1. What holes are still going to be
recruits are all in?
Steve: Well, I think the secondary is such a big question mark now, that there can be no quick fix even this fall. And, most of those slated to come in will be going to the cornerback position and not safety.
Also, I think that linebacker is not necessarily deep. Personally, to be comfortable, you have to think that a solid two-deep is what you want at all positions and across the entire linebacking core, I am not sure you can say that. I like Octavien and Ruud, but other than that, I'm just not sure how it's going to work out.
If there is one other position I would say will never been deep enough, it is at wideout. Thus far, we are seeing some guys step up, but anticipate NU coaches wanting at least six solid contributors and I don't think they have that yet. Looking at who's coming in, there's the potential for that, but it's just really hard to tell. As it is, I think this position will always be in flux, because of the varying ways all the wideouts will be used.
Tight End has also now become a worry spot with Herian more than likely not going this year. Cross your fingers on Tomerlin.
2. What do you consider ideal statistics from a quarterback in
While these numbers look huge for a Nebraska QB, it is in the ballpark of where I would say our offense needs to be effective on the season: 65% completion percentage, 25 touchdowns, 8 interceptions, 2800-3100 yards passing and around 500 yards rushing on the season.
Steve: The coaches have said many times that they are looking at around 65 percent as ideal. Now, For any average Husker fan, that's not ideal, it's beyond comprehension. The highest completion percentage ever achieved at
Nowadays, even that high of a percentage isn't a reach, even in a pro-style offense. Phillip Rivers at
65 percent is nice and ideal, but I would say that anything 60 percent or above is more than acceptable and puts NU far closer to the realm of believable, especially with a first-year QB.
When it comes to touchdowns, big-play throws, etc., I don't really concentrate so much on that, because if the Nebraska QB is throwing 60 percent or better of his passes complete, the rest will come as a by-product of their success.
Interceptions, though, that's the big one and my own magic number here is 10. No more than 10 interceptions on the year. Some might think that a high number, but because we can expect NU to pass it more if it proves to be as effective as predicted, the increase in attempts makes 10 interceptions a doable number for me.
3. What is the single most important position for
Another position that I consider important is offensive tackle. Given that you really only signed one, true OT, it is critical to get in at least three this season. Again, numbers would indicate that the coaches feel the same way with 16 OTs offered, another player that can be an OT but is being recruited to play DT and an offer to a player that wants to play offense but has been offered to play defense.
After that I would say that CB is important given that Bowman and White will be your top CB recruits last year and they were both JCs. DT and LB are similar scenarios given that Cryer/Dagundero and Moore/Octavien are already on campus, but guys like Suh, Covey and Dillard will be in later this summer still mean that there is an importance there. And lastly, but not least, you will need 2-3 stud safeties in this class. Maybe
Steve: Secondary, secondary, secondary. I think that
Another is the one you have to load up with every year in my opinion and that's offensive line. Five a year at least and with the new criteria at NU, it begs that NU just keep going after them. You want the best you can get, but we have seen with players like M.J. Flaum, Chris Loos and Tim Green, all players looked to as starters and possibly, stars, that you cant' have enough, because sometimes, stuff happens.
4. What happens to the
are both lost for the season?
If B. JAX goes down for the year and Herian is out that means that Lucky will be receiving about 25-30% of the snaps from RB (if I were coaching) and that Tomerlin will be a 50-60%of the snaps guys maybe coming out more as you would use Phillips as an H-Back to run a lot of traps, but don't fall into the personnel packages trap that Solich and Co. did basically screaming what
type of play they were going to run.
Steve: Well, it's kind of obvious to say that it puts pressure on other players to step up, but it's good that Nebraska got Justin Tomerlin, because athletically, he appears to be fairly comparable to Herian in what he's able to do as far as speed, agility and Tomerlin is a guy that it is said you don't have to question about his wherewithal in going after a ball, something you can't necessarily say about Herian.
At running back, Thomas Lawson has been a big boost for Nebraska as he's not as totally well rounded as Jackson and not quite the athlete, but Lawson is a big back, decent quickness and reasonable speed, plus his work ethic is unquestionable. Oh, and there's a few other running backs coming that shouldn't be too bad as well.
5. Where do you see the new recruits (Brooks/Tomerlin) and others fitting
in? Who currently (in spring practice) is looking like they can play this
Tomerlin on the other hand will be switching from defense to offense and at a position where he will ultimately need to be ready to come in and play immediately, especially if Herian red-shirts this year.
Although I am working on purely hearsay and other informative sources, there isn't any way that you shouldn't plan on seeing all of the players who transferred in at semester. Octavien and Taylor appear to be starters while Dagundero, Cryer and Moore add instant depth to positions where depth is needed desperately.
Steve: The quick answer as to who is presently here out of the new recruits that can play right now, all of them. The junior college guys that got here in January are proving good to the hope you have for guys having the luxury of being mid-term transfers. Every single one of them should play this year and I suspect that two will start (Taylor and Octavien) and if
As for those coming in, pick any of those slotted to play CB, Safety or WR and they will have a shot to play. That's serious as there are still a lot of vacancies to be had in starting and adding depth.
The other junior college guys are also players you can consider, but the big question is, are they in shape? If every single one of the junior college guys coming in is indeed in shape, I don't think you can count any of them out.
As for the high schoolers coming in, now that Roark has been moved to center, he's got a great shot at making the two-deep and Rodney Picou will have every opportunity in the world to fill a guard spot, probably the one where Greg Austin sits right now. I think Rodney will at the very least, get a great look and this kid is big enough to play.
Harrison Beck is the big question, but based on how things have progressed thus far during spring, his chances are looking better and better for the two-deep or at the very least, a spot on the three deep, suiting up for every game and traveling with the team. This could end up being a great educational experience for him and if things work out perfectly, he won't have to waste a down.
All of the running backs have a shot, especially with
Phillip Dillard to me at least, is the big unknown. There are three guys sitting at MLB right now. With the move over of
There is one name, though, that I think everyone has forgotten about and that is Ndamukong Suh. With the newfound depth at DT, it seems like he's a logical redshirt. And, even with his prowess on the offense, it seems like it's not dire there as well. I think that Suh is such a stud player, that he WILL see the field his first year, whatever side of the line it's on. I know that realistically, he should be an automatic to redshirt, but this kid is special. Can
Spring Stumpers: Answers to THE questions
1. What holes are still going to be