1.) Demornay Pierson-El, WR
The kid was deemed electric when he committed to Nebraska and so far the Virginia native hasn’t been a disappointment. Pierson-El has been working with the second-team offense as a slot receiver behind Jordan Westerkamp and is trying to make his name known on special teams.
Pierson-El appears to be headed to a non-redshirt season, which means the Husker coaching staff will try to get the ball into his hands – it would be a waste otherwise. How many touches a game remains to be seen, but he should be able to make in impact. He’s a threat when he touches the ball. It won’t take long for defensive coordinators to notice.
Pierson-El has been so good that it’s given the staff more freedom to move senior Jamal Turner to the outside wide receiver spot.
2.) Josh Kalu, NICKEL
The chances Kalu redshirt are very slim, as the Texas native currently works the back-up NICKEL position. Some would say he plays just because of Charles Jackson’s injury – don’t be fooled, the kid is talented and might have made an impact either way this season.
When Jackson went down, Kalu was his backup. He remained the backup, as Byerson Cockrell slid from safety spot back to NICKEL.
On Wednesday, with Corey Cooper getting a day of rest, Cockrell moved back to safety. It opened up a chance for Kalu to work with the first-team defense. If injuries happen in the secondary, it appears Cockrell is the utility man. It might mean big things for Kalu.
3.) D.J. Foster, OL/DT
Foster was having a solid camp as a freshman on the interior line, but was likely headed to a scout team type season with the depth at the position. Then a bit of a surprise happened.
On Tuesday, after defensive tackle Kevin Williams went down with injury and Aaron Curry quit the team, Foster moved to the other side of the trenches. The experiment could thrust him into action this season if he proves ready – which sounds like it’s very possible.
On Thursday, Foster worked with the second-team defense, alongside Kevin Maurice. Head coach Bo Pelini says the Lincoln Southeast product is a long-term offensive lineman, but the staff is worried about this season – not the future. Foster is athletic which has made the move easier, but will need to focus on his technique during the non-conference portion of the schedule.
4.) Kieron Williams, S
Williams was a late addition to the class, after coming to Nebraska from Air Force Prep. Not considered by many to be a guy ready to play this season (including myself), Williams has surprised about everyone in the media during fall camp.
The athletic Louisiana native flies to the football and loves to hit, according to cornerback Daniel Davie, who’s told Williams from time-to-time he needs to dial it back in practice. He’s also more than adequate in pass coverage.
With LeRoy Alexander’s suspension, Williams finds himself on the second-team, backing up Corey Cooper. If Cooper went down with injury, it’s likely Williams would get passed over by Cockrell, but things could change. Right now it appears Williams won’t be redshirting. He’s also a guy who should make an impact on special teams the way he is always around the ball.
Jones is a long athletic corner, standing at 6-foot and 170-pounds. The upperclassmen have commented on how long his arms are and how aggressive he was right off the bat.
It didn’t take long for the Sandalwood high school product to get second-team work during camp this fall. He’s the style of the corner Pelini covets in his secondary. After watching him play, it’s hard to understand why more BCS level schools weren’t in on his recruitment.
Earlier this week Pelini hinted Jones would not be redshirting in 2014.