This spring, Nebraska is expecting one player to transfer in and enroll early. More than that, it is anticipated that Victory Haines will be in the mix either at guard or tackle this fall. Haines has the ability to come in and provide immediate relief.
Haines is a big player that just needed another year to really fill his 6-foot-7 frame. Haines has gotten that chance through gray shirt and redshirt years at Snow (Utah) Junior College. He has also moved from guard to offensive tackle from year to year, but at both positions he manned the right side because the quarterback was a southpaw.
Along with Haines, one of the top junior college tackles in America is Carl Nicks who committed to Nebraska the same day as Haines. Nebraska picked up a very athletic, mature offensive tackle that physically is ready to go. Additionally with Nicks, he may be able to get to Nebraska early through an inter-semester course, but not by the start of the spring semester.
Both Haines and Nicks should be counted to see the field and see the field often in a unit that will most likely look the most different of any unit on the field. Besides the new junior college players, they will be getting Rodney and Jordan Picou back from surgery, Craig Roark will likely push for playing time and could be the starter at center this spring, but you will also get Andy Christensen back from injury.
Besides the offensive line though, Taylor is picking up some new weapons to add to his arsenal. Maurice Purify stunned some and gave Nebraska an early commit. With Purify, Nebraska gets a legitimate deep threat, big play receiver. The 6-foot-4 receiver brings a big body and good speed to boot.
Taylor will finally get Tyrell Spain too. Spain failed to get academically qualified before the fall semester and attended Southeast C.C. in Lincoln. The unofficial reports from summer practices was that Spain was probably the best receiver on the team and more polished than anyone could have guessed.
Besides the receiver position, Kenny Wilson will bring legitimate speed and size to the running back position trying to fill a huge void left by the departure of Cory Ross. Wilson is a down-to-down back that has a lot more going for him than just physical talent. Wilson is joining three other El Dorado (Kans.) Butler C.C. players on offense that he will be familiar with. This should really make for a smooth transition.
On defense, one of the most talked about recruits this year is Andre Jones. Jones, a 6-foot-0 defensive back from Fresno (Calif.) C.C. can come in and play lock down corner. Jones, barring an injury this summer or in fall camp, should come in and if not start should have meaningful minutes early and be the starter by conference play.
Be brings a partner in crime with him from Fresno C.C. Steve Allen is a stout outside linebacker with tremendous speed and athleticism. Allen is a 6-foot-2 and 230 pound linebacker that still has a 4.5/40. While linebacker promises to be one of the deepest units this year for Nebraska it will be because players will be returning from injury. Allen is diverse enough to be able to play any linebacker position.
On the defensive line, "The Beast" from Compton (Calif.) C.C., Brandon Johnson, is an athletic upgrade and should provide Nebraska with the immediate ability to come in and fill for departing Le Kevin Smith and Titus Adams. Johnson is a defensive tackle, but has the speed that you more commonly find at the defensive end position.
Joining Johnson from Compton C.C. is Ashlee Palmer. Palmer may be the crown-jewel of all junior college recruits. At 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, Palmer has 4.4 speed in the 40 and looks the part at safety. Now, Palmer was to be at Nebraska this spring, but an academic setback will more than likely have Palmer returning to Compton this spring.
The high school recruits are a little more difficult to read this year. You would guess that you would more than likely see Major Culbert at safety and/or cornerback. If Ricky Thenarse is part of this class, you will definitely see him as well. I would also say that you will see at least one or the other of Menelik Holt and Will Henry to provide another tall option at receiver.
An over-shadowed player here for early playing time is Anthony West. West, at safety, could surprise people the most because of his height and size, but also because of his 40. At the summer camp in Lincoln this year, West ripped off some blazing 40s.
There are a few names that were in the Nebraska class last year that could find themselves filling important roles this year. Look for players like Justin Tomerlin at tight end, Jordan Picou at tackle and guard, Rodney Picou at tackle and guard, Craig Roark at guard and center, and Nick Covey at linebacker and on special teams.