Another one bites the dust for Nebraska football.
After two weeks of fall camp, the Huskers have lost another player. This time it's junior defensive tackle Aaron Curry, per Rivals and SoonerScoop.com, via the Omaha World-Herald. Can Nebraska withstand his departure?
The short answer is yes. While the loss of Curry is not ideal from a depth concern, he spent most of spring and fall camp practicing with the No. 2, and occasionally the No. 3, defense, per the Omaha World-Herald.
While Curry started eight games in 2013, his experience was put to the test by sophomores Maliek Collins and Vincent Valentine. As fall camp went on, it was clear he would likely be playing backup to both and that his playing time would be much less than last season.
While it was a less-than-ideal situation for the junior, he provided good security behind Collins and Valentine. Who will step up instead? It seems likely that sophomore Kevin Maurice will now back up Collins and Valentine.
Junior Kevin Williams could also back Collins and Valentine up, but his status is currently unknown. As Brian Christopherson of the Lincoln Journal Star reported, Williams went down during the Aug. 18 practice with a lower leg injury. Bo Pelini calls Williams' injury a "day-to-day thing."
Until more is known, Maurice has the talent alongside Collins and Valentine to make an impact.
When word of Curry's departure first came to light, it seemed like he would be transferring to Oklahoma. However, Carey Murdock of SoonerScoop.com learned that wasn't the case.
Regardless of where he lands, Curry has officially been released from Nebraska, per the Omaha World-Herald.
The biggest loss Curry leaves behind is depth. ESPN 590's Joe Quinn made a good point on the matter.
Beyond depth, what the Huskers lose in Curry is experience. The junior played in 17 games during his two seasons with the Huskers, which includes all 13 games in 2013. According to Huskers.com, Curry has 30 tackles overall, with 26 of those from last season.
That experience is a definite loss. However, as stated, the Huskers have a strong and talented group at defensive tackle. Beyond those listed previously, Nebraska has freshmen Mick Stoltenberg and Peyton Newell to look forward to.
However, before Curry's departure, it was clear that Collins and Valentine were going to be the starters. They've been impressive through fall camp, which should give plenty of Husker fans something to look forward to.
Nebraska can, and will, withstand Curry's departure by continuing on. Valentine will be able to provide some experience to the team, which is beneficial. He had 21 total tackles in 2013, per Huskers.com.
Continuing to focus on him and Collins is exactly what Nebraska needs to keep doing. As for the rest of the group backing those two up, it's all about staying healthy.
Curry's decision is understandable. For the Huskers, it is survivable. Pending no additional injuries, this unit should recover just fine.
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