Just a note: Players like Jeremiah Sirles, last year’s starting left
tackle, will be omitted from this group as he will be out for the entire
Spring. It doesn’t have a thing to do with the Fall depth chart, only
how we see these units looking coming out of Spring.
1 – Taylor Martinez (So.)
2 – Cody Green (Jr.)
Tim Beck said as much himself, indicating the experience these two have
gives them an automatic leg up. Turner is a heck of an athlete, but
we’ll see how far he can come in Spring. If he can’t break the
three-deep, though, I bet you see him on the field this year as a wide
receiver or as an athlete.
1 – Rex Burkhead (Jr.)
2 – Collins Okafor (Jr.)
is obvious, but the main reason for putting Oakfor second is that Ron Brown has said in no clearly defined terms that he’s going to ride him
like Secretariat. Either he’ll break out or he won't. If he does break
out, I think he could be a seriously strong addition to this group. We
have all been waiting awhile to see what he can do. Maybe this year
we’ll see it
1 – Tyler Legate (Sr.)
2 – C.J. Zimmerer (So.)
is the shoo-in, but my feeling on Zimmerer is that he’s been just on
the edge of breaking out, but at this position, if there is already an
established guy, it’s difficult. And Legate is legit.
Wide Receiver (X or Y)
1 – Brandon Kinnie (Sr)
2 – Stanley Jean-Baptiste (So.)
the reason I indicated X or Y was simply because I don’t know what Rich
Fisher, the new receiver coach, does. And I don’t know that we can
clearly say what Tim Beck does now that the offense is officially his.
So, I’m indicating the two deep, based on a side versus a position.
Kinnie is the guy, but I think fellow former JUCO wideout Jean-Baptiste
is getting enough praise early on that I think he could fit in well
here. Both are similar in size as Stanley only goes about five pounds
under Kinnie’s 225 lbs. frame. Part of this is me buying in a bit to the
hype, but let’s face it, outside of Kinnie this entire position is wide
Wide Receiver (X or Y)
1 – Curenski Gilleylen (Sr.)
2 – Quincy Enunwa (So.)
might be the kind of change Gilleylen needs, but I can already here you
saying that his problem was catching the ball. Not sure if you noticed,
but everyone else had that problem, too. But he does have the speed.
That’s always been a constant. With his experience, surely that has to
count for something. As for Enunwa, my first inclination would be to put
Khiry Cooper here, due to his length of time on the team. But he
doesn’t practice during the Spring, because of obligations to baseball.
So, it’s hard to put him on the two-deep right now, and I think Enunwa
can be such a dangerous playmaker, because he has size as well as
|Ben Cotton is hands down, the most versatile tight end the Huskers have right now.
1 – Ben Cotton (Jr.)
2 – Kyler Reed (Jr.)
don’t know how this position is going to work itself out. Cotton and
Reed are obviously very different in regard to what they do. So, it
basically comes down to the situation. Reed is the obvious deep threat
at the position, while Cotton gives you solid play at the line and as a
mid-field threat catching the ball. The tight end position is pretty
thin right now, even with the addition of Lester Ward. Look for him also
to be a Reed type, because I think more than not doing all that much at
running back, it seems obvious to me that the staff feels like they
need another legit receiver at this position.
1 – Tyler Moore (Fr.)
2 – Jermarcus Hardrick (Sr.)
will say that I think Hardrick might have a slight edge on overall
athleticism for his size. I say this, because I think if Hardrick was a
bit trimmer, perhaps more lean like Moore, he would be an athletic
freak. He already is, but I’d say that he’s probably carrying around 20
to 25 extra pounds that I am sure the S&C department would like to
convert to muscle. Moore is so gifted, though, and he’s obviously a
smart kid, otherwise he wouldn’t be here already versus waiting for the
regular graduation date at high school. There is just nothing I don’t
like about that kid, and he has already been repping with the ones. Not
that, that means much, because I think the coaches intentionally get
everyone time with the top units. But I just think the kid is a stud,
1 – Andrew Rodriguez (So.)
2 – Brandon Thompson (Jr.)
competition is going to be great, and I wouldn’t rule out Mike Moudy
perhaps taking a stab at this side, versus the right side. But I like
Rodriguez to take this spot, because I think he’s versatile everywhere,
and boy, he takes up some space. He’s quicker now than I ever saw him be
on his film from Aurora. He always said he liked a good fight, which is
what you have to have in you if you are going to start and play well at
this level. Thompson has been kind of mystery since he arrived, and was
slotted in at left tackle. He’s moved inside, but we’ll see if he can
make strides to be a starter. He certainly has a lot of time in the
program, and he’s always looked the part.
1 – Mike Caputo (Sr.)
2 – Cole Pensick (So.)
this dynamic duo. Both are great kids with really enthusiastic and
passionate dads. As you know, Cole’s dad (Dan) played line for the
Huskers. Caputo seems to have recovered nicely from off season surgery,
and with his experience I don’t see him losing his spot. Both he and
Cole are either two of or the two strongest players on the team. They
both have pretty short arms to go with their just over six-foot frames.
But they both love that fight down in the trenches. Nick Ash was tried
out here last year, and I would guess he’ll have a chance this Spring.
But I don’t see anyone cracking that top two.
1 – Brent Qvale (So.)
2 – Mike Moudy (RsFr.)
|If Qvale can be half as intense as Ricky Henry was, defensive linemen are going to have a lot to fear.
Barney Cotton said Ricky Henry was by far the toughest player he’s ever
coached, and he was looking to find that in someone else. He hasn’t
found it yet. Can Qvale be that guy? My theory on this is that when you
are as much of a giant as he is, and also as good of an athlete, you
were never really tested in high school. Sometimes that takes awhile to
wear off, so you can find that inner-Ricky Henry, so to speak. But Ricky
was not a typical player in how he played. Not everyone is fanatical
about playing this game as hard as it can be played. But Qvale has the
experience and everyone knows he has the size. If he can develop even a
modicum of Ricky’s intensity, he’s going to be a nightmare for defensive
linemen. As for Moudy, this is his time to crack the two deep. He has
had a redshirt year to get ready, and I fully expect him to be part of
the mix this year.
1 – Marcel Jones (Sr.)
2 – Jake Cotton (Fr.)
Jesse Coffey was available for Spring, I’d put him here. Not that I
don’t think Jake won’t be able to crack that two deep, but he just moved
over from defensive line. I don’t know who else would make it here.
Brodrick Nickens and Adam Kucera both have the size, as they both are
listed at 6-6 or above. But Cotton is the scholarship guy, even if that
ship came for a position on the other side of the line. What ultimately
tips the scale in his favor is his position coach. And no, I don’t mean
Barney would slot him into a position he didn’t deserve. I don’t think
for a second Barney would do that. As seems to often be the case, the
kids who get ridden the hardest are often those who find themselves in
the situation of being coached by their dad. Also, you’d have to think
that all those years have taught him something about blocking. It sure
worked with Ben.