For the first time since 2010, Nebraska is in need of a new quarterback to lead the team. After four seasons with Taylor Martinez at the helm, it's officially time for someone else to step up.
Despite losing Martinez, the quarterback position isn't in a terrible spot for the Huskers. After an injury plagued the veteran in 2013, redshirt sophomore Tommy Armstrong stepped into place. However, it was never officially his position.
Armstrong split the quarterback duties with Ron Kellogg III.
While Armstrong typically started, Kellogg came in to play quite a few series. This made the quarterback position never truly feel like Armstrong's.
With the 2014 season on the horizon, fans are anxious to see what life is like post-Martinez.
Nebraska will be looking for a player to lead and power through the growing pains of many new faces on offense. The offensive line could have some potential hiccups to start the season, which will require a confident leader to stay calm under pressure. Who will that player be?
Let's take a look at Nebraska's depth chart once fall practice begins in a few weeks.
Quarterback No. 1: Tommy Armstrong
The 2014 season finally belongs to Armstrong. It will be the first year when the starting job belongs solely to the redshirt sophomore.
In 2013, Armstrong got a taste of what it was like to be the leader. However, he split the duties with Kellogg, which frustrated some fans.
That probably won't be the case in 2014.
So, how did Armstrong fare in 2013? The Huskers won seven out of the eight games that he started in, which wasn't bad. It was the turnovers that weren't as great.
"According to STATS, his rate of one for every 16 passes was the fourth-worst mark in the Bowl Subdivision for quarterbacks with at least 100 attempts," an article by The Associated Press stated.
|Armstrong: 2013 Game-By-Game Stats|
|South Dakota State||12-15||169||1||0|
|@ Penn State||1-2||1||0||0|
|Georgia (Gator Bowl)||6-14||163||2||1|
During spring practice, eliminating turnovers was an area of focus for Armstrong. Fans are looking for the quarterback to improve upon his 52 percent completion rate. Armstrong plans to do just that.
In fact, he took time this spring to work out with Brett Favre during the offseason.
As for what fans can expect come the 2014 season, that is still up in the air. However, Armstrong's confidence is improving, which should translate onto the field.
Also, it may benefit him not to have to split duties with another player. He'll still get some competition from his backups, but with the job belonging to him, it might just be the boost he needs to make the jump forward in 2014.
Quarterback No. 2: Johnny Stanton
There has been a lot of excitement around Johnny Stanton ever since he arrived at Nebraska. After the annual spring game this year, that excitement only grew.
Additionally, his athleticism is outstanding. As Husker Corner's Mike Snow noted, Stanton had a 34-inch vertical and 4.79-second 40-yard dash out of high school.
Needless to say, fans were anxious to see him play. Two years later, that hasn't changed.
Stanton redshirted his freshman season in 2013. As for the upcoming season, he will likely be the backup for Armstrong. If he is asked to step up, it shouldn't be too much of a problem.
In fact, expect him to continue giving Armstrong a run for his money through fall practice. While Armstrong will prevail as the starter, Stanton will make a name for himself.
Quarterback No. 3: Ryker Fyfe
Ryker Fyfe is a redshirt sophomore who made a case for himself during Nebraska's annual spring game.
For fans previously unaware of him, Fyfe showed a high level of maturity and confidence. He finished the day having completed nine of 12 passes for 89 yards and a touchdown.
Those numbers were enough to have fans wondering if he'll challenge Stanton for the backup position to Armstrong. While Fyfe did have a great showing this past spring, he'll still likely settle in as the third-string guy for the time being.
Fyfe was unranked out of high school by 247Sports.com, but that doesn't mean he can't compete against Armstrong and Stanton. Being from Grand Island, Nebraska, Fyfe understands what Nebraska football means to the state, which gives him some extra motivation going forward.
While he likely won't start in 2014, Husker fans can feel good about having Fyfe on the roster. If called upon, the confidence he had during the spring game should surface.
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