Every year, college fans get excited about the players that commit and sign with their favorite teams, and the true freshmen who make instant impacts are the stuff of legends. But many times, it’s the kids who redshirt a year and get better, or the transfers into the program, that are the talent jolt that can change a program.
Lavonte David. Taylor Martinez. Maurice Purify. All players who either currently or in the very recent past were critical elements to Nebraska’s success, and all were products of either a redshirt or a transfer.
So let’s take a look at Nebraska’s roster for 2012, and see which redshirt freshman or transfers will likely make the biggest impact for NU.
5. DAVID SANTOS (LB)
With David’s departure, Nebraska will be looking to fill holes at linebacker. While Santos is not projected at this point to make the starting lineup, his size and speed will be hard to keep off the field.
Look for him to see significant playing time at weakside linebacker and pushing for a starting job by the end of the season.
4. RYNE REEVES (OL)
Initially brought in as a center, Reeves has been moved to right guard and should be a significant part of Nebraska’s offensive line rotation. Out of Nebraska’s huge crop of offensive linemen from the 2010 recruiting class, Tyler Moore was the only one to see playing time as a true freshman.
Look for Reeves to be the next in that class to make a contribution for NU.
3. MIKE MARROW (FB)
Offensive coordinator Tim Beck has promised that Rex Burkhead will not be leaned upon as heavily as he was in 2011 for offensive production. And while that means an increased role for running backs Ameer Abdullah and Aaron Green, it also means an expanded role for the fullback.
Look for a player of Marrow’s size to make a contribution right away in short yardage situations and as a change of pace from Burkhead and the smaller-but-nimbler Green and Abdullah.
2. TAARIQ ALLEN (WR)
Allen was consistently impressive on the scout team during his redshirt season. Now, he will have the opportunity to get on the field and show his worth. His size (6’3, 200 pounds) makes him an imposing target to defend against, and if he can translate his success on the practice squad as Martinez did, he has a chance to make a significant contribution to an already-strong wide receiver corps.
1. MOHAMMED SEISAY (CB)
There’s no question that Seisay has the chance to make the most immediate impact as a transfer. With the departure of Alfonzo Dennard and Prince Amukamura the year before, cornerback is an area where Nebraska is looking for difference-makers immediately.
Of all the redshirt freshmen and transfers, look for Seisay to be the one to start from game one, and to have the most immediate impact on Nebraska in 2012.
Ryan Klachko (OL), Todd Peat, Jr. (DT), Givens Price (OL), Zach Sterup (OL)
If you would like to contact me directly to schedule an interview, ask a question or to get my recipe for a killer peach cobbler, you can send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Disclaimer: Peach cobbler recipe might not be all that killer.)
Or, you could always...Follow @patrickrunge