Last season: 5-6 overall (3-4 Big 12). Behind
Bret Meyer's 345 yard and three touchdowns,
Key Returners – The Huskers will return 40 letterwinners (18 offense, 19 defense, 3 specialists); including 13 starters.
Balanced was one way to describe
Evwaraye came to
"As we played through [last] season his play was solid and good, and we really felt strong this spring we could make a move and put him over on the left tackle on the blind side of the quarterback to provide us a little more protection in that sense," Callahan said. "He has done that. The sky is the limit for this guy."
With exodus of Joe Dailey, Zac Taylor looks to be the front-runner as the Huskers' signal caller.
going to be interesting to get to the training camp and watch Zac
Callahan said. "We have four other quarterbacks competing for the position, and
Harrison Beck, a
young man out of
"We didn't name a starter for the position. I will tell you, Zac has an upper hand predicated on the experience. It is going to be competitive. For all those guys, it's going to be interesting in terms of their battles."
Playing the I-back position will
be senior Cory Ross who rushed for over 1,100 yards and caught 21 passes for
"The thing that is most appealing for us is this is [Ross is] a guy that has been a workhorse for us and carried the load at times, even when he was pretty banged up and nicked up," Callahan said. "So this is a guy that has great heart, great passion for the game, and there is no doubt he will be one of our offensive leaders as we go into the season."
The wide receiver corps will be flowing with familiarity as six Huskers' with playing time return, including four with starting experience.
If healthy, senior Matt Herian will be the Huskers target at tight end. Last year Herian caught 24 passed before breaking his leg. He had surgery to repair it, but had to go back for a second surgery.
"His status right now is up in the air," Callahan said. "I am confident -- we are confident that he will be back, but at what point in time, we don't know. He is just starting to run on that leg and he is progressing, but how fast and how fast that rate of rehabilitation goes, we are going to have to go day-by-day and week-by-week."
Five starters return on the Huskers' defense – including three of the front four. Hardest hit were the linebacker corps and secondary.
In the defensive backfield,
cornerback Lornell McPherson completed his eligibility, while Fabian Washington
opted out of his senior season to enter the NFL draft. Free safety Josh Bullocks
SAM linebacker Stewart Bradley will be the only returning starter at the linebacker position. He was second on the team with 67 tackles last fall.
Offenses beware, there's another
Strong safety Danny Bullocks will
anchor the inexperienced secondary. Last season Bullocks intercepted a team-high
five passes, returning them for 187 yards. He also made 58 tackles. Bullocks is
the twin brother of former
"He has been a superb leader for our football team," Callahan said. "He has come on and has had an exceptional year as a full-time starter.
"We are leaning on his leadership to provide us a catalyst on defense. He will be spearheading a young secondary. Secondary is where we lost three starters from a year ago, so his leadership, his ability to communicate, put people in the right spots will be pivotal for us as we begin this season."
Senior Sam Koch will be back as the Huskers' starting punter. Last season he averaged almost 42 yards per punt, with 27 of his punts being downed inside the 20-yard line.
The place-kicker position appears to be that of David Dyches, after starting the majority of his freshman season, he backed up Sandro DeAngelis for most of the 2004 season. He started the final two games of the year hitting 2-of-3 field goals.
had one of the best 2005 recruiting classes in recent history, recruiting guru
Tom Lemming, ranked the Huskers' newest class No. 1 nationally. Nine high
schoolers and 12 JUCO transfers will suit up for the Huskers next season,
including quarterback Zac Taylor who is already garnering Big 12 Offensive
Newcomer of the Year attention.