Nebraska Football: Nick Henrich surgery means “next man up”

(Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images) /

This is an unfortunate development for Nebraska Football.

Usually when I write a piece,  I want to bring you guys good news, however sometimes I just can’t. According to a tweet from Brian Christopherson of 247Sports, Nebraska Football linebacker Nick Heinrich will require surgery on a shoulder injury. The injury, as Christopherson notes in an extended report, happened last week. As far as Heinrich’s timetable goes, head coach Scott Frost believes that he could be back in the fold when the season starts, provided that his rehab goes well.

This is an unfortunate development that Nebraska Football fans will have to watch closely. Heinrich was making tremendous progress over the course of spring practices. He was thought to be in the mix at linebacker. Now, someone else will have to step up. Jackson Hannah has been mentioned as a potential candidate to do so, and I don’t see why not. Certainly, it is a lot to ask of a player just coming into the program, but Nebraska Football has to use the “next man up” mentality.

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Hannah is the type of player that has come into the program without a ton of hype. Honestly, sometimes those players are the best ones. Ranked the 15th overall player in the state of Tennessee per the 247Sports Composite Rankings, he signed with Nebraska Football in December. Now, he may be making an impact sooner than we think.

He played well for Montgomery Bell Academy. On the varsity squad for all four years of his high school career, his best year was the 2018-2019 season. Recording 66 tackles in 11 games played, his 16 tackles for a loss were nothing to scoff at. Overall, he recorded 157 tackles and 32.5 tackles for a loss and 36 games played.

Of course tackling wasn’t the only thing that was part of his repertoire. He also proved apt at getting to the quarterback. His six sacks in the 2018-19 season where the most he recorded in his four years for Montgomery Bell. Overall, he recorded six sacks and 13 fumble recoveries at the high school level. There is certainly potential there for Hannah. Now, he will have to translate his stellar play to big-time college football.

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Hopefully Heinrich will heal well from the surgery. This may be bad news, but it doesn’t sound like this is the type of injury that Heinrich will suffer extreme setbacks from. If he can heal well enough for the fall, he could prove to be a defensive catalyst for the Cornhuskers. He certainly has the potential to be a staple of the Nebraska Football defense for years to come.