Well, I suppose that there are other Nebraska football fans out there that dread this time of year as much as I do. I am a college football fan and nothing else replaces that. So, these long months from February to August are especially tough. It's time like this that make me realize just how short the season is.
So, between now and the start of Spring Practice I will be doing a position by position break down of the 2009 Nebraska Cornhuskers. Who did they lose? Who is coming back? And which players we should expect to to step up in 2009.
Today I will start with a look at the quarterback position for Nebraska. Coming into Spring Practice of 2009 Nebraska will be aiming to find a replacement for Joe Ganz, a 16 game starter over 2007 and 2008.
As important as Joe's on the the field production was in Shawn Watson's offense, it might be just as difficult, or more so to replace the leadership, toughness, and knowledge of the game in general that he possessed.
Joe was, and Shawn Watson stated this, "a coach on the field." I think at times this is a lot of coach speak, but, it fits Joe Ganz. That is going to be hard to replace.
Now a look at a few of the names that will be in the mix for the quaterback position at Nebraska in 2009. Patrick Witt and Zac Lee are both players that come into Spring Practice of 2009 with 2+ years of learning the offensive play system under Shawn Watson.
Patrick Witt, a 6'4" 225 lb redshirt sophomore comes into 2009 with two full springs under his belt. Witt brings a great deal of intelligence, shown in the classroom by his 4.0 GPA and multiple semesters of being named to the Big 12 Commissioners Academic Honor Roll.
This intelligence has aided Witt greatly in being able to absorb and understand all the information and complexities of the offense that Shawn Watson and the offensive staff have thrown at him. Watson has stated on numerous occasions, even during Witt's first year in the program that he had a innate ability to learn vast amount of information very quickly.
Athletically, Witt possess a very strong and accurate arm and for a big bodied quarterback has demonstrated the ability to move in the pocket, evade the rush and make plays with his feet.
Witt's career stats, all compiled in 2008 are 6 of 8 passing for 48 yards.
Zac Lee, a 6'2" 210 lb junior out of San Francisco City College came to Nebraska in January 2007. Due to a knee injury he suffered late in the 2006 season while at SF City College he had to sit out the entire 2007 season.
Zac had a very good Spring Practice in 2008 and this continued into the fall practice of 2008.
Lee possesses a very strong arm and adds a different dimension to the game in that he might be just as able to beat the defense with his feet as with his strong arm. Lee possess excellent speed and quickness and also has a football pedigree as his father, Bob Lee was an NFL QB for 13 seasons.
Nebraska Offensive Coordinator Shawn Watson has stated that Lee made huge strides in 2008 and although Witt was listed as the number 2 quarterback for all of 2008 the gap is fairly small between Witt and Lee.
Lee's career statistics are 1 of 2 passing for 5 yards.
Kody Spano, a freshman from Stephenville, Texas joined Nebraska in January 2008 and made some impressions on the coaching staff with ability as a dual threat athlete.
Kody earned scout team offensive MVP honors for his efforts in 2008.
Let us not forget Cody Green, 6'4" 220 lbs a 4 star recruit from Dayton,TX. that just started classes at Nebraska in January and will be participating in his first full Spring Practice in 2009. Cody is a very talented dual threat athlete that will be looking to make a huge splash in 2009.
Nebraska fans everywhere are wondering if Cody can be the next freshman Qb to start at Nebraska and lead the team back to greater heights in 2009 and beyond.
I put my money on the more experienced and older guys like Witt and Lee that have had more time in the system to get comfortable.
I think redshirt seasons are likely for either Spano or Green if not both.