LINCOLN — Nebraska’s secondary lost a second potential starter in as many days when the school announced safety LeRoy Alexander had been suspended for the upcoming season.
The athletic department issued a statement Friday afternoon that said Alexander will remain on scholarship and continue to practice with the Huskers, but he will not play this fall. No reason was given for the suspension.
Nebraska officials and coach Bo Pelini won’t be available for further comment, according to the statement. Pelini did not answer a text from The World-Herald.
Theresa Alexander, LeRoy Alexander’s mother, declined to comment on the reason behind her son’s suspension.
“Whatever Nebraska says, I stand 100 percent behind Nebraska,” she said.
A native of Toledo, Ohio, the 6-foot, 195-pound Alexander suited up for most of preseason camp but was limited by a hamstring injury, Pelini said. Alexander played in all 13 games last season as a redshirt freshman with one start. He finished with 34 tackles, including 27 in the final six games, and had an interception at Purdue.
Alexander had been competing against sophomore Nate Gerry to start alongside senior Corey Cooper at safety. Gerry played more linebacker as a true freshman, but moved back to safety in the spring.
Freshman Kieron Williams has made a positive impression during his first few days of practice. Williams, who committed to the program during the summer after leaving the U.S. Air Force Prep Academy, is originally from Shreveport, Louisiana.
“We had a spot there and I wasn’t just going to bring in anybody, but I think he has a real upside,” Pelini said of the 6-foot, 185-pound Williams on Monday. “I like what I see. He’s tough, he’s very intelligent, he can move.”
Redshirt freshman D.J. Singleton is in the mix at safety, as well. Another safety, Drake Martinez, left the program during the offseason. Harvey Jackson, who started three games in 2013, transferred to BYU.
Junior college signee Byerson Cockrell had been working at safety, but shifted Tuesday to nickel because Charles Jackson, the expected starter at nickel, will miss the season with a knee injury suffered in practice. Jackson is supposed to have surgery this week.
The complete statement from NU athletics on Friday:
“Nebraska sophomore defensive back LeRoy Alexander has been suspended from competition for the 2014 football season. Alexander will remain on scholarship as a member of the Nebraska football program and will be allowed to practice with the team. Coach Pelini and the Nebraska Athletics Department will have no additional comment on this matter.”