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Husker D-lineman Keem Green benefits as 'iron sharpens iron' in the trenches
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Husker D-lineman Keem Green benefits as 'iron sharpens iron' in the trenches

Damion Daniels will be one of Nebraska's key players on the defensive line.

Nebraska defensive line coach Tony Tuioti wants his defensive linemen to be physical, tough and aggressive at the line of scrimmage, knocking back opposing offensive linemen.

So it makes sense that Tuioti’s favorite part of practice involves the Husker defensive linemen working directly against a seasoned offensive line. If Tuioti had his druthers, he’d actually start practice with these violent, physical contests of strength.

“Iron sharpens iron,” Tuioti said.

Keem Green

Keem Green

Over the last 10 months, iron has been sharpening Keem Green in a good way.

Green, a four-star, highly touted junior college transfer from the 2019 recruiting class, struggled in his first year on campus. He appeared in three games and retained his redshirt, but didn’t make much of a dent when he was on the field.

Nebraska wouldn’t have been opposed to Green playing often last season, but his progress was so minor that Tuioti ultimately rolled with different players like Casey Rogers.

Green (6-foot-5, 315 pounds) has “come a long ways,” Tuioti said, and will be a part of NU’s defensive line rotation.

“He can play end for us, he can play nose for us,” Tuioti said. “Last year, he couldn’t learn the nose guard position. He could only learn one. Now he’s grown and understands the defense.”

The coronavirus pandemic has allowed NU coaches to have extra meetings. Those have benefited Green’s learning curve, Tuioti said.

“But also running to the football, that’s been a big thing for him,” Tuioti said. “Being relentless and able to run to the football. Not just one time, but all the time.

“The young guys now, the junior college transfers, we need those guys to help us. But they’ve got to do it our way. And they’re going to need to each and every time. Once we can get those guys to do that, I feel a lot better about them being on the field more and more for us.”

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