Nebraska Football: 6 Players with Most to Gain in Spring Practice

Erin SorensenContributor IFebruary 24, 2014

Nebraska Football: 6 Players with Most to Gain in Spring Practice

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    Spring practice is just around the corner for the Huskers. While the team has enjoyed a quiet start to 2014, it's time to get things going once again.

    With the annual Red-White Spring Game set for Saturday, April 12th, the clock is ticking. Fans will be particularly interested in the quarterback position. Nebraska has a race for the starting quarterback position for the first time in years. Who will snag it?

    Additionally, who has the most to gain from the Huskers' spring practice?

    Read on to find out which players have a lot to work for in the coming months.

QB Tommy Armstrong Jr.

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    Tommy Armstrong may have been the starting quarterback for a majority of the 2013 season, but that doesn't guarantee his spot for next season. In fact, fans are anxious to see how it plays out between Armstrong and Johnny Stanton in spring practice.

    For Armstrong, he definitely has the most to lose. He also has the most to gain.

    In order to keep his starting position, Armstrong will have to mature during spring practice. He showed a lot more poise in the Gator Bowl than he had in some of the Huskers' final regular-season games in 2013. However, not all fans are convinced.

    Armstrong will have to continue to grow and step up in order to stay at the top of the depth chart. It won't be easy, but his experience from last season should prove to be helpful.

QB Johnny Stanton

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    On the flip side, quarterback Johnny Stanton also has a lot to gain from spring practice. A good showing may just move him ahead of Tommy Armstrong for the starting spot.

    There are many that feel Stanton should get the starting spot too. In fact, Bleacher Report's own Andrew Coppens looked at why Stanton needs to be the man in charge in 2014.

    He definitely has a lot for Husker fans to be excited about. As an Elite 11 finalist, Stanton has the potential to be a dual-threat quarterback that can run and take the pressure off of I-back Ameer Abdullah.

    Spring practice will be key for Stanton. Armstrong still has the experience, but Stanton could easily undermine that with a strong showing in the coming months.

TE Cethan Carter

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    Nati Harnik/Associated Press

    The 2013 season was not a productive one for Nebraska's tight ends. Cethan Carter has a chance to change that in 2014.

    Carter now has experience on the field, which will help immensely. He will also have all of spring to adjust to whoever plays the quarterback position.

    Since Ben Cotton and Kyler Reed graduated two years ago, the tight end position at Nebraska hasn't been a bright spot. However, Carter is showing he has the potential to be a shining star and change that.

    Spring practice will be important for Carter as he solidifies himself as a vital part of Nebraska's offense going forward.

RB Terrell Newby

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    With his choice to return for his senior season, most of the attention will be on Ameer Abdullah in 2014. However, those behind Abdullah on the depth chart have a lot to gain from spring practice.

    One of those players is I-back Terrell Newby. He'll be fighting for playing time alongside both Imani Cross and Adam Taylor. Newby has experience on the field like Cross, but Taylor has been receiving a lot of high praise after redshirting in 2013.

    While he had his moments of struggle last season, Newby is fast. His breakaway speed could definitely make an impact for the Nebraska offense and keep Abdullah from having to do too much on his own.

    Spring practice will be key for Newby to show he's moved past the rookie mistakes he made in 2013 and is ready to help lead the running backs going forward.

OL Paul Thurston

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    It seems likely that Mark Pelini will sit on top of the depth chart for the center position on the offensive line. After all, a senior has started at center for the last two years.

    However, Paul Thurston could give Pelini a run for his money. Thurston has nearly a six-inch size advantage over Pelini, which definitely benefits him.

    While he didn't play in any games in 2013, Thurston has the opportunity to make a big jump during spring practice. Taking Pelini's spot may be a long shot, but it's not impossible. If anything, he can add much-needed security to the offensive line going forward.

S Charles Jackson

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    With both Stanley Jean-Baptiste and Ciante Evans gone, the Nebraska secondary is in need of help more than ever. That's where Charles Jackson comes in.

    He didn't see much playing time in 2013 due to those ahead of him on the depth chart. That could be very different in 2014.

    Jackson is talented and fans have been anxiously waiting to see what he can do. Spring practice will allow him to show off. It will be important that he does too. JUCO transfer Byerson Cockrell is already at Nebraska and working out with the team.

    If Jackson wants to move ahead of Cockrell and anyone else, spring practice will be the time to do that.