As you might have read or heard approximately 3.2 million times this offseason, Nebraska has a very young, untested defense.
So it was disappointing, to say the least, when news broke this summer that freshmen defensive end Ernest Suttles and linebacker Thomas Brown had been kicked off the team for allegedly striking teammate David Santos in the head with a bottle. Santos, just a sophomore himself, had stood out as a team leader at linebacker during spring practice. Already dealing with youth and inexperience, the Huskers could hardly afford chemistry problems on that defense.
On Friday, Santos spoke publicly for the first time since the incident as part of Nebraska's preseason media day. According to reports, Santos still bears a small scar on his forehead. But he said there are no lingering issues.
"It's one of those situations where you wouldn't expect it to happen, but it can happen," Santos told reporters, as relayed by the Lincoln Journal Star's Brian Christopherson. "It's unfortunate but we've learned from it as a team. We've kind of moved past it."
Santos said it was a series of "silly events" that led him getting hit by the bottle and said it's not indicative of any chemistry problems.
"[Teammates] kind of said, 'Don't worry about it,'" he said. "I still see the same guys and still have respect for them just the same. I didn't feel ashamed."
Senior defensive lineman Jason Ankrah also said that the issue is behind the Huskers.
“It was just that night that something went down," he told reporters. "With one of the players, he had previous incidents and had certain things he would do. That night was just the last straw for him and, unfortunately, he brought along another person with him. It went down the wrong way. We all know what we have to do. We know right from wrong, so the fact that they did that, they chose to do that, that’s the only issue. We’re still going to move on. The next people have to step up.”
Nebraska will hold its first preseason practice on Saturday, and the Huskers hope this is the last time they'll have to talk about the summer trouble.