Oct 5, 2013; Lincoln, NE, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers defender Randy Gregory (44) tackles Illinois Fighting Illini quarterback Nathan Scheelaase (2) during the fourth quarter at Memorial Stadium. Nebraska won 39-19. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Husker Football: Will Randy Gregory Be the Real Deal in 2014?


Defensive end Randy Gregory already has draft analysts talking. According to some, depending on how he performs this year, he could possibly be the first overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. In just a few months, Husker football season officially begins again and fans are excited to see what he can do on the defensive side of the ball.

The key question: can he live up to the hype? He’s only going to be a junior, but is already a great player at the collegiate level.

As a sophomore, Gregory had 65 tackles, 9.5 sacks, one interception (a pick-six actually), one defended pass, and one forced fumble. Pretty good stats for a sophomore. Those numbers alone show that he could be pretty lethal this season.

Erin Sorenson of Bleacher Report makes a valid point, though:

“In 2014, Gregory will have to build upon those numbers and be even more impressive to keep the hype. Pending no injuries, the defensive end is definitely ready. He’s also not sold on his future just yet.”

If the Cornhuskers want to make it to one of the major bowl games this year then Gregory needs to not only show up, but outperform his sophomore year self. He’s a great defensive end, and I could honestly see him being an amazing addition to the NFL in a year or two, but he’ll need help from his fellow teammates.

“The key takeaway from Gregory? He’ll need his team to live up to the hype. “And it sounds crazy, but it’s going to be tough this year. I love Nebraska. I expect things from the team, and individually,” he told [Brian] Christopherson (of the Lincoln Journal Star).” – Sorenson

It’s already being suggested that he could win the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Year award. Last year, the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Year went to Wisconsin’s do-it-all linebacker Chris Borland.

Borland’s senior year consisted of 72 tackles, four sacks, two defended passes, and one forced fumble. Gregory’s sophomore year alone had more impressive stats than that, which make me think he could very easily take the honor this year. He just has to avoid injury and play his heart out.

It’s a safe assumption that if Gregory gets the award, he will forgo his final season in Nebraska and enter the draft. That’s the real deal.

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