Nebraska football fans have been taking a close look at the roster as the spring game approaches. In this space, we’ve spent some time getting to know better Nebraska’s backup running backs, wide receivers, offensive line and defensive line. So, as we travel up the chalkboard from the running backs through the defense, the next logical thing would be to look at…the secondary, right?
No, we haven’t forgotten about the linebackers. But it’s easy for football fans to get lazy in the spring, so I’m throwing a curveball to see if you’re on your toes. Yes, it’s a little out of order. But it’s time, as Stephen Colbert might say, to better know Nebraska’s defensive backs
Before we get started on discussing positions specifically, a word to the wise. Given how many defensive backs are on Nebraska’s roster, and how few positions are really settled, expect to see a lot of flexibility in terms of where defensive backs play.
Over the course of the spring—and, indeed, likely through fall camp and into the season—don’t be surprised to see head coach Bo Pelini chopping and changing the defensive back lineup to find an optimal rotation.
Having said that, let’s take a look at who seems certain to play at cornerback.
Senior Andrew Green (6’0”, 195 pounds) returns after having played his way in and out of the starting lineup last season. Sophomore Auburn transfer Jonathan Rose (6’1”, 180 pounds) is eligible to play in 2013 and looks to challenge for a starting spot right away.
Senior Ciante Evans (5’11”, 185 pounds) will likely reclaim his role as a starting nickelback. Sophomore Charles Jackson (5’11”, 175 pounds) has converted to cornerback, meaning the coaching staff has some ideas in terms of how he can best be used.
Senior Mohammed Seisay (6’2”, 200 pounds) will hope to overcome the injuries that derailed his season last year.
Junior Josh Mitchell (5’11”, 155 pounds) and senior Stanley Jean-Baptiste (6’3”, 215 pounds) saw playing time last season, and they will be fighting for their spots on the depth chart. Senior Seth Jamison (6’1”, 200 pounds), juniors Derek Foster (5’11”, 190 pounds), Yusef Wade (5’10”, 185 pounds) and Joey Felici (5’9”, 175 pounds), and sophomores Daniel Davie (6’1”, 185 pounds) and Anthony Ridder (6’2”, 195 pounds) will provide depth for the defensive backfield while fighting for playing time.
This fall, scholarship signee Boaz Joseph (6’1”, 190 pounds) should also be in the mix at cornerback
Nebraska only has three true safeties listed on its roster for spring camp.
Juniors Corey Cooper (6’1”, 210 pounds) and Harvey Jackson (6’2”, 210 pounds) will be trying to fulfill their as-yet-unrealized potential. Senior Wil Richards (5’11”, 195 pounds) looks to be getting playing time this spring in a final attempt to earn a roster spot this season.
Early enrollee scholarship signing D.J. Singleton (6’1”, 195 pounds) could take advantage of his presence on campus to get a leg up in his quest to make the depth chart. Redshirt freshman LeRoy Alexander (6’0”, 185 pounds) could also use this spring to make a move at safety or corner.
This fall, look for scholarship signees Drake Martinez (6’2”, 200 pounds) and Nathan Gerry (6’2”, 210 pounds) to make an impact at safety, as well as walk-on Zach Stovall (5’11", 185 pounds) at safety or corner.
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