Nebraska spring questions: WR/TE

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

(Scholarship WRs/TEs on the roster)

1.) Taariq Allen – redshirt senior
2.) Sam Burtch – redshirt senior
3.) Jamal Turner – redshirt senior
4.) Alonzo Moore – redshirt junior
5.) Brandon Reilly – redshirt junior
6.) Jordan Westerkamp – redshirt junior
7.) Kevin Gladney – redshirt sophomore
8.) De’Mornay Pierson-El – sophomore
9.) Glenn Irons – redshirt freshman
10.) Jariah Tolbert – redshirt freshman

1.) Davis Sutton – redshirt senior
2.) Cethan Carter – junior
3.) Sam Cotton – redshirt junior

Who will be the deep threat?

With the graduation of Kenny Bell, Nebraska loses it’s biggest deep threat from the past two seasons, with the job about to be more important than ever.

California signee Lavan Alston will have every chance to win the job this fall, but the sprinter won’t hit Lincoln until this summer, meaning guys like Reilly and Moore will have a leg up on the freshman.

Reilly, who battled a hamstring injury last season, is one of the fastest players on the team when healthy. But, he only recorded six catches for 85 yards last season.

Moore was supposed to be a deep threat for the Huskers last year, but could never establish a chemistry with quarterback Tommy Armstrong. The junior only recorded 10 catches for 136 yards in seven starts. Not only did the Louisiana prep have a couple drops, but it seemed like more than a few balls were overthrown his way.

How many touches will Pierson-El get?

While joining Sharp and Benning in the Morning on Tuesday, Nebraska head coach Mike Riley said he had an idea of how to get the talented sophomore touches.

We think it will come at the wide receiver spot, where Pierson-El (pictured) made a surge late in the year after having an impact on special teams early in the 2014 season.

The former high school quarterback has a long ways to go as a receiver, mostly as a route-runner. While he’s talented and needs the ball in his hands as much as possible, this spring will be big for the Virginia native’s growth at the position.

Can the position stay healthy?

While Nebraska has struggled with injuries over the years across the board, no position might have been more affected than wide receiver. We just didn’t notice as much because of depth and former position coach Rich Fisher’s next man up mentality.

The blessing in disguise is with those injuries has come lots of game snaps for quite a few different receivers on the roster. Seven different receivers come into the spring with a recorded catch in their career.

When talking about injuries, Turner (6-1, 190 pounds) will be watched at the position more than anybody. Last season, the former Texas quarterback tore his Achilles in the second game of the season. The senior never produced a season fans expected when the former four-star high school prospect hit campus. This is his last shot.

How active will the tight ends be?

When Nebraska officially announced the hiring of Riley back in December, the ground shake that Lincoln residents felt was the tight end group jumping for joy.

A lost weapon in Tim Beck’s scheme over the years, Riley and Langsdorf have a history of getting their tight ends some major work in the past. The question is, does Nebraska have one on the roster that fits the mold?

Carter (6-4, 240 pounds) looks like he might be able to be that type of player, but hasn’t gotten enough work the past two years for Nebraska fans to be entirely sure. The former Louisiana prep will want to lock down the job down this spring. Talented freshman Matt Snyder hits campus in the summer and for a new coaching staff it’s always easy to play the guys you recruited.

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