Suddenly, Husker football finds itself in a state of flux following the arrest of linebacker Josh Banderas. Let’s not be naive, his felony charge will likely get talked down to a misdemeanor.
You can put money on Bo Pelini doling out some punishment which means Banderas chills on the sideline for a while. That’s what I’m going to assume, anyway. I don’t think Pelini boots him, but hey, stranger things have happened. Let me try my hardest to put a silver lining on this.
Banderas was going to primarily battle Michael Rose for the starting MIKE spot. Four individuals will find themselves getting more time to impress via more snaps thanks a temporary leave of absence by Bando. I speak of Nathan Gerry, Courtney Love, Trevor Roach and David Santos. Essentially, this is going to be a linebacker version of the shell game.
Gerry was due to move into a defensive back role. However, he can easily be slid back up to linebacker where he earned three starts last season. Love had a dump truck full of hype in tow coming into the program, but he hasn’t lived up to it yet. In fact, he’s looked downright bad.
To be fair, he’s all of a redshirt freshman. With an opening in the corps, he’ll get valuable reps that will do one of two things down the line. He either improves or shows the staff he can’t ball with the big boys.
Roach is the most likely candidate to take Banderas’ place behind Rose. A senior who missed last season due to injury, Roach has shown serviceable skills at the position before. While he can hold down the fort, you’re not going to see anyone comparing Banderas and Roach in terms of ability.
Finally, there’s Santos. A fantastic freshman turned sophomore liability. He showed reason for cautious optimism in the spring and now has three seasons in Pelini’s system. He has all of the physical tools necessary to be a stud, but he was taken advantage of due to mental mistakes last season.
Ideally this horrific lapse in judgment is chalked up to college age idiocy and the team moves on following on and off the field discipline. Nebraska shouldn’t have much issue patching things up for a few games. If Banderas is booted, Husker football’s front seven gets a large question mark thanks to his actions.
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