Nebraska football fans suffering through another long offseason love to think about how stars, like Taylor Martinez and Ameer Abdullah, will perform in the fall. They also love to think about how the incoming recruits, like Terrell Newby and Randy Gregory, will make an impact.
But sometimes it’s easy to overlook the players who have been on the roster but haven’t yet had the chance to earn time in the spotlight. So, let’s take some time and look at five players who have been on the roster for Nebraska but may make their marks on the program in 2013.
As a junior college transfer, Anderson looked to be an instant-impact addition at linebacker for Nebraska in 2012. Unfortunately, a knee injury sidelined him after three games, and he did not play the rest of the season.
Anderson has received a medical hardship and thus will have two years of eligibility remaining. And with all of Nebraska’s starting linebacker corps from last season departing, the field is wide open for Anderson to make his mark. While there is a great deal of depth competing for playing time, look for Anderson to stake a claim for a starting position right away.
Another junior college transfer, Seisay has the size (6’2”, 200 pounds) and speed to be an effective and physical cornerback. Seisay’s 2012 campaign never really got off the ground due to an injury that hampered his ability to contribute, although he did play in the last 12 games of the season.
Like linebacker, cornerback is a position that is deep with talent but shallow with experience. Whether Seisay stays at corner or shifts to safety, look for his size and experience to make a mark in Nebraska’s backfield.
Allen redshirted in 2011 and was just starting to make a name for himself in 2012. He played in the first eight games of the season but really got going against Northwestern, catching two passes for 11 yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately, Allen was injured on kickoff coverage the following week against Michigan and missed the rest of the season.
Now fully healed and ready for the season, Allen looks to make his claim for a fourth wide receiver spot behind Kenny Bell, Jamal Turner, and Quincy Enunwa. While there are a number of competitors for the position, Allen’s experience should provide him with a leg up and help him make an impact in 2013.
In 2011, Nebraska had a huge haul of offensive linemen recruits come to Lincoln. While many have not panned out or have left the program, Sterup is one of the class of 2011 who remains. And at a position of huge need, offensive tackle, Sterup has a huge opportunity to make a name for himself.
While junior college transfer Matt Finnin looks to slot in at one of the starting tackle positions, none of the other returning starters have been pulling up trees. Sterup, with his size, athleticism and experience in the program, could be poised to fill a void on the Nebraska offensive line.
If offensive tackle was a position of need for Nebraska in 2012, defensive tackle was a position in dire need. Things got so bad for Nebraska at defensive tackle that the coaches were forced to move defensive end Cameron Meredith—250-pound defensive end Meredith—to defensive tackle for the B1G title game against Wisconsin.
That's the Wisconsin team whose offensive line averaged north of 310 pounds per player. And we were all shocked—shocked I say—to see Wisconsin rack up 539 yards of rushing offense against the Blackshirts in Indianapolis against that defensive line.
Randle is a senior and has battled injuries throughout his career in Lincoln. But he looks to return healthy, and his experience (coupled with an infusion of talent at defensive end, particularly from junior college transfer Randy Gregory) should help him cap his Nebraska career with a solid season anchoring the interior of NU’s defensive line—if he can stay healthy.
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