Nebraska Cornhuskers Position Breakdowns: Cornerbacks
Outlook: The Huskers are particularly thin at cornerback, which means it might be the spot where a true freshman is most likely to contribute. Former NU secondary coach George Darlington had once said that if a cornerback couldn’t compete as a freshman, then they probably shouldn’t have recruited him anyway. If that’s a fairly widely held belief among coaches, then perhaps the lack of veteran corners shouldn’t be all that concerning.
Incumbent: Armando Murillo made 12 starts last season which is encouraging since the overall group is so thin. While he didn’t win the hearts of Husker fans last season, he’s still a guy that Oklahoma recruited. Expect a solid season from him.
Rising Star: Anthony West appears likely to win the starting spot opposite Murillo. He finished 2007 as one of only three returning cornerbacks listed on the depth chart (Murillo and Anthony Blue were the others).
In-The-Mix: Prince Amukamara made a strong statement in the spring game finishing with 8 tackles and a forced fumble. He also saw the field at cornerback in 2007.
Enigma: Shawn Sullivan redshirted in 2007. Returning to the Darlington statement, this could be a sign that he was the least ready of last season’s cornerback recruits. He also didn’t participate in special teams. Does that mean he’s behind the other cornerbacks or did he have the uncommon wisdom to realize the crowding ahead of him would limit his opportunities last year? He managed two tackles and a pass break-up in the spring game, so he may be coming along nicely.
Odd Man Out?: Anthony Blue is the rare talented player you root to see riding the bench. In the first year coming off an ACL tear, players seldom approach their healthy level of play. While Blue is probably a starter when healthy, a redshirt would avoid a less than optimal year. If he’s pressed into service, it might be a sign that the other players simply aren’t ready to replace him.
On The Horizon: Alfonzo Dennard was a top 25 cornerback prospect nationally according to Rivals.com. The same is true of David Whitmore who at 6’2” could be a nice player to match up with taller receivers. Other recruits could potentially see time at corner like Courtney Osborne or Justin Rogers.
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