KEARNEY, Neb. — There’s nothing but good vibes around the first spring football practice at UNK.

It was a beautiful day, new faces made their debuts in blue and year number two under the Ryan Held regime started.

“We’re just so much farther ahead, everybody knows where to go, they understand the schemes a lot better," Held said. "We just came out with a lot of energy.”

“It’s definitely more crisp, guys know where they’re going, we’re getting into drills quicker, it’s not as much people standing around looking between drills," defensive back CJ Kuehl said. "It’s go go go.”

Kuehl is one of those leading the drills. It’s a new feeling for the soon-to-be junior to be in a leadership role.

“It makes you think more about how you play, how you’re leading the guys below you," Kuehl said. "Making less mistakes, being more locked in, guys asking questions and being able to give a response.”

For the first time in six seasons, the quarterback huddle doesn’t have Loper legend TJ Davis. Instead, Missouri Western senior transfer Reagan Jones is the most experienced voice. He chose to come to Kearney largely because of a relationship with Held that goes back to when the former Husker assistant was recruiting Jones to be a safety at Nebraska.

“It was a whole thing," Jones said. "I was trying to go D-1 and then I realized that I don’t want to play anything other than quarterback. Then it just so happened that he ended up here and we got to reconnect. That’s how football goes.”

“He’s got a really good arm," Held said. "He’s learning the offense better. He has experience in this league, it’s like signing and NFL veteran.”

But Jones isn’t guaranteed the starting job. Held lists competition as one of his top team goals for the spring.

“No one has a starting spot. Go win it," Held said. "Either win the starting job or win reps or what role are you?”

14 practices remain with the spring game set for April 19th.