(Bruce Thorson-US PRESSWIRE)

Spring Practice Position Battles: The Victors (Safety)

Although Nebraska’s spring game was rained out, the Huskers’ 14 other spring practices have shown enough for fans and media to start forming opinions about the 2012 depth chart.

At the end of Nebraska’s spring session, Husker Corner breaks down who has put themselves in the best position to win their respective position battles. The graduation of Austin Cassidy allows one of two safeties with starting experience to prove they have what it takes to start in 2012.

The Competitors

The starting role at safety opposite Daimion Stafford is a two-man race. P.J. Smith and Courtney Osborne both return significant starting experience, and both are fighting for the starting role in their senior seasons.

The Circumstances

Smith was the heir apparent to Larry Asante back in 2009, when he graduated. In 2010, Smith was passed on the depth chart by the surging Osborne, who held down the role through the end of 2010. Then, in 2011, Cassidy, a former walk-on, earned a starting role, while newcomer Daimion Stafford stole the remaining starting spot at safety from Osborne. Both retained their roles as starters throughout the year. Cassidy’s graduation once again opens up a spot for Smith and Osborne in a last-chance scenario for both players in their senior seasons.

The Victor

Coach Bo Pelini said he thought Osborne was poised to have a strong senior season. Unfortunately for Osborne, that’s about the only time Osborne’s name was heard throughout spring practice. Smith took the majority of the reps with the first team, and it looks to be his job to lose. Although no coaches will say it, this battle looks like a knock-out in favor of Smith.

By Chris Peters

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Tags: 2012 Austin Cassidy Big Ten Blackshirts Bo Pelini College Football Courtney Osborne Daimion Stafford Depth Chart Huskers Blog Nebraska Nebraska Cornhuskers Pj Smith Position Battle Roster Safety Spring Game Spring Practice

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