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.
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."
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.