Nebraska Football: Nick Henrich already setting stage for strong 2021

Dec 12, 2020; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers receiver Chris Autman-Bell (7) is tackled by Nebraska Cornhuskers linebacker Nick Henrich (42) and safety Marquel Dismuke (9) during the fourth quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 12, 2020; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers receiver Chris Autman-Bell (7) is tackled by Nebraska Cornhuskers linebacker Nick Henrich (42) and safety Marquel Dismuke (9) during the fourth quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Nebraska football linebacker could be a major factor in 2021.

As you all know, I’ve been really high on Nick Henrich ever since he was recruited to the Nebraska football program. I thought he would be somebody that would be able to solidify the future of the linebacker position for Nebraska football. He always seemed to me like the type of dependable player that I would want in the program.

After suffering injury setbacks in 2019, his impact for the Nebraska football program was put on hold. This season, he made the most of his opportunity after working his way back.

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In 2020, he showed a little bit what he could do, and how dependable he really was.

Just take the last game against Rutgers for example. He recorded 12 tackles. The game against Rutgers was not his only strong showing either. He had nine tackles against Illinois, and really made the most of his snaps at a position that was laden with veterans for 2020.

Now, I could see him fully assuming the role as a key linebacker for Nebraska. Not only do I see him assuming it, I see him excelling in it. I expect him to have a big 2021 season as well.

When you watch him play, he is very strong in terms of his ability to read of play, as well as make a tackle. Those are two things that are crucial to a Nebraska football defense. Take this season for example. Nebraska football did not have a strong pass rush, and it really came down to the linebackers’ ability to do a couple of things.

First, they had to get to the quarterback to make a play at times. They had to act as pass-rushers at times because of the lack of pressure from the defensive line.

Secondly, they had to form a second level to stop running backs. This was an area in which I felt Nebraska football was not particularly strong in. I thought the linebackers struggled to create a second level at times, and that made it difficult for them to stop some running backs. To their credit, they got better at this in the later part of the season.

Henrich has the ability to fill gaps as well as rush the passer. I noticed that he was very strong at identifying the ball carrier and making the tackle. Those are two things that are going to get him a lot more playing time in the future. This is why I could see him really starting to take off in 2021. We saw what he did during his big day against Rutgers. I could see him putting together more performances like that sooner rather than later.

Next. Three team MVPs for wild 2020 season. dark

He is going to be a key part of the linebacker position for the future of Nebraska football. I could see him really having a breakout season in 2021, and he will be someone that I look forward to watching. He has all the intangibles. Now it’s about putting all of those together consistently each game.