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04.18.2011 / Both Turner and Carnes Capture the Eyes of Husker Nation at the Spring Game. Blog posting by Mike Babcock, Huskers Illustrated Magazine

For the record, the Red team defeated the White team 32-29 in the Nebraska football teams annual spring intrasquad, game-conditions scrimmage at Memorial Stadium. Brett Maher kicked a 39-yard field goal as time expired for the victory. But the score in the 15th and final practice, however elaborate, of the spring was incidental to individual players.

"Turner is pretty special with the ball in his hands, said Pelini. He has shown that. But has got a long way to go. He is just scratching the surface at how to play the position."

Ask those in the crowd of 66,784 to name which player most captured their imagination, and odds are a significant percentage would name freshman wide receiver Jamal Turner. Two Turner plays, in particular, stood out. Less than 4 minutes into the game, he returned a punt 59 yards. It was the first time he touched the ball. And late in the first half, he caught a pass from Brion Carnes, another newcomer, and carried it into the end zone, on a play covering 49 yards.

After crossing the goal line, Turner did a celebratory somersault, drawing a 15-yard, unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and solidifying his position as a fan favorite. The officials even drew a few boos for tossing the penalty flag. Oh yes, Turner also returned a kickoff 54 yards before limping off the field with 3:47 remaining in the third quarter. Nothing serious, according to coach Bo Pelini; he could have returned.

Turner is “pretty special with the ball in his hands,” said Pelini. “He has shown that. But he has got a long way to go. He is just scratching the surface at how to play the position.” Turner was a high school quarterback in Arlington, Texas, and came to Nebraska as a quarterback. But he was moved to wide receiver when practice resumed following spring break.

“It’s easy to see him make a couple of plays and say, ‘Oh, this guy is going to be the next Jerry Rice.’ You see a lot of good things. You see a lot of things that need to get fixed. His attention to detail needs to pick up, but that’s to be expected. You can say that across the board,” Pelini said.

Things can get fixed. And attention to detail can pick up. That’s what practice is for. But Turner’s transcendent athletic skills are what excited fans during the spring game. “He’s a guy on the come, which is to me a very positive thing because he has a lot ahead of him where he can get a lot better,” said Pelini.

For more great content on the Huskers, check out Huskers Illustrated Magazine or www.huskersillustrated.com

Did you attend the Husker spring game? What did you think of the game and the plays? Husker fans post your comments now and share them with other Husker fans.

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