BRR 2014 profile: Greg McMullen

Going from young guy to veteran overnight, Nebraska defensive end Greg McMullen will have some big expectations from fans in 2014.

Greg McMullen

Position: Defensive End

Height/Weight: 6-foot-3, 280-pounds

High School:Hoban HS (OH)

Year: Redshirt sophomore

2013 review:
Providing depth behind Randy Gregory and Avery Moss, McMullen played in 11 games, getting a few key series reps along the way.

The Ohio native recorded 16 tackles, four tackles for loss, a forced fumble, and one sack. His biggest performance game in the season-opener against Southern Miss, when he had four stops.

2014 preview:

McMullen will be called upon to start opposite of Gregory and could see the benefits from the added attention given to the preseason All-American.

If the spring was any indication, McMullen’s game has come a long way compared to last season, when he was the third defensive end in the rotation.

“It’s night and day, it’s not even close. I can say that about a lot of those guys on the front seven on defense, but Greg in particular, he’s playing at a really high level,” said Pelini during the spring. “I think he has the chance to be a great player. He’s doing a really good job.”

While McMullen appears to be on the track of a possible breakout player in 2014, fans should stay patient. It’s a lot to ask of a young player to go from a reserve to 50-60 snaps a contest and become a leader almost instantly.

"I'm excited. Last year when I didn't know too much, I was a little timid and scared to mess up,” said McMullen. “I'm much more comfortable and confident. I'm ready to go.

"The younger guys are looking to me to help them out. I'm sort of the way Jason Ankrah was to me, I am to them. They look at me to help them with their steps, technique, alignment, assignments…it's an awesome feeling to know I'm one of the guys they look up to."

BRR projection: McMullen will start opposite of Gregory and make fans forget all about 2013 starter Avery Moss. He’s good enough that he would have likely pushed Moss for the starting spot this fall anyway. While we feel he’s really a year away from giving offensive coordinators constant fits, a four to five sack season isn’t out of the question. You have to like his build on the front four. McMullen can't be classified as a pass rushing specialist or a run stopper. He's just an all-around defensive end who does many things well.

How he ended up in Lincoln:
It took quite a few unofficial visits to convince him he was making the right decison, but McMullen finally pledged to the Huskers in June of 2011, just two months before the start of his senior season. He told’s Beth Long, he always knew he was meant to be a Husker. A projected defensive end by the Nebraska staff all the way, McMullen would have made a nice offensive lineman as well at the next level.

A Semper-Fi All-American coming out of high school, McMullen finished his senior year with 78 tackles, 12.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss. His played earned him North Coast Blue Division Player-of-the-Year honors.

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