After Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini, and his staff announced some players were seeing reps with the first team offense and defense, the depth chart has been shaken up a little bit. Pelini also announced that freshmen defensive linemen Aaron Curry, Avery Moss, freshman running back Imani Cross, and freshman walk-on fullback Andy Janovich would all see playing time.
Pelini also commented how freshman wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp has not dropped a pass in practice yet.
Running backs coach, Ron Brown said fullbacks C.J. Zimmer, and Mike Marrow have split reps with the number one offense evenly.
On the defensive side of the ball most of the news came from the secondary. Defensive back coach Terry Joseph said that Harvey Jackson has seen playing time at the safety position opposite Daimion Stafford with the number one defense.
Terry went on to say, Joshua Mitchell is seeing a lot of playing time as the corner opposite Mohammad Seisay, and Mitchell has coaches raving about his camp performance. While fellow sophomore Corey Cooper has been working as the dime corner with the number one defense.
With all that said, here is how the depth chart should look, if it was September 1.
1. Taylor Martinez
2. Brion Carnes
3. Tommy Armstrong
Position Battle: Offensive coordinator Tim Beck came out last week, and said that the number two spot at quarterback is still open. If Carnes and Martinez stay healthy there is no reason to burn Tommy Armstrong’s redshirt. He has looked like the best all around quarterback on the team. Give him four years of eligibility, and prepare him to be the future.
1. Rex Burkhead
2. Ameer Abdullah
3. Imani Cross
Position Battle: After hearing Ameer Abdullah talk to the media yesterday, and just explain how things are clicking, and some of the work he has put in in the off season, I am ready to watch him play I-back. Obviously Rex will be the starter, but I think you may see Abdullah run between the tackles more often this year. Cross is one of the true freshman Pelini said can see playing time. At 6-foot-2, 200 plus pounds, Cross is one of those guys that passes the eye test getting off the bus. It will be exciting to see him grow as football player. It will be interesting to see who gets the most reps between Abdullah and Cross.
1. Mike Marrow
2. C.J. Zimmer
3. Andy Janovich
Position Battle: Running backs coach Ron Brown said that Marrow and Zimmer have split carries evenly through out fall camp. I am going to give the edge to Marrow. The Alabama transfer is a little more athletic, and moves slightly better than Zimmer. It should be an on going battle between those two all season long. Janovich will primarily see time on special teams. If he can prove himself there, he may see the field in scrap duty on offense.
Wide Receiver X
1. Kenny Bell
2. Jordan Westerkamp
Position Battle: Kenny Bell pushed himself to the clear-cut No.1 receiver last year. This doesn’t mean that Jamal Turner won’t develop as the No. 1, look for Turner and Bell to compete for catches. Westerkamp will see the field as a true freshman, and could develop into a player like former Husker great, Nate Swift.
Wide Receiver Y
1. Jamal Turner
2. Taariq Allen
Position Battle: Allen could come in, in goal line situations. He is the tallest receiver on the team and had made huge strides before being injured in practice last week. Pelini said he should be back by the Southern Miss game Sep. 1. Turner may be the most athletically gifted player on the team, and led the team in receptions through six games last year.
Wide Receiver Z
1. Tim Marlowe
2. Quincy Enunwa
Position Battle: Marlowe is entering his senior year, and has progressed every year, and continues to get better. Enunwa will see more game clock this season. He is the best blocking receiver on the team, and has the strongest hands of any receiver. This battle should be interesting going down the stretch.
1. Kyler Reed
2. Ben Cotton
Position Battle: Cotton will see the field more this year at tight end, only because there will be offensive sets where Reed lines up at the slot receiver position. Both are seniors, both still have a lot they want to accomplish before they leave Nebraska. Every tight end on the roster, other than Reed, is from Nebraska.
1. Jeremiah Sirles
2. Mike Moudy
Position Battle: The tackle spots are the two biggest questions marks on the team. Not a good thing considering Bo Pelini said he wants this team to be more dedicated to the pass in 2012. Sirles is 6-foot-6, 310 lb. The loss of Tyler Moore is huge, and the depth behind Sirles is unproven.
1. Spencer Long
2. Jake Cotton
Position Battle: Long is a former walk-on who impressed enough last season to earn himself a scholarship. Cotton saw limited playing time last season, but that will change this year.
1. Cole Pensick
2. Ryne Reeves
Position Battle: Pensick is the starter going in to the season, but if he struggles, I don’t see the coaching staff being afraid of making a change.
1. Andrew Rodriguez
2. Seung Hoon Choi
Position Battle: The most interesting thing to watch is what Rodriguez does this fall. With the transfer of Ryan Klatchico, and the departure of Tyler Moore, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Rodriguez moved back to tackle. Choi would be a serviceable fit at guard.
1. Brent Qvale
2. Zach Sterup
Position Battles: There is a huge question mark behind Qvale. At 6-foot-8, 300 lb. Sterup could be the best option. This goes back to, what will happen with Rodriguez.
Strong-Side Defensive End
1. Cameron Meredith
2. Joseph Carter
3. Avery Moss
Position Battle: Meredith is a senior who still has a lot to prove. The majority of mobile quarterbacks ran for big yards, ran to the side Meredith played on. I will be watching Meredith’s performance in games against teams with a running quarterback. Moss is a player Pelini said would see the field, maybe as early as week one.
1. Baker Steinkuhler
2. Jay Guy
3. Aaron Curry
Position Battle: Steinkuhler enters his senior season as possibly the face off the defense. Guy is a redshirt sophomore who has received high praise from the coaching staff over the last two years. Curry is a guy who Pelini said could see the field this year as a freshman.
1. Chase Rome
2. Thad Randle
3. Vincent Valentine
Position Battle: Rome is a redshirt sophomore with all the upside in the world. He is 6-foot-3, 290 lb., and filled in for Jerod Crick last season, when the preseason All-American went down injured. Randle is a senior who could see a major roll in this defense. Valentine is a freshman, who Pelini didn’t mention Tuesday, but has received rave, reviews from the coaching staff.
Weakside Defensive End
1. Eric Martin
2. Jason Ankrah
3. Greg McMullen
Position Battle: Martin enters his senior season with a lot to prove. He came to Lincoln as a linebacker, and moved to defensive end to see playing time. Ankrah is a redshirt junior who hasn’t reached his potential yet. It will be exciting to see if it finally starts to click for him with Rick Kaczenski as the defensive line coach. McMullen was the crown jewl of the 2012 recruiting class. Don’t be surprised to see him on the field this season.
1. Will Compton
2. Trevor Roach
3. David Santos
Position Battle: Compton is the most solid linebacker on the team, at this point. But he is a senior and there will have to be someone who takes his place after this year. Santos will see time at outside linebacker this season, but it would not surprise me if Bo Pelini and his staff decide to build this defense around Santos. Roach is in his 3rd year in Lincoln and has shown signs of brilliance.
1. Alonzo Whaley
2. David Santos
3. Jared Afalava
Position Battle: Whaley is entering his senior season, but his starting spot is all but safe. Santos will see reps at times this season, and he is the former Texas 5A defensive player of the year. Whaley will have to be impressive if he wants to keep his spot over a hungry freshman. Afalava just became academically eligible last week. He has yet to join the team. He may redshirt this season, but look for him to compete every day in practice.
1. Sean Fisher
2. Zaire Anderson
3. Michael Rose
Position Battle: Fisher is the third senior linebacker, and that gives him a leg up on playing time. Anderson is a junior college transfer, who is more athletic than Fisher, and as soon as he gets the defense down he could take time away from Fisher. Rose seems like the most driven freshman linebacker. It will be hard to keep him off the field.
1. Mohammad Seisay
2. Stanley Jean-Baptiste
3. Antonio Bell
Position Battle: Seisay is a junior college transfer who was brought in to replace Alfonzo Dennard as the lock down corner. He has battling a leg injury all fall, but should be back to 100% by September. Terry Joseph, said that Jean-Baptiste has all the upside in the world. He will see the field this fall, Joseph said the sky could be the limit for him. Bell is a senior and will work his tail off to get on the field this year.
1. Daimion Stafford
2. P.J. Smith
Position Battle: Stafford will be the vocal leader of the defense. He has admitted to playing out of position several times last season, and that he has figured it out. If he has, and with his athletic talent, Stafford could be an All-Big 10 safety.
1. Joshua Mitchell
2. Andrew Green
3. Ciante Evans
Position Battle: Mitchell has been seeing time in practice with the No. 1 defense. Green and Evans saw time on the field last season. They struggled. I don’t know if the Mitchell is the answer, but he can be an improvement. The corner position will be an interesting battle all season long.
1. Harvey Jackson
2. Corey Cooper
Position Battle: Jackson has been seeing time with the No. 1 defense in camp. Most people had P.J. Smith going in to the season as the No. 1 safety on the other side of Stafford, Jackson has impressed enough to step in to this roll. Cooper has seen time at the Dime position.
By Jimmie Allen
Contact the writer at [email protected]
Follow us on Twitter @Husker Corner
Become our friend on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/HuskerCorner