From Nebraska media relations department
The Big Red Report stock report isn’t always just about production on the field. In addition, future projections and what the depth chart looks like factors in.
QB – Zack Darlington
After starting the spring fifth on the depth chart, Darlington is no worse than third now and hopes to contend for a starting spot in the fall. He doesn’t have the strongest arm, he’s not the fastest guy on the roster with his legs, but his football IQ is high and he’s not going to make a ton of mistakes.
WR – Brandon Reilly
Wide receiver coach Keith Williams said it multiple times about Reilly, “I’m buying what he’s selling.” Fully healthy, it made a huge difference for the junior on the field, who learned all three positions. The former walk-on had a very good spring and solidified himself as the No. 3 receiver with De’Mornay Pierson-El and Jordan Westerkamp.
OL – Paul Thurston
The offensive line is a concern heading into the fall, but the center spot shouldn’t be. Thurston did enough to earn the spot heading into the camp. The former four-star Colorado prep had a solid spring and really showcased his ability to move in the spring game. The last two months, Thurston has had a solid push up front and looks like he has benefited from offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh’s teaching.
P – Sam Foltz
Mike Riley says he has coached three punters in college that have went on to the NFL. He also coached one while with the San Diego Chargers. Foltz might be just as good as the four. He had a great spring and actually looks like he has add power to an already strong leg. The biggest thing he needs to continue to work on his directional punting.
DE – Freedom Akinoladun
He makes the list because he actually only has 15 practices at the position and looks like he might be in the two-deep going into the fall. Defensive coordinator Mark Banker and Hank Hughes were very complimentary of the redshirt freshman towards the end of spring.
QB – Johnny Stanton
The California prep looks like he slid down the depth chart, after many initially thought he might contend for the job with Mike Riley and staff at the helm. Stanton was the fifth quarterback to enter the spring game. While Riley said after to not make much of it, it appears a couple underclassmen are a head of him on the depth chart – that is never good.
DL – Peyton Newell
Is the former four-star prospect suffering from the classic tweener problem? After playing defensive end last year, Newell settled in at defensive tackle this spring. While just a redshirt freshman, Newell didn’t crack the two-deep and appears behind Mick Stoltenberg for the fifth DT spot. With Carlos and Khali Davis hitting campus this fall, Newell will need to have a good offseason and fall camp to not get lost in the shuffle.
QB – Ryker Fyfe
Last year No. 2 on the depth chart, Fyfe didn’t seem to adapt to the new Nebraska offense as quick as other quarterbacks on the roster. While he did some good things in the spring game, he appears to be No. 4 on the depth chart.
RB – Imani Cross
Cross won’t likely factor into the screen game, which is a strong need in a Danny Langsdorf running back. If the Huskers gravitate to a running back by committee, Cross will likely get carries. He’s got a proven track record and a lot of experience. If one guy separates himself, we doubt it’s Cross.
DB – Boaz Joseph
The former Florida prep is entering year three with the program and looks like he’s been passed up by some younger talent at the cornerback spot. Last season, Joseph played in five contests on special teams. If the season started today, I would have Daniel Davie, Jonathan Rose, Josh Kalu, Trai Mosley, and Chris Jones all in front of him.