Nebraska Football: 5 Predictions for the End of Cornhuskers' Spring Ball
The Nebraska Cornhuskers find themselves installing new offensive packages this spring under the watchful eye of offensive coordinator Tim Beck.
They're are also getting to know some fresh faces on the coaching staff, as Bo Pelini finally gets to take “his guys” for a test drive.
New defensive backs coach Corey Raymond takes over a loaded group of defensive backs led by senior Alfonzo Dennard who swatted the idea of skipping his senior year for the NFL draft away like an attempted touchdown pass.
The Cornhuskers return from their spring break and get back to work come Monday, but five things look to be as sure as the rising sun.
1: The QB Depth Chart Won't Change
While offensive coordinator Tim Beck’s new system is largely a mystery, Bo Pelini seems to have hitched his wagon to Taylor Martinez as his starting quarterback.
Cody Green isn’t going to match T-Magic’s speed, but the new system needs to ensure that quarterbacks can make throws that require receivers to make plays, not just the signal-callers.
Such an allowance would provide Green with the ability to work as a quality backup.
Kody Spano is a name that many haven’t heard in a while, but is in serious contention for the No. 3 spot after being out for nearly a year with a knee injury.
In the end, the starting spot is Taylor’s to lose.
Until fall camp comes, at least.
2: The Fullback Returns
Tyler Legate, your time has finally come.
The senior from Neligh, Nebraska has been one of the definitive team players over the years and now his patience pays off.
Beck’s new system has been rumored to implement the fullback far more than in the past few years.
Look for Legate to shine early and often starting on April 16, the date of the Cornhuskers’ spring scrimmage.
3: SJB Will Be a Sight to See
Stanley Jean-Baptiste has the ability to provide Nebraska with two big-bodied wide receivers able to frustrate defensive coordinators with their speed and size along with senior Brandon Kinnie.
Kinnie, currently measured at 6’3” and 225 pounds will likely work across the field from SJB this spring in an attempt to test Nebraska’s cornerbacks on several routes.
Look for the quarterbacks to attempt “jump-ball” passes in the end zone with both athletes.
While wide receivers coach Rich Fisher has plenty of talent to work with, word out of camp is that Jean-Baptiste is impressing.
He’ll lock down a starting spot by the time camp concludes.
4: Ty Kildow Makes a Serious Push for Playing Time
Standing 5’7” and weighing in at 180 pounds, Kildow isn’t an imposing physical specimen, but he is quicker than a hiccup.
Pelini obviously subscribes to the theory that speed is going to separate his team from its peers with the selection of Martinez as his starting quarterback last year.
While Rex Burkhead has the starting running back spot all but locked up, the No. 2 job is still up for grabs.
This is where Kildow comes in.
Incoming recruits will vie for the spot come the fall, but Kildow provides Nebraska an opportunity to see not only what their speed could provide in the interim, but also ensure himself some snaps this fall.
5: QBs Will Throw 3+ Picks in the Spring Game
In an effort to not make these predictions entirely about the offense, it’s nearly impossible as the defense is going to make standing out very difficult for any quarterback.
So difficult, in fact, that Corey Raymond’s charges are going to take home at least a trio of interceptions in front of a packed Memorial Stadium on April 16.
Various opinions can be taken away from this.
The quarterbacks have regressed, or the secondary hasn’t missed a beat; maybe both ideas aren’t so far-fetched.
In a stark contrast, Raymond’s working with an embarrassment of riches in a familiar area of expertise whereas Beck is just getting familiar with players in a new system and working with quarterbacks as opposed to running backs.
Good luck to all of the guys under center.
Even during the spring, you're going to need it.
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