WR.) Jamal Turner, Jr. -
Nebraska fans have known for quite some time the former high school All-American was talented, but have been waiting anxiously for him to breakout. Over the last five games of the 2012 season, Turner recorded three touchdowns and looked to be on the verge of being a complete difference maker on the field. Now this spring, we are hearing he's also become a difference maker in the classroom. “I've noticed a shift in his dedication, hard work, and attention to detail. That's a thing that comes with maturity. Jamal should really be what I was last year, a redshirt sophomore. That's not being disrespectful, he got to play some his freshman year, but probably not as much as he would have liked,” said Bell. “It's been interesting to see him come into the role of leader. He's far ahead of where I was last year when it comes to leadership and what he's capable of. I'm looking forward to see the year he can have.”
MLB.) Trevor Roach, Jr. -
The Elkhorn walk-on has continued with his stellar growth from last season, impressing the coaching staff this spring once again. He doesn't have the star power by his name that others have, but defensive coordinator John Papuchis has called him consistent and a leader. “Trevor Roach will find a way to help us this fall,” said Papuchis. In 2012, he appeared in five games, registering five tackles, mostly getting work on special teams. We don't expect him to be the starting MIKE linebacker this fall, but don't be surprised if he gets some work at the position.
OG.) Jake Cotton, Jr. -
If there was any doubt who might be replacing Seung Hoo Choi at the guard opposite of Spencer Long, it sounds like it's been put to rest with the stellar play of Jake Cotton this spring. “I really like the way he has practiced,” said Nebraska offensive coordinator Tim Beck. “He's still got some things to work on, but he's quick and very physical for a big guy. He moves so well for a guy that big.” The offensive line's chemistry is evident, with 153 total contests between the front five. While Cotton is the low man on the totem poll, he's blended right in.
CB.) Josh Mitchell, Jr. -
He has nine starts over his career, but Mitchell was the first defensive back often being looked at by fans to be replaced by Auburn transfer Jonathan Rose. The reported 5-foot-11 junior isn't planning on giving up any of his playing time. “I think Josh is playing really well right now, he has been showing good leadership.” Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini said after Saturday's practice.
CB.) Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Sr. -
The one practice the Nebraska media got to see this spring, Jean-Baptiste was flying around the football field, making play-after-play. According to BRR sources, the play has continued. With a better understanding of the defensive side of the football now, the former wide receiver is seeing the game slow down. It's allowed his athletic frame to take over in the secondary.
DT.) Vincent Valentine, RFr. -
In reality, Vincent Valentine is probably right where he's supposed to be, but Nebraska fans have been anxiously waiting for the big man to become a force up front and felt it might be at the beginning of the 2013 season. But, it sounds like the Illinois product is maybe going through some young growing pains. “When you are a big physical dominating guy in high school, you can take a play off and still be physically imposing on your opponent,” said Nebraska defensive coordinator John Papuchis. “At this level, if you are not locked in and focused every time you put your hand in the dirt, you are going to be exposed.
“For him, it's the majority of being able to focus on play three, four, and five – putting together a series, instead of having one good play and then one not so good play. That's a development process that most young kids go through and he's going through it right now.”
RB.) Ameer Abdullah, Jr. -
Just like Rex Burkhead last year, Abdullah has done nothing wrong play wise to see his stock drop. But when someone with as much hype this spring as Abdullah gets injured, their stock has to drop a little bit.
CB.) Mo Seisay, Sr. -
It doesn't sound like Seisay has had a bad spring, but with players like Mitchell and Jean-Baptiste being mentioned often, it's hard to not wonder if Seisay will make a major impact on the field in 2013? Throw in the fact that Rose is supposedly very talented and should fight for time right away and it looks like Seisay has his work cut out for him. Once touted as the next great Nebraska cornerback, the junco-transfer just hasn't made the impact fans would have hoped for. There is still time, but it's running out.