It’s game week for Nebraska football fans…sort of. This Saturday will be the Red-White Game, where the Children of the Corn will fill Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb. to watch Nebraska go through its final spring practice of 2013. In doing so, Nebraska fans will be able to not only get a last football fix before summer, but also get a glimpse as to what NU might look like this autumn.
So, for the final time, let’s take a look at whose stock is rising and falling as we prepare for the spring game. And, as this the final stock report before the game, I’d like to take this opportunity to observe that I did not make a single Jim Cramer gag throughout these reports. You’re welcome.
Switching positions is never easy. Sometimes it works out, like with Stanley Jean-Baptiste moving from wide receiver to cornerback. Sometimes it doesn’t, like with Braylon Heard moving from I-back to defensive back to I-back again before leaving the team.
So when the news came down that Brodrick Nickens was moving from offensive line to defensive line, there was at least some cause for concern. But according to Brian Christopherson of the Lincoln Journal Star, Nickens seems to be settling well in his new home.
UPDATE - this slide has been corrected to reflect that Nickens moved from offense to defense, not the other way around. Apologies for the error.
As far as the backup wide receivers go, a lot of attention was getting paid to redshirt freshman Alonzo Moore. Some dope even pegged him as one of the five players to watch at Saturday’s spring game.
Of course, jinxes being what they are, Moore may now miss the spring game due to nagging injuries, as head coach Bo Pelini told the Omaha World-Herald. Missing the Spring Game will likely not hurt Moore’s stock in terms of the fall depth chart, but it would be an opportunity lost for him to show his mettle in front of a crowd.
Likely starting I-back Ameer Abdullah has already been ruled out of the spring game. Recruits, like 4-star running backs Terrell Newby and Adam Taylor, won’t be arriving in Lincoln until this fall. So for the redshirt freshman I-backs on the squad, this spring is their opportunity to make a name for themselves.
One who looks to be doing just that is King Frazier, and not just because of an amazingly-cool first name. According to Brandon Vogel at HailVarsity.com, Frazier is standing out throughout spring practice, and looks to see significant work during the spring game. Frazier looks to be using his opportunity this spring to establish a place for himself on the fall depth chart.
All three of Nebraska’s linebacker positions will be up for grabs next season, with the graduation of Will Compton, Sean Fisher and Alonzo Whaley. The player with the most experience returning was David Santos, who looked primed to seal a place as a starter during spring practice.
But it appears that Santos will sit out the spring game due to injury, according to Huskers.com. Given the experience Santos brings from last season, he likely will still be a strong contender to start in 2013. But with the depth at linebacker from players like Thomas Brown, Jared Afalava and Zaire Anderson, along with new recruits Courtney Love, Josh Banderas and Marcus Newby, Santos will definitely have competition.
Nebraska’s defensive line doesn’t exactly have a lot of starting experience. So for senior defensive end Jason Ankrah, this spring is his opportunity to claim a leadership mantle both for the defensive line and for the Blackshirts as a whole.
And it looks like Ankrah is doing just that. According to the Lincoln Journal Star, Ankrah has recognized the need for he and senior defensive tackle Thad Randle to become defensive leaders in their senior seasons. In addition to working on improving his game, Ankrah has also been mentoring and helping the younger defensive linemen. That can only be of benefit to Nebraska this fall.
No real reason for this one, other than Pelini announced that the spring game rosters would be chosen by the coaches, rather than by team captains. Pelini cited injury problems leaving Nebraska’s roster too thin, and that some players would be switching sides and playing for both squads during the spring game.
Sure, all that makes perfect sense and is a smart move for the final spring practice of 2013. But, come on, as fans wouldn’t it be more fun to see teams picked by team captains? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
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