sporting a green noncontact jersey. Players must go through two days with no pads on and two days in shells before they can participate in fully padded practices.
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The following players were also seen with no pads or not in uniform: Senior outside linebacker Alex Davis, freshman safety Myles Farmer, sophomore wide receiver Kade Warner and sophomore defensive lineman Chris Walker.
OLB updates: Junior outside linebacker JoJo Domann has rejoined the Nebraska football team after taking more time in the offseason to recover from an undisclosed injury.
He returned to practice on Friday, and was there for his fourth practice on Tuesday morning. Outside linebackers coach Jovan Dewitt said Domann is doing well. Domann will add a lot to the position when he’s able to return to full practice, DeWitt said.
“He adds a huge dimension to us defensively in terms of we don’t have to change very many personnel groupings to get in and out of different types of defenses,” Dewitt said. “So he’s a little versatile at outside backer with his (defensive back) background. And he’s gained the weight that you want a linebacker to be at. He’s no longer a DB playing linebacker. He’s become more of a true linebacker for us, so that’s been really good.”
Outside linebacker Alex Davis has also missed practice time, which has allowed for younger players such as true freshmen Garrett Nelson from Scottsbluff to get more playing time in practice.
“He’s done really well,” said Dewitt of Nelson. “He’s such a physical kid by nature, and I think it really plays into his strengths. Does he make some mistakes? For sure. I don’t see him just flat-out getting beat quite a bit. I’m excited about his tenacity for getting to the football combined with the physical nature he plays is really worked out well for us, and for him.”
Barry impressed by McCaffrey: Freshman quarterback Luke McCaffrey is impressing not only his fellow offensive players, but the guys that go against him in practice daily, too.
"He’s fast. That’s in his bloodline. He’s got a lot of growing, too," senior linebacker Mohamed Barry said Tuesday.
"One thing I like about him is the attitude he brings every day. You wouldn’t think he’s ever upset, ever mad, ever just in his head. He always comes with a positive attitude and that’s going to be a great thing for him and this team."