Husker Spring Position Battles: Offensive Line


Skill players are always the first to grab the attention from fans and the media. After all they’re the ones who put the ball in the end zone and get the fans jumping out of their seats. There’s no disputing that the better the talent from the skill positions there is, the greater your chances are of scoring. But the big guys up front doing the dirty work are the ones that are often overlooked.

Dec 27, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers offensive lineman Givens Price (78) talks to teammates on the bench during the fourth quarter against the USC Trojans in the 2014 Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Huskers have a good deal of depth on the offensive line, but the only player returning that seems to be a lock as a starter is Alex Lewis. Let’s take a look and see who else is battling with Alex for playing time.

Offensive Line

Out of this deep group of O linemen, I think it’s safe to assume that the 5 favorites listed above will have the upper hand when fall camp begins later on this year. Before last season began, Alex Lewis was a name that was thrown out as a possible breakout player. For the most part he had a pretty decent season, but not to the standards he wanted or Husker fans expected.

Oct 12, 2013; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Nebraska Cornhusker fans celebrate during a game against the Purdue Boilermakers at Ross Ade Stadium. Nebraska defeats Purdue 44-7. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

A legacy player, Alex is the son of former Big Red center Bill Lewis, and the unquestioned leader on this years offensive line. Alex will look to refine his game under the tutelage of new offensive line coach, Mike Cavanaugh.

After Husker Mark Pelini went down with a season ending ankle injury, Ryne Reeves filled in at center for the one week that he had the job until being injured himself. Paul Thurston stepped in admirably for the rest of the season and hopes to earn the job this fall. Sophomore’s Zach Hannon, David Knevel and junior, Dylan Utter have received favorable remarks from the new staff and are in contention for more playing time.

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However, the future of the Nebraska offensive line rests on the shoulders of 3 redshirt freshmen. Jerald Foster, Tanner Farmer and Nick Gates were heavily recruited out of high school and some thought they could contribute as true freshmen. Luckily enough for us Husker fans, we had a good enough stable of horses up front that these thoroughbreds could redshirt while adjusting to the college game. Look for these 3 to get significant playing time as the season goes along and potentially become starters before Big Ten play is over.

Don’t forget that Spring Game is Saturday at 1 and the baseball team plays at 7. Make a day of it and GO BIG RED!!