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White Discusses Defensive Development

Photo Credit: NU Athletic Communications Photo Credit: NU Athletic Communications

Nebraska Defensive Coordinator Tony White met with members of the media on Thursday to discuss spring practice.

He spoke to the standard that must be upheld, as players of all experience levels are getting the same number of repetitions.

“It’s just a matter of us being really consistent with making sure that they know what the standard is. Whether you’re a first-year player or you’ve played a thousand snaps, there’s a standard that we have to continue to set. With all of us spread out, you really get a chance to see the players take hold of it.”

He talked about how he plans to take his defense to the next level after having a solid year in 2023.

“I’ve said this from day one and I’ll say it until the end of the season. This group of guys, they haven't done anything. This group together, we have not done anything yet. It’s like building a building. It starts with the little things and making sure they know what to do, they know how to do it. Then, reinforcing, not only coach to player, but player to player. Giff (Isaac Gifford), Ty (Robinson), Mikai (Gbayor), Javin (Wright), Ques (Marques Buford Jr.), those guys have played a lot of ball. This is their second year here with us. They know what’s up. Now, we’re trying to make them take hold of it, take leadership, and then wherever they go on their fields, really bring that to life. That’s the goal. We do. We want to be the number one defense in the country, but all of that is just words until guys adopt it and they live it every day.”

White also attested to the depth and versatility of the defensive line.

“I have so much respect for Coach T-Knight (Terrance Knighton) because you see how close those guys are. You see how he coaches them. You watch practice and you see how he’s constantly moving guys around, trying to get the best fit, seeing where guys can operate the best. When you have a d-line like that, where they not only know what they’re doing, but they can plug in other spots, I think it really, really helps you in terms of matchups – putting guys over guys where you’re saying, ‘I know this guy can beat this guy, this guy can beat this guy.’ It’s an experiment now, though. Again, you have talent there and they know what to do, but every day it’s like gameday around here. When we’re practicing, it’s that intense, it’s that physical. The standard is not what it was last year. Guys are moving around and we have to watch the tape to give justice to how they’re doing.”

The Huskers will continue with spring practice on Wednesday. The annual Red-White Spring game presented by FNBO is scheduled for Saturday, April 27 at 11 a.m. (CT). Tickets can be purchased on or by calling the ticket office at 800-8-BIG RED.