Lincoln, Neb. — The Nebraska football team practiced for just over two hours in full pads on Tuesday. The Huskers worked both on the Ed and Joyanne Gass practice fields as well as the Hawks Championship Center.
Defensive Coordinator Bob Diaco addressed the media after practice, commenting on the process of selecting Blackshirts for his first time and what it means to be a Blackshirt.
“[It was a] pretty clear, pretty clean process,” Diaco said. “It’s a really exciting tradition, it’s pretty awesome that young people, young men in particular that we are talking about here, aspire to be and their goal is to carry the burden of accountability and responsibility of defending the hopes and dreams of the team, the university and the state of Nebraska. So that’s pretty exciting and that’s how I see it. If their goal was to get a shirt then we’re going to have a learning curve. If their goal was to take on the responsibility and accountability of defending the hopes and dreams of the team, the university and the state, that’s super exciting.”
Coach Diaco also talked about the qualities that a Blackshirt must acquire.
“You can’t grow up, I don’t think, as a defender in this country as a football player and not know about the Blackshirt defense and the ideologies and habits of defending that brings,” Diaco said. “The learning is something that I already know that this isn’t the end for someone that has been honored with that responsibility, it’s the beginning. It’s the beginning of a process, it’s the beginning of a responsibility and accountability to work, habits, leadership, strain, pain.”
Diaco touched more on his thoughts on traditions in college football, specifically the Blackshirt tradition.
“They’re great,” Dicao said. “Things become traditions for a reason. People rally behind them. Most are riddled with success and that’s how they persist over time, become real. That is surely one of the real special ones in college football.”
Coach Diaco looked ahead to the challenge of facing a talented Arkansas State offense on Saturday.
“Great offense, innovative system, awesome challenge for our defense, strong perimeter players and really good quarterback play,” Diaco said. “[The] tight end is a talented player and the way that they do their business, they know it inside and out. The head football coach and the offensive coaches have a great dynamic offensive system. They run it really well. They’ve outscored folks in their years and have had great success as a team, led by their offense.”
The Huskers will return to practice tomorrow afternoon as they prepare for their season opener against Arkansas St.