The Gabe Ervin news is certainly deflating, but it does mean that Nebraska football fans are going to see what one freshman back can do.
On Monday afternoon, Nebraska football head coach Matt Rhule delivered the news. Both Gabe Ervin and Rahmir Johnson are out for the rest of the year.
Aside from the obvious pain and heartbreak for the players being told their seasons are over before they really begin, the news is also a heck of a blow to the Huskers. However, there is a bright side for Rhule’s team.
The first is obviously that Anthony Grant is going to have a chance to prove that he can be the man again. He spent most of 2022 being that man, though there were obvious weaknesses in his game.
During fall camp, Rhule often talked about the raw talent that Grant has shown. However he’s also talked more than once about fumble problems the back has had in practice and in games. With Ervin down, Grant is going to be getting the bulk of the carries.
However, the latest Nebraksa football depth chart shows another player might finally get his chance to show what he can do as well. Emmett Johnson, come on down.
Nebraska football freshman could break out
Emmett Johnson is officially listed as Grant’s backup. More interestingly, there isn’t an OR and then another player after him. The redshirt freshman has apparently put enough space between him and guys like Kwinton Ives that the Minnesota native is the lone backup.
If and when Johnson gets into the game against Louisiana Tech, it will be his first game action as a member of the Nebraska football team.
It could be the end of what has been an interesting winding road for the young back after committing to the Huskers as a relatively under-the-radar player. As a part of the 2023 class, Johnson committed to Nebraska football over low tier schools like Central Michigan and Florida A&M. He didn’t have another Power 5 offer.
Considering the ways the Husker coaches have used the running back room so far, it seems unlikely that Grant is suddenly going to get 30 carries all on his own. Johnson seems likely to get at least a few touches against LaTech.
What he does with those touches will go a long way in determining just how much of a look the Nebraska football team is going to give him.