Published Thursday, September 5, 2013 at 10:55 pm / Updated at 11:09 pm
football
Defensive line 'fraternity' sees progress in opener

LINCOLN — The modern football player bachelor pad comes with a high-tech twist.

On the Sunday morning after Nebraska's 37-34 win over Wyoming, four young Husker defensive linemen who collectively saw the first major playing time of their careers gathered to watch film in the house they share.

Only Aaron Curry, Greg McMullen, Avery Moss and Vincent Valentine didn't have to lean their tired, big bodies toward a television. NU supplies them with iPads on which to watch the highlights — and some lowlights — of the Huskers' defensive performance. For all the talking the guys had done about the first game, when they'd all play, it was a considerable moment.

“We were just talking about what went on, how was the guy you went against, how did you play overall,” Valentine said.

None of the four ever caught Cowboys quarterback Brett Smith. Film of Smith, Valentine said, didn't tell the whole story of Smith's speed. But each had at least two tackles. Valentine, who was often asked to push the pocket against a double-team — finished with four tackles. Moss had three tackles and two quarterback hurries from his end spot. McMullen — whom coach Bo Pelini specifically praised — had two, as did Curry.

Who played the best? Valentine said the foursome — who could very easily be the starting four at some point this year or in the future — decided not to figure that out.

“At parts we shined and at parts we could have played better than we did,” Valentine said. “Overall, it was a good first game. We got the win.”

What the house doesn't have, Moss said in an interview right before the Wyoming game, are any leftovers.

“No food in the fridge,” Moss said. “We've eaten everything.”

But they live together nonetheless, all members of a 2012 recruiting class that, at Big Ten media days, Pelini said was his best group of defensive line recruits to that date in his career.

The Huskers took five defensive linemen in 2010. Only one, the recently transferred Chase Rome, played any significant minutes. The key piece of the 2011 recruiting class, Todd Peat Jr., transferred in December 2012. Moss remains friends with Peat, who attended the same high school as Moss and now plays for Glendale (Ariz.) Community College.

Moss has created an equally strong bond with his recruiting class. They chose to live together, Moss said, in part because they want to be the class of players that “brings back the Blackshirts for the D-line and be that group that every offensive coordinator has to watch out for.”

“We want it bad,” Moss said “We're hungry. I can see it in Greg's eyes, in Vincent's eyes and Aaron Curry's eyes. We can get there.”

Moss seems to be the natural leader of sorts, the most vocal of the group. He calls the other linemen his “brothers” that he'll love for life. He also claims superiority if a wrestling match ever comes up.

“Vincent's too soft, I'll beat him up,” Moss said, smiling. “And Aaron's too lackadaisical. I'll catch him slipping. Greg's the toughest one, but I got it.”

* * *

Video: Pelini talks after Thursday's practice:

Contact the writer: Sam McKewon

sam.mckewon@owh.com    |   402-219-3790    |  

Sam McKewon covers Nebraska football for The World-Herald. Got a tip, question or rant? Good. Email him. Follow him on Twitter. Call him.

PHOTO GALLERY AND VIDEO »

 

< >
SPOTLIGHT »
2013 college football preview
View our 2013 college football preview, a 26-page, three-part section filled with coverage of the Huskers, Big Ten conference and more.
Big Red Bowl Retrospective
See complete historical results, game recaps and photo coverage from the Nebraska Cornhuskers college football bowl game appearances, from the 1941 Rose Bowl up to today.
Big Ten football recruits
The World-Herald's Big Ten recruiting database contains every football recruit that signed with a Big Ten school from 2002 to 2011, complete with color-coded interactive map representations, player information, high-concentrations recruiting clusters and more.
Devaney Center timeline
Check out a World-Herald timeline to see the evolution of memorable moments at the Devaney Center, complete with photos, videos, memorable quotes and more.
Follow OWHbigred on Twitter
Looking for the latest Husker sports news from The Omaha World-Herald and Omaha.com? Follow us on Twitter!
Husker scholarship distribution chart
Want to see how many scholarships NU has invested at each position? Wondering how the Huskers have appropriated their offers by class? Check out our handy chart to look further into how Bo Pelini has built his team.
Husker Signing Day 2013
The World-Herald's top-notch coverage of the Nebraska football's class of 2013, complete with videos, photos, articles, live recruit interviews, interactive components and more.
Husker turnovers: A slippery slope
Bo Pelini has coached 68 games at Nebraska. When NUís turnover margin is positive or even, the Huskers are 35-2. When they lose the turnover battle, theyíre 13-18. Why hasnít Nebraska joined the nationís elite? More than anything, itís turnovers.
Interactive: Bo Pelini's contract
View an interactive PDF of Pelini's revised contract signed by the NU football coach, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Darin Erstad's contract (2012)
View an interactive PDF of NU baseball coach Darin Erstad's contract released in August 2012, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Tim Miles' contract
View an interactive PDF of Tim Miles' contract signed by the Nebraska men's basketball coach on May 4, 2012, complete with brief legal explanations, comparisons to other Big Ten coaches and more.
Omaha.com's Big Ten coverage
Delivering the best news coverage and analysis of the Big Ten Conference, from Omaha.com and other top news outlets from around country.
Husker Recruiting: Changes shrink NU's sphere of influence
For decades, the Great Plains represented fertile recruiting ground for Tom Osborne's football program. Restoring that lost tradition won't be easy.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Meridian Med Spa
50% Off Botox®, Botox® Bridal Party, Fillers and Peels
Buy Now
BRT ON TWITTER »
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT »
< >