Nebraska spring questions: Quarterbacks

Big Red Report looks at four questions entering spring football at the quarterbacks spot.

What will the offense look like?

We think the Nebraska offense is changing, based off comments by offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf and quarterback targets they have been hitting on the recruiting trail.

What we don’t know is if there is a quarterback currently on the roster that could run what Langsdorf and Mike Riley are looking for. Will it take a year or two of transition to get the pieces in place to run the type of offense they ultimately want?

“We need a guy to most importantly be accurate,” said Langsdorf. “He needs to throw strikes, whether he’s got a rocket arm or average arm. If he can throw strikes, he’s got a chance.”

It will only be 15 practices, but invited practice guests and Red-White game attendees should have an idea how the offense might be called in the fall.

Last season, 62 percent of the play calls turned into rushing attempts. Expect that number to be closer to be 50 percent in 2015.


Will somebody win the job in the spring?

It depends.

Does junior Tommy Armstrong, who has started 21 times in his career, come out and set the world on fire? If he has grown a lot in the last two months, or the other quarterbacks haven’t progressed, then he’s the starter heading into the fall. His experience is far too valuable.

“I don’t know much about the depth behind,” said Langsdorf when talking about Armstrong in January. “I thought there were some things he did really well that we could build on.”

If there is a challenge that comes from the ranks, Armstrong would likely be given the chance to still win the job this fall – with no perceived starter heading into August.

My prediction – while Riley won’t come out and name a starter after the Red-White game, there will be an understanding that it’s Armstrong’s job.


How will A.J. Bush and Zack Darlington factor in?

The pair of redshirt freshman are interesting younger players.

We liked what we saw from A.J. Bush, but he doesn’t exactly seem like the type of player Riley has recruited before at his quarterback spot. He probably doesn’t the have accuracy, at least at this point, needed to run Langsdorf offense of choice. What he does have is a canon of an arm and a work ethic that has been praised.

Darlington is the wildcard in the mix. He came to Nebraska with so many questions regarding his health – is he completely over all of them now?


Does somebody leave after the spring?

Nebraska currently has five scholarship quarterbacks on the roster – it’s hard to believe the number stays the same heading into August.

The question is, who will leave at semester – deciding the writing was on the wall that they will never be the guy in Lincoln.

There will be no seniors at the spot heading into fall. Something sure looks like it has to give. Besides Bush, who would be a stretch as well, nobody looks like a candidate to change positions.


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