Nebraska football is all wrapped up in the public eye until fall camp. Media access is at a standstill and the only thing left to do until fall is speculate.
Husker Corner breaks down what we learned in spring ball and the questions that remain as we head into the dead period of college football. We examine the defense.
What We Learned
- Nobody will replace Lavonte David – The Husker linebackers have all seen significant improvement from the end of 2011. However, fans and media alike continue to search for the next Lavonte David. It’s sad to say, but that guy probably doesn’t exist on Nebraska’s roster. David is a one-of-a-kind talent that doesn’t’ come around often. While the unit as a whole may be more balanced and perhaps stronger, don’t look for one guy to be another Lavonte David.
- The Blackshirts need help on the defensive line – Maybe it was just the injuries, but the Husker defensive line, outside Cameron Meredith, didn’t look very impressive against a lackluster offensive line. Since the departure of Ndamukong Suh, the defensive line has been on a steady decline. When the unit is all healed up, it will be easier to gauge its strength, but for the time being, the unit looked like the weakest facet of the defense by far.
- Daimion Stafford will be special – It’s clear by the way Bo Pelini talks about him. Daimion Stafford will be a force by season’s end. Stafford played right away, and started in only his second game with the team. Now that he has an entire off-season to learn the technical schemes of the defense, Stafford can play his normal physical football, while adding in more of an intellectual understanding of the defense. Pelini said he expects great things from Stafford this season, which was echoed by other players on the team.
Questions that Remain
- Who will start at cornerback? – The field is loaded, all vying for the spot opposite Andrew Green at cornerback. A few names emerged, notably Mohammed Seisay, Antonio Bell and Stanley Jean-Baptiste, but very little is known outside of that. New secondary coach Terry Joseph is a wildcard of sorts, and it’s unclear which of the Husker DBs he prefers. An answer likely won’t come until fall.
- How much of the hype can you believe about Mohammed Seisay? – Seisay started as a freshman at Memphis and has the capability to be great. However, a year off from the elite level raises question marks, and not much has been said thus far to silence the doubters. A spring game performance by Seisay and the rest of the defensive backs would have been a great way to analyze their potential. Thanks to Mother Nature, the jury is out on Seisay until at least September.
- How will Eric Martin be used in his senior season? – Eric Martin’s raw playmaking ability is appealing. However, his on-field awareness and football knowledge is concerning. Coaches have been trying to find ways to utilize Martin for three years. Now it’s Martin’s senior season, and he still doesn’t appear to be ready for a starting role at defensive end. Will there be packages to utilize his pass-rushing abilities? Will the coaches give him a chance to start? Or will he simply come in for relief and walk out of Nebraska with a diploma? All questions could be crucial to the success of the defensive line this season, but all questions remain unanswered.
By Chris Peters
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