Husker Spring Position Battles: Wide Receivers / Tight Ends


It’s not quite clear, what exactly Mike Riley’s offense will look like. We don’t yet know if we will see more sets featuring 2 back’s, 3-4 wide outs, 2-3 tight ends? Until we do, it’s kind of tough to predict what the Huskers depth chart might actually look like. One thing that we do know is that no matter what the offense will look like, it will be sure to feature sophomore wide receiver De’Mornay Pierson-El.

Nov 22, 2014; Lincoln, NE, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers receiver De

Living out here in the Pacific NW, I have become very familiar with the schools out here, including the Oregon State program. So, when I first heard Mike Riley repeatedly bring up De’Mornay’s name, the first image that came to mind was James Rodgers running the fly sweep for the Beavers. It’s a play that he “borrowed” from Mark Speckman’s fly offense. Speckman is the originator of the fly offense and is a terrific coach and motivational speaker, who has overcome adversity of his own. Born without hands, Mark went on to play college football and then became a highly successful coach at the High School and College level and is currently coaching in the CFL.

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Watching some Beaver games over the years, Coach Riley has always had some pretty successful receiver’s. James Rodgers, Sammy Stroughter, Markus Wheaton, Mike Hass and Brandin Cooks are a few that come to mind. The fly sweep is just a small play in his offense, but it’s a play that he’s gotten great results from. He often uses the motion of the play even when he isn’t running it. Players like Jamal Turner, Glenn Irons and Pierson-El should be sure bets to see this play called for them this season.

Below is a deeper look at some of the highly skilled players from both the Wide Receiver and Tight End position group’s.

Wide Receiver

Not listed: Lavon Alston and Stanley Morgan.  They will enroll this summer for fall practice.

We’re all aware of what De’Mornay, Jordan and Jamal are capable of doing on the field. After them, who is ready to step up and assume larger roles within the new offense? Brandon Reilly, Glenn Irons and Jariah Tolbert have had their names brought up, unsolicited by the Husker coaches this spring. Brandon and Jariah are more of your bigger bodied possession type receiver’s and Irons is a smaller shiftier receiver who can be dangerous in the open field.  All three are in line to receive more playing time this season.

Sam and Taariq have shown flashes, but each of them have been hampered somewhat by injuries in there Husker careers, thus far. Alonzo has been regarded as one of the best receivers on the team, during practice.  Yet for some reason it just hasn’t translated to real game situations. Gladney is still a young pup, with good size and speed.  He just needs to keep working on his fundamentals and getting better everyday in order to climb the depth chart.

Tight End

Not listed: Matt Snyder.  He will enroll this summer for fall practice.

Cethan Carter and Sam Cotton will continue to see the bulk of the snaps this fall.  The tight end position looks pretty thin and with Carter being shut down the rest of the spring for foot surgery, it looks even thinner.  However, it’s not a position that’s depleted, but rather one of inexperience.  Trey Foster is the only other player at the position with significant playing time.  With Carter being held out, Sutton, Blum and McNitt should get a chance to show what they can do.

Spring Game is already going to be here Saturday. Over 60,000 tickets have been sold so I guess we’ll be seeing you at the Football Field. GO BIG RED!!