LINCOLN, Nebraska — Jamal Turner, who started his career at quarterback before moving to receiver, was back under center as he began his final spring at Nebraska.
Turner spent most of Saturday's opening practice taking snaps along with returning starter Tommy Armstrong and top challenger Johnny Stanton.
"It just gives us some other options, some wildcat things," coach Bo Pelini said. "He has quarterback in his background, so it's not new to him. We're going to give him significant reps at quarterback this spring and see where it is."
Turner was recruited as a quarterback in 2011 but switched to receiver early his freshman year. He's made 60 catches for 762 yards and four touchdowns the past three seasons. He was limited to eight games because of injury last season and caught 13 balls for 102 yards and a TD.
When Turner was coming out of Sam Houston High School in Arlington, Texas, he was considered one of the nation's top dual-threat quarterbacks. He racked up more than 10,000 yards in total offense as a three-year starter.
But with Taylor Martinez established as the starting quarterback at Nebraska, and coaches wanting to get Turner on the field, he switched positions.
Armstrong, who started eight games last season for the injured Martinez, entered spring as the No. 1 quarterback. Stanton, coming off a redshirt year, is the projected backup. Freshman Zack Darlington, a January enroll, also is working at quarterback along with walk-ons Ryker Fyfe and Tyson Broekemeier.
Pelini said the staff asked Turner if he would take snaps this spring. Turner has practiced some at quarterback in previous seasons.
"This spring is the time for us to experiment and maybe take it to a different level," Pelini said. "He likes it. He thinks he's Russell Wilson. Jamal isn't lacking for confidence."
Pelini said he was surprised at how good Turner looked, particularly handling blitzes.
"When you play wideout you learn how the offense runs," Pelini said. "You just plug yourself in. His experience at wideout will help him."
Safety Corey Cooper didn't practice Saturday because of a toe injury. Pelini said Cooper is day-to-day.