Lincoln, NE – Over the next several days, Big Red Report will feature a series of positional breakdowns for the Nebraska, as the Huskers great ready for spring football.
Roster - Taylor Dixon Sr; K.C. Hyland, RS Sr; Steve Osborne RS Sr; Tim Marlowe RS Sr; Quincy Enunwa Jr; Jamal Turner So; Tyler Wullenwaber RS So; Kenny Bell RS So; Taariq Allen RS Fr; Sam Burtch RS Fr Tight Ends: Kyler Reed RS Sr; Ben Cotton RS Sr; Robert Barry RS Jr; Jake Long RS Jr; Eddie Ridder RS Fr; David Sutton RS Fr;
Key Losses: Brandon Kinnie
Contenders to start: Marlowe, Enunwa, Bell, Turner, Allen,
Breakdown: Recruits in the 2013 class are not the only ones revealing Nebraska would like to throw more this season. On Tuesday, offensive coordinator Tim Beck shared the same message.
"We have to be able to throw it a little more than we did. When you look at it, teams were all up in there and packing us in," said Beck. "I think when we did, we threw it over their heads at times. We have to be more consistent at it."
Beck told reporters that this offseason extra emphasis was put on the receivers shoulders to get better, saying mentally it was the toughest offseason for the position since their arrival.
Last year the position was known to be electric, but young. At times, Nebraska not only struggled to get open, but more importantly catch the ball when they did. But receivers like Kenny Bell, Jamal Turner, and Quincy Enunwa have a year of experience to their name and are expected to be better for it.
"For example, you take a guy like Kenny Bell, I use him on how he progressed through the year as he started to get it," said Beck. "Those guys will come along. I'm really pleased. I think it's a good group. I think there are six guys there that you could put them in at anytime and go out there and play."
At tight end, Nebraska will look to get more production from seniors Cotton and Reed. Both were hampered at times with injuries last year and have one more year to become a major part of the offense. A wide receiver/hybrid tight end, Reed went from snagging eight touchdowns in 2010, to just one last season.
Behind them, it wouldn't surprise us to see David Sutton get extra work this spring. Sutton, along with Jake Long, are expected to be the next wave of tight ends after the senior's departures next season. Sutton was a standout at Lincoln Southeast, playing on both sides of the football.
Outlook: The theme of this year's spring should be consistency for the group. Last year's wide receiver group was young, Nebraska isn't much older this year. Tim Marlowe, who's often under appreciated, will be the lone senior to make an impact. Redshirt freshman Taaariq Allen was the talk of the scout team last year and should push the young receivers who played in 2011. If Nebraska can't find that true possession type receiver this spring, who's a lock to catch the ball, the job might go to incoming 4-star Illinois product Jordan Westerkamp in the fall.