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Husker notes: Vaccinated athletes won't be subjected to weekly COVID testing

Husker notes: Vaccinated athletes won't be subjected to weekly COVID testing

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Tom Shatel and Sam McKewon recap Monday availability

Fully vaccinated Nebraska athletes won’t have to be tested for COVID-19 each week so long as they're in the school's vaccine registry, according to new guidelines from the NU athletic department.

Athletes who aren’t fully vaccinated will have to submit to once-a-week PCR testing through the university’s testing and surveillance program, with tests taking place 24 to 48 hours before competition. According to NU, fully vaccinated is defined as being two weeks out from a second dose of the two-shot vaccines or two weeks out from the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Unvaccinated players who test positive will be isolated for at least 10 days if they’re asymptomatic, and potentially longer if they’re symptomatic and still running a fever.

A series of close contact rules kick into place as well that greatly differ for vaccinated and unvaccinated players.

All athletes — vaccinated or unvaccinated — were required to take a PCR test between Aug. 15 and Aug. 22. Unvaccinated athletes can apply for a vaccine exemption through UNL under two conditions:

» Documentation of a positive COVID-19 test within the last 90 days and have completed 10-day isolation.

» Documentation from a health care provider showing medical reason to not get the vaccine.

Huskers 'pumped' for new NIL agency

Quarterback Adrian Martinez said Monday he’s “pumped” to be a client of Athlete Branding & Marketing.

The company, run by former Husker chief of staff Gerrod Lambrecht, has Martinez and Cam Taylor-Britt as clients, and will serve as a connection point between NU athletes and businesses.

“It’s going to be huge for not only Nebraska football, but Nebraska athletics,” Martinez said. “And student-athletes being able to maximize their potential and do everything they can to get everything out of their name, image and likeness. I’m super fired up that a guy like Gerrod Lambrecht is the head of that company. A guy who understands Nebraska.”

ABM is an agency — which players in Nebraska are allowed to have, according to state law — but its arrangement with Martinez is “non-exclusive.” For example, he could still work through Opendorse, a Lincoln-based company which leverages online technology to set up NIL deals for athletes.

“(ABM isn't) here to hinder us in any way,” Martinez said. “… They’re here to help. I obviously have a lot of responsibilities during the season, I have football, school, so I can’t really be negotiating my deals all over town. And I’m not the only one.”

Quick hits

» Martinez said backup quarterbacks Logan Smothers and Heinrich Haarberg are “coming along the way we want them to.”

» NU tight end Austin Allen praised the work of backups Chris Hickman, Nate Boerkircher and Chancellor Brewington while Allen and Travis Vokolek were banged up during training camp. Brewington, a transfer from Northern Arizona, moved to tight end after beginning camp as a receiver.

“He’s just hit the ground running,” Allen said. “He’s very smart. What helps him — and guys who transfer in — are that they have an understanding of what it takes to learn collegiate offense. … Chance is going to help us this year.”

» Nebraska's game against Illinois on Aug. 28 is the earliest game by calendar date in Big Ten history. Previously the earliest league game was Northwestern’s win over Purdue on Aug. 30, 2018.

» Senior safety Marquel Dismuke said third-year redshirt freshman Myles Farmer impressed him throughout camp. Farmer missed the end of last season after suffering an ankle injury at Purdue.

“He’s back like he never left,” Dismuke said. “You can’t even tell he had an injury, to be honest.”

» Left guard Ethan Piper said he played around 285 pounds last year and is up to about 307 now.

» Curtailing penalties was a clear priority throughout fall camp. Piper said punishments for penalties have been more “severe” this year and could include pushups, lifting and running. Piper tied a team high with five flags last year for 29 yards.

“It helps change your mindset that this means a lot,” Piper said. “… I think — or I know — it’s going to be better this year.”

» Cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt said he’s aiming for more interceptions this season than his jersey number (five). He jokes with teammates that when they drop a pick, they “haven’t been to Cam class. … You’ve been skipping!” Taylor-Britt owns five career interceptions.​

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