Rapid reaction: Riley identifies the top three corners, Newell moving inside | Football

When Chris Jones was sidelined with a meniscus tear earlier this summer, it led to some big questions surrounding Nebraska’s secondary.

Who would step up opposite Lamar Jackson? Would Joshua Kalu move back to corner?

Some answers became a bit clear during the opening day of fall camp Sunday at Hawks Championship Center, which was open for media viewing.

The true sophomore Jackson, redshirt sophomore Eric Lee and redshirt freshman Dicaprio Bootle are clearly the top three players at the cornerback position, head coach Mike Riley said. All three saw extensive work during drills Sunday.

“I think probably as we go forward with the corners, they’re all young,” Riley said. “Their experience isn’t big but they are talented and they are smart. So what we’ll be looking for immediately is being sound, just being real smart.”

As for Kalu, Riley and the Huskers are standing pat in keeping the 6-foot-1, 195-pounder, who played opposite Jones at corner last year, at safety.

“We understand we have a little bit of versatility there with Josh,” Riley said. “We have been excited about his fit at safety. We like that look and we are hesitant to move him.”

Some other notes from the first day of practice:

* Wide receiver De’Mornay Pierson-El was not at practice Sunday. Riley said the senior was attending his sister’s wedding and will return Monday.

* Mike Riley described Sunday’s practice as clean.

* Junior Peyton Newell was working out at nose tackle Sunday. “It’s a late thought,” Riley said. “We’ll continue to look at that. There will be movement naturally according to situations.”

Riley said sophomore Khalil Davis could play inside or outside on the Husker defensive line.

* What true freshmen are standing out immediately to Riley? “I think that I will reserve comment on that.”

Riley, however, did mention Jaylin Bradley’s name earlier when talking…

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