Nebraska Football: Possible Captains For the 2017 Season

Oct 17, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers wide receiver De
Oct 17, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers wide receiver De /

While the 2017 Nebraska football season seems like ages away, it’s never too early to look into what the future may bring.

The Huskers lost all four captains from last year, so replacing their leadership may prove to be a tall task. Here’s a list of four potential players to fill the void:

Cornerback Chris Jones

A key piece of “Lockdown U,” Jones proved to be arguably the best cornerback in Nebraska’s secondary.  He opted out of the NFL Draft and looks to improve his stock in 2017.

The Huskers finished 44th in passing yards allowed in 2016 which may not sound great, but consider they finished 122nd in this category in 2015. Look for Jones to get strong consideration for a captainship, it also doesn’t hurt that he’s a senior.

Linebacker Marcus Newby

Nebraska’s linebacker corp loses leading tackler Josh Banderas as well as Michael Rose-Ivey for the 2017 season. However, one of the most talented linebackers returning is Newby, a versatile and fast linebacker.

He’ll undoubtedly be one of the most experienced defensive players on the roster, and this should put him in a good position for a captaincy. Look for Newby to build on a solid 2016 and provide even more big plays for the Blackshirts in 2017.

Wide Receiver De’Mornay Pierson-El

Coming back from a major knee injury isn’t easy, let alone two, but Pierson-El has done just that. Heading into his senior season, what better way to reward his fortitude than to make him a captain?

Pierson-El will need to be a big part of the Husker offense since the Huskers lose Jordan Westerkamp, Brandon Reilly and Alonzo Moore from a very good 2016 receiving corp. He’s still trying to regain his spark in the return game as well.

Look for him to be called upon as a leader among receivers considering his experience and Nebraska’s young group of pass-catchers. He’s also a senior who’s stuck with the program through a major coaching change, transitioning from Bo Pelini to Mike Riley. He should be in the mix to become a captain in 2017.

If anyone deserves it, it’s this young man.

Quarterback Tanner Lee (Wildcard)

Okay, this is assuming he wins the starting job, but if he does, who’s a better captain than the starting quarterback?

Lee comes in with ample experience from playing at Tulane and from all the things I’ve heard from experts and those that have watched him in camp. he looks to be an undeniable talent. That being said, this might be the iffiest bet.

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He is going to have to earn the respect of this teammates and become a leader in the huddle. I’m confident he can do it, but it might not happen overnight.

If Lee doesn’t take a captain spot, look for an offensive lineman to fill the void.  Perhaps tackle David Knevel?

It’s Far From Settled

While none of these spots are determined (especially not this early), these four players should be in the mix. Team captains are key to a team’s success and picking the right players to lead is never an exact science.

Whoever is chosen will have to show mental toughness, a willingness to sacrifice for the team and overall good character. Who knows? Maybe a name from out of nowhere will lead his teammates out of the tunnel with passion this fall.