Spring preview: Wide receivers

What are some of the things to watch at the wide receiver position this spring? Big Red Report has some possible answers in this media roundtable.

LINCOLN, Neb. - The Nebraska Red-White spring game is set for April 12, meaning Husker spring practices are almost here.

In Big Red Report's next magazine, our recruiting yearbook, we also take a look at spring practices, breaking down each position in a media roundtable. What are some of the things to watch? Who might be ready to step up? For a sneak peak, here is a look at the linebacker group.

We would like to thank the Lincoln Journal Star's Steve Sipple and Brian Christopherson for participating with our own Josh Harvey and Bryan Munson.

Jamal Turner (10) and Kenny Bell (80) celebrate a Bell TD (Stewart Photography)

Sipple: "You want to see Bell improve and go to the next level. The biggest thing is you don't want to see drops. But more than anything I'm interested in young guys mostly. Brandon Reilly is a guy who I think could be a good receiver for them as an under the radar walk-on sophomore, much like Sam Burtch last year. Alonzo Moore I think can be a big time weapon for them, if he makes the jump like he should. Taariq Allen can be a very good receiver; again he has to make a jump. You wonder about Jamal Turner. Injuries have really hurt him bad. For him to only have 13 catches last year was just not good for him. The guy I have a lot of confidence in and is probably the second best wide receiver is (Jordan) Westerkamp. I think Bell is the best receiver, but it's hard to not like Jordan Westerkamp because he's so reliable. He can makes plays, over the middle and down the field."

Christopherson: "Obviously everyone is going to talk about Kenny Bell because this is his senior year. He probably didn't put up the numbers he expected his junior year. So I'm interested in seeing if he takes off and if his numbers are more similar to his sophomore season. I expect him to be one of the leaders on this team and really rise to the occasion this spring. Beyond him, I have a feeling that Jordan Westerkamp is about ready to bust out – to be the big time guy that a lot of people thought he would be when Nebraska recruited him. He dipped his toes in the water last year, made some big plays, probably the most memorable play, but I think he's a guy who's ready to become an every down receiver for this team. Looking at Jamal Turner, it's now or never. We keep talking about if it's going to be his time to break out, we thought it might be his junior year. I think he needs to come with a lot of motivation this spring, because nothing is a given for him when you got guys like Westerkamp and Sam Burtch in the equation."

Munson: The wide receiver position loses production at the X and brings back Kenny Bell and Jamal Turner, who need to make this their offense/team. Jordan Westerkamp is the guy that I am going to keep an eye on because his targets should increase. I like what a role guy like Sam Burtch did in the fall and I am interested to see where a player like Tariq Allen is at after that some time on the field in the fall coming back from a serious injury. I think that Alonzo Moore can really increase his stock with a solid spring. At tight end, Nebraska needs to find some consistency opposite Cethan Carter. Sam Cotton and David Sutton seem like the most likely candidates, but keep a close eye on Greg Hart. Hart likely fits more of an H than a true Y, but has a role in this offense in the run game as a blocker and in the passing game as a receiver.

Harvey: I think we sort of know what to expect out of Kenny Bell, so my biggest question this spring comes behind him. I really like Jordan Westerkamp, I have liked him since his junior year of high school. He's had too much success as a football player at all levels to say he won't be extremely productive down the road at Nebraska. I have to think that he makes a strong push to be a starter this year, whether it's at Jamal Turner's spot or elsewhere. Which leads me to my next thing to watch – Turner. Is he healthy first off? But second, I have been burned going out on the limb to say this is the year he's going to break out. I'm not going to do it again, but maybe it clicks for him that this is it? Turner got excited a few years ago when Patriots head coach Bill Belichick told him he would see him in three years. He won't be coming to Lincoln to check out Turner if the production doesn't drastically go up this year.


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