Monday marked the first day of spring practice for Nebraska football. There were already some interesting nuggets as the media met with the various members of the coaching staff.
One of those informational nuggets was that Mark Whipple tried out wide receiver Omar Manning in the slot position in practice Monday. This news was confirmed by associate head coach and wide receivers coach Mickey Joseph.
Let me just say this. I certainly love that idea. For one, I think Nebraska football has several wide receivers that can play on the outside. Putting a guy like Manning in the slot would allow them to experiment with their depth. Offensive coordinator Mark Whipple wants a taller guy in the slot. Manning certainly fits the bill there. Manning caught 26 passes for 380 yards and two touchdowns last season. He showed flashes of brilliance, but he did not bring consistent production. That was not entirely his fault.
Having Manning as a slot receiver would allow a big-play weapon at a position that is often used for receivers who can make things happen after the catch. This would be able to make the Nebraska football offense that much more dynamic. It would be fun to watch, and it certainly gives whoever is starting under center another playmaker. You are getting top talent at a position that is often viewed as a secondary one.
There is no doubt there is depth at the wide receiver position this year. When you look at the roster, many of them can play on the outside. For example, I would consider a receiver like Trey Palmer to be able to play on the outside. Moving Manning on the inside could allow Nebraska football to really be able to play with certain wide receiver combinations. Perhaps even more important, it would allow them to get their best players on the field.
I am certainly intrigued by this idea. Part of the problem in the Scott Frost era has been that he has not put the most talented players on the field. That certainly appears to be changing, at least from what we have heard and even by this little piece of information alone. I’ll be curious to see how Nebraska football experiments with this. It makes me excited, and it could end up working out really well