BigRedReport.com is going to take a position-by-position look of what we learned about the Huskers from spring practices heading into the bulk of the offseason.
INTERIOR OFFENSIVE LINE:
Nebraska loses two of their three inside starters up front, but arguably are deeper at guard and center spot in 2014.
It starts with left guard Jake Cotton, who became a strong leader in the spring according to his teammates. The combination of Cotton and offensive tackle Alex Lewis could mean we see quite a few plays called to the left side early on. Cotton is projected by many media outlets to be an all-conference type player in 2014. Judging by how he was blocking in the spring, it's not hard to imagine.
Opposite of Cotton could be senior Mike Moudy or junior Givens Price. Moudy spent the spring on the sidelines, recovering from shoulder surgery, while Price made huge strides when given first-team reps. After hitting campus at the age of just 16-years old, Price looks like the part of a Big Ten offensive lineman.
"Givens has come a long way," said Cotton. "Just the years alone are going to do wonders for the development. "It's showing this spring. He's more mature; he's more aggressive, he's really coming into his own."
At center, there will be a competition in the fall between senior Mark Pelini and junior Ryne Reeves. Reeves took the bulk of the first-team reps early in the spring, but then hurt his neck in late March. The effect was more first-team reps for Pelini while Reeves was on the sidelines. On the third-team, former Colorado prep Paul Thurston took some of the action.
Depth is built on the third and fourth teams and Nebraska had a list of players get reps and improve this spring: Corey Whitaker (redshirt sophomore), Zach Hannon (redshirt freshman – was banged up for some of the spring), Dwayne Johnson (redshirt freshman), and Chongo Kondolo (redshirt junior). Out of the bunch, Kondolo is the most ready to play after playing two years of junior college football. His versatility of being able to play both sides could also help him become a swing guard on the second-team.
While a redshirt year is likely coming for both pair, incoming freshman D.J. Foster and Tanner Farmer have the talent to be multiple-year starters down the road. Both were high school All-Americans and look physically ready to compete in year one. If the depth wasn't there, it would be likely these two would be getting some reps in 2014.
PROJECTED BRR FALL DEPTH CHART
LG – Jake Cotton – senior
RG – Mike Moudy – senior
2LG – Chongo Kondolo – junior
2RG – Givens Price – junior
C – Ryne Reeves – junior
2C – Mark Pelini – senior