Nebraska fall camp is still more than two months away, but it’s never too early to start thinking about the season.
In this segment, we look at three reasons to be excited (and concerned) about the Nebraska offense.
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3.) Is there a feature back?
The term feature back is becoming more and more rare at every level of football, but Nebraska has a strong history of one-man wrecking crews at the running back position. Since 2007, Nebraska has had six different running backs drafted by the NFL (counting fullback Andy Janovich in 2016.)
Last year, Nebraska took a committee type approach with Terrell Newby (pictured) and Imani Cross getting the bulk of the work. Then in the bowl game, it was true freshman Devine Ozigbo leading the way.
Cross is gone, but Ozigbo and Newby are back. Throw Mikale Wilbon in the mix and Nebraska looks to be heading back to a committee type approach in 2016.
2.) Nebraska is breaking in three starting offensive lineman
It took a while to really get going, but Nebraska’s offensive line settled in to be pretty good late in 2015. Three of those linemen are gone and another is switching from right to left tackle (Nick Gates pictured). It means Nebraska has three new starters up front.
The good news? All three starters looked the part during spring football: OT.) David Knevel – Jr., G.) Tanner Farmer – So., G.) Jerald Foster – So. Both Foster and Farmer are former high school All-Americans.
1.) QB Tommy Armstrong
In 34 career appearances (33 starts), Armstrong has 36 interceptions and just a 55 percent completion percentage. Multiple times last year Armstrong had games where his competition percentage was just in the 30s.
Putting it simply, Armstrong has to be better in 2016 for Nebraska to drastically be better than their 6-7 record.
3.) Familiarity with the offense
Switching offensive schemes is never easy and Nebraska should be better in year two of Danny Langsdorf’s (pictured) offense. Not only will the players be more comfortable, but the coaches will likely better understand the strong suits and limitations of each player in the two-deep.
Nebraska fans hope concern No. 1, Tommy Armstrong shows the most level of comfort in the offense from year one to year two.
2.) Sophomore OT Nick Gates has NFL potential
Gates is making the switch from the right to left side, but said his transition went smooth in the spring. The former high school All-American started every game in 2015 as a redshirt freshman and the argument can be made he was the most consistent offensive lineman.
"He's a competitor, he's tough, he finishes plays," said Nebraska offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh. "He wants to be good. He practices hard and plays hard. He finishes."
1.) The WRs are really good
Jordan Westerkamp’s 65 catches for 918 receiving yards last year was one of the best by a Nebraska receiver in Husker history. But did you know? Brandon Reilly’s 754 yards in 2015 was the fourth most by a Nebraska receiver since joining the Big Ten. What does it all mean? It means the Nebraska receivers got more opportunities in 2015.
Westerkamp, Reilly, Alonzo Moore, Stanley Morgan (pictured) and De’Mornay Pierson-El (when healthy) make up one of the best wide receiver groups in the country.
“Definitely,” Morgan responded during spring when asked if the wide receiver group was the best position at Nebraska. “Everyone works hard and comes to work. We are standing out right now.”