Nebraska Football: The Headlines Going into the Cornhuskers Spring Game

Matt ZvolanekCorrespondent IIApril 15, 2011

Nebraska Football: The Headlines Going into the Cornhuskers Spring Game

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    Eric Francis/Getty Images

    This Saturday, thousands of red-clad fans will fill Memorial Stadium to watch the 'Huskers play themselves.  The fact that this is just a scrimmage does not matter.  Nebraskans love their football and always will.  That's why they turn out in droves every weekend in the fall and one weekend in April.  These headlines are just a few of the things those fans can expect to see.

The Teams

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    The Red and White teams were released on Thursday.  The headliners for the Red team include Taylor Martinez, Brandon Kinnie, Marcel Jones, Alfonzo Dennard, Kyler Reed and Courtney Osborne.  On the White team, led by Cody Green, is Lavonte David, Jamal Turner, Ciante Evans, Rex Burkhead, Baker Steinkuhler and Terrence Moore.  

    The White team's backup QB is Brion Carnes, while the Red team's is Ron Kellogg III.  Looking at the teams on paper, it seems like the Red team definitely has the advantage.

Position Changes

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    The two main position changes involve Currenski Gilleylen and Jamal Turner.  Gilleylen, after not seeing much action in 2010, is switching to running back.  Jamal Turner, the 4-star recruit who enrolled early, is becoming a receiver.  He still has the equipment to be QB and him being placed at receiver opens up the possibility of the trick play. 

    Also, Eric Martin has switched from linebacker to defensive end.  His speed should allow him to get to the quarterback faster.  This is a very interesting change.

Emergence of Players

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    Last year, Taylor Martinez showed everybody just what he was capable of.  There are some other 'Huskers this year that have worked their way up the depth chart and now could be starters.  The one that's been getting most of the publicity is redshirt freshman Jake Cotton.  Cotton is an offensive lineman and has been getting praise from the coaches. 

    Another interesting 'Husker is walk-on kicker Brett Maher.  How will he do following the departure of Alex Henery?  Will true freshman Mauro Bondi beat him out in the kicking game come fall?

Coaching Changes

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    Shawn Watson is out and Tim Beck is in.  That was the major change to the 'Huskers staff this offseason.  The whole state of Nebraska wanted Watson out and Bo delivered.  The last remnant of Callahan is finally gone. 

    Other staff hires include Corey Raymond at secondary coach, Ross Els to replace Mike Ekeler at linebackers coach and Rich Fisher to coach the receivers.  How will these coaches' units perform with them at the helm?  'Husker fans will probably have to wait until the fall to answer that one.

Offense

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    Anyone who thinks they will go to the spring game and leave with the knowledge of what Nebraska's offense is going to look like next year can throw those notions out of their head.  Bo Pelini told reporters he's going to keep the offense and defense very basic.  The first time Nebraska fans will see their team's offense will be in the fall. 

Quarterbacks

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    Last year, 'Husker fans watched a young quarterback named Taylor Martinez run around on the field.  The buzz generated by him was immense.  This year the buzz is going to be about whether Martinez is healthy or not.  How will he perform in the spring game?  Due to a toe injury, he probably won't be playing more than a quarter.  That should give his replacement, Ron Kellogg III, plenty of snaps. 

    On the other side is Cody Green.  One question that should be asked is whether his accuracy throwing the ball has gotten better.  Behind Cody Green is Brion Carnes.  'Husker fans have been curious about him.  They will get their chance to see him in action on Saturday.