When you think about Nebraska, you generally think about the I- formation and the running game. What makes the running game work, obviously, is a great running back and a great offensive line. I- Formation is long gone, but the Huskers have a potentially good Offensive Line for 2014. It’s not going to be like the old Offensive Lines under Tom Osborne but it could be good.
Zach Sterup (6-8, 315) a giant junior should start at Right Tackle. Colorado transfer, Alex Lewis (6-6, 290) is supposed to be the Left Tackle. Redshirt freshman David Knevel (6-9, 310) a giant Canadian should be in the mix at tackle and so should Matt Finnin (6-7, 305).
Mark Pelini (6-0, 290) started a little at center a year ago and should take over full time in 2014 for his senior season. Paul Thurston (6-5, 290) should back up Pelini.
Jake Cotton (6-6, 305) started at Left Guard last season and is back for his last season. Chongo Kondola (6-4, 300) was a JC transfer a year ago that redshirted last season and should start at Right Guard in 2014.
Givens Price (6-4, 305), Mike Moudy (6-5, 305) and Ryne Reeves (6-3, 300) are all capable of starting at either of the guard positions.
At QB junior Tommy Armstrong (6-1, 220) played a lot last season and passed for 966 yards on 68 completions. He had 9 TDs through the air and ran for another 2.
Also fighting for the job or for the back up job are Johnny Stanton (6-2, 225) a redshirt freshman and Ryker Fyfe (6-2, 210) who got to see limited action a year ago.
The Cornhuskers signed Zack Darlington (6-1, 200) a 4 star recruit out of Apopka, Florida who could have a future in Lincoln at QB.
Nebraska has a history of producing great Running backs and Ameer Abdullah (5-9, 195) is one of the top backs in the entire country. He ran for 1,690 yards last season on 281 carries and 9 TDs. Abdullah has slightly under 3000 career yards and should be well over 4000 by the time he is finished.
Backing Abdullah up is talented Imani Cross (6-1, 230) from Gainesville, Georgia. Cross ran for 447 yards on 85 carries and was used in short yardage situations due to his size.
Terrell Newby (5-10, 180) is a sophomore out of California that rushed for 298 yards on 54 carries.
The Cornhuskers of old were also known for their outstanding Fullbacks. Former walk-on Andy Janovich (6-1, 230) split time at the position last season, but should be the main man in 2014. College football is all about trends and copycat formations and I don’t get why at least one of these offenses won’t let the Fullback touch the ball at least a couple of times a game.
Harrison Jordan (5-10, 230) or Mitch McCann (6-0, 225) are also walk-ons that can block.
The Huskers lost their best WR Quincy Enunwa to the NFL and his loss will hurt but they still have
Kenny Bell (6-1, 185). Bell has 52 catches a year ago for 4 TDs. Jordan Westerkamp (6-0, 195) had 20 catches a year ago. Sam Burtch (6-3, 195) had 12 receptions and Jamal Turner (6-1, 185) had 13 catches. Taariq Allen (6-3, 200) only had 3 catches a year ago, but he may play a lot this season. The Huskers have 4 star recruit Monte Harrison (6-2, 190) coming in.
Enunwa was their big play guy and they will miss his 12 TD receptions this season.
Cethan Carter (6-4, 240) and Sam Cotton (6-4, 250) are the Tight Ends but only had 13 catches between the 2 of them last season.
The Huskers return one of the very best Defensive Ends in the country with Randy Gregory (6-6, 245). Gregory is just now coming into his own and had 9.5 sacks and 16 tackles for loss.
Greg McMullen (6-3, 280) should take the end spot opposite of Gregory. Joe Keels (6-3, 250) is a former JC player that could push for playing time right away.
A.J. Natter (6-5, 250) is a redshirt freshman from Wisconsin and could also be in the mix.
Sophomore Vincent Valentine (6-3, 320) should be a starter at one Defensive Tackle spot. Maliek Collins (6-2, 300), Kevin Maurice (6-3, 280) and Kevin Williams (6-2, 275) are all in the mix for playing time at Tackle. Collins and Maurice were true freshmen a year ago and Williams was out with a knee injury.
Michael Rose (5-11, 240) is a sophomore LB out of Kansas City and he should start at the MLB position. He was 4th on the team in tackles a year ago.
On the Strong side, Zaire Anderson (5-11, 220) is an experienced senior out of Philadelphia. David Santos (6-0, 220) should start on the Weak side. But, look for Josh Banderas (6-2, 230) to make a push on the weak side.
Courtney Love (6-2, 240) should be at least a quality back up at LB.
Corey Cooper (6-1, 205) is one of the top safeties in the Big 10 and the Huskers leading tackler last year.
Charles Jackson (5-11, 180) should start at the Nickel Back position.
Corner Backs should be Josh Mitchell (5-11, 165) and Byerson Cockrell (6-0, 185)
The Huskers should be contenders this year for the Big 10 title or at least for the Western Division championship. They do have one of the top Running Backs in the country and one of the top
Defensive Ends. Their schedule is fairly easy with their first big test coming against Miami on September 20th, and then they have Michigan State and Wisconsin.
I would not be surprised at all to find them in the top 25 and as Western Champs by year’s end.