Lincoln, Neb. Cody Green is a bit conflicted.
The freshman wants to win the Nebraska starting quarterback’s job for Saturday’s game against Iowa State.
But he knows the opportunity comes at the expense of his friend and current starter Zac Lee, who has been ripped and booed by fans for his ineffectiveness.
“With me being close to Zac, I feel sorry for him tremendously,” Green said. “I wish I could take some of the pain off him just because I don’t want that feeling for anybody, really. A whole state jumps on somebody’s bandwagon one minute and jumps right off the next.”
Green’s bandwagon is loading up fast this week.
A year ago at this time, the 6-foot-4, 220-pounder was leading Dayton (Texas) High to a state runner-up finish and was ranked among the top 10 quarterback prospects in the country.
“I don’t ever put boundaries on a kid,” offensive coordinator Shawn Watson said. “Cody is just one of those guys who needs time. He’s a lot better than he was four or five weeks ago.”
Credit for that goes as much to Lee as to Watson.
Lee befriended Green and took him under his wing last winter. Green said he owes the junior a debt of gratitude for giving him pointers.
Green came in for one series in the third quarter in last week’s loss to Texas Tech and was called for delay of game before taking his third snap. He returned for the last two possessions of the fourth quarter, throwing a touchdown pass to Khiry Cooper and getting intercepted.
Pelini said Green “didn’t grade out exceptionally well” during film review. But with Nebraska in need of a spark, Green is getting a long look.
“It’s the one thing that any competitor or a second-string competitor dreams of, that one chance to go out there and show what you can do,” Green said. “Right now, it’s that time.”