Much too early look at next years depth chart

dacred

Redshirt Freshman
Dec 11, 2002
756
87
28
I will be the first to admit, I was easily frustrated and did not watch as much Husker football this past year as I usually do. So, don't beat me up too much on this subject. I was hoping that I was forgetting about some people but we don't have a lot of depth unless some young players step up at several positions. I am going to assume all transfers are available. Sorry if any names are not spelled correctly and if I list a Senior that is not coming back :)

Offense
QB- AM- Smothers
RB- Stepp - Scott - Morrison/Thompkins/Johnson
WR- Martin - Warner/Manning
WR- Toure - Betts/Falck
WR- Brown - LM
TE- Allen - Vokolek - Fidone/Rafadal
RT- Benhart - Miller
RG- Nouili - Sichterman
C - Jurgens - Farniok
LG- Pieper - Bando
LT- Corcoran - Banks

Defense
DE- Stille - Payne
DT- Daniels - Riley
DE- Robinson - Rogers
OLB- Domann - Tannor
OLB- Nelson - Cooper
ILB - Honas - Heinrich
ILB - Reimer/Kolarevic
CB - CTB - Clark
CB - Newsome - Joseph
S - Dismuke - Farmer
S - Williams - Gates
 

Reditus

Redshirt Freshman
Jun 20, 2019
543
759
93
Here's my guess. (I'm gonna cheat with OR's:)
Offense
QB- AM, Luke M, Smothers
RB- Stepp, Thompkins or Morrison,Scott or Johnson
zWR- Manning,Falck,Martin
xWR- Toure, Betts
rWR- Brown, Nixon,Hickman or Warner
TE- Allen - Vokolek - Fidone/Rafadal
RT- Benhart,Fritzche
RG- Nouili, Hixon
C - Jurgens,Farniok
LG- Piper, Bando
LT- Corcoran, Banks

Defense
DE- Stille, Thomas or Wildman
DT- Daniels, Riley or Hutmacker
DE- Robinson, Rogers
OLB- Domann, Henrich or Wright
OLB- Nelson,Payne or Tannor
ILB - Honas, Henrich
ILB - Reimer, Kolarevic
CB - CTB, Newsome
CB - Clark, Joseph
S - Dismuke, Farmer
S - Williams, Gifford or Gates
 

dinglefritz

Nebraska Legend
Jan 14, 2011
26,231
21,325
113
I will be the first to admit, I was easily frustrated and did not watch as much Husker football this past year as I usually do. So, don't beat me up too much on this subject. I was hoping that I was forgetting about some people but we don't have a lot of depth unless some young players step up at several positions. I am going to assume all transfers are available. Sorry if any names are not spelled correctly and if I list a Senior that is not coming back :)

Offense
QB- AM- Smothers
RB- Stepp - Scott - Morrison/Thompkins/Johnson
WR- Martin - Warner/Manning
WR- Toure - Betts/Falck
WR- Brown - LM
TE- Allen - Vokolek - Fidone/Rafadal
RT- Benhart - Miller
RG- Nouili - Sichterman
C - Jurgens - Farniok
LG- Pieper - Bando
LT- Corcoran - Banks

Defense
DE- Stille - Payne
DT- Daniels - Riley
DE- Robinson - Rogers
OLB- Domann - Tannor
OLB- Nelson - Cooper
ILB - Honas - Heinrich
ILB - Reimer/Kolarevic
CB - CTB - Clark
CB - Newsome - Joseph
S - Dismuke - Farmer
S - Williams - Gates
I take it that you think Luke leaves or is that your LM at WR?
 

Huskerpro

Senior
May 15, 2007
2,132
285
83
Why does our offense look so explosive on paper but we played so bad?
Such a valid question at the expense of Frost getting beat up this thread too.
Sometimes one side of the ball is going to prop up the other. I think our D now has the potential to take pressure of the O.
One other observation is that the o-line has a brand new identity. Let’s see what happens.
 
  • Like
Reactions: OzzyLvr and Reditus

Footballfinatic2016

Sophomore
Gold Member
Dec 2, 2015
1,003
486
83
Here's my guess. (I'm gonna cheat with OR's:)
Offense
QB- AM, Luke M, Smothers
RB- Stepp, Thompkins or Morrison,Scott or Johnson
zWR- Manning,Falck,Martin
xWR- Toure, Betts
rWR- Brown, Nixon,Hickman or Warner
TE- Allen - Vokolek - Fidone/Rafadal
RT- Benhart,Fritzche
RG- Nouili, Hixon
C - Jurgens,Farniok
LG- Piper, Bando
LT- Corcoran, Banks

Defense
DE- Stille, Thomas or Wildman
DT- Daniels, Riley or Hutmacker
DE- Robinson, Rogers
OLB- Domann, Henrich or Wright
OLB- Nelson,Payne or Tannor
ILB - Honas, Henrich
ILB - Reimer, Kolarevic
CB - CTB, Newsome
CB - Clark, Joseph
S - Dismuke, Farmer
S - Williams, Gifford or Gates
Yes, looks like the depth chart of a 3 win team. Minus it’s best offensive player in the past decade(s) and top defensive athlete.
 

inWV

Defensive Coordinator
Sep 22, 2007
7,150
4,677
113
Yes, looks like the depth chart of a 3 win team. Minus it’s best offensive player in the past decade(s) and top defensive athlete.
Wandale the best offensive player of the last decade(s)? He’s a fine player, but goes down upon first contact. Luke M would be a more valuable player in the slot if he committed to playing the position.
 

BigRedballz

Blackshirt
Gold Member
Aug 4, 2003
3,003
1,626
113
Lincoln
Wandale the best offensive player of the last decade(s)? He’s a fine player, but goes down upon first contact. Luke M would be a more valuable player in the slot if he committed to playing the position.
Last decade? So Stanley Morgan, Ameer Abdullah, Kenny Bell, Taylor Martinez are all behind Wandale? You know, guys that actually produced. That is using hyperbole to try to push that narrative that Frost sucks huh?
 

headcard

Nebraska Legend
Feb 2, 2005
33,956
26,882
113
Yes, looks like the depth chart of a 3 win team. Minus it’s best offensive player in the past decade(s) and top defensive athlete.
Wow, these guys suddenly become legends when they leave. Wandale and his 4 career TD’s are the best offensive player we’ve had in decades? Taylor Martinez was the Big 10 player of the year. Ameer and Rex are still in the NFL. But sure Wandale is the best offensive players in decade(s).
 

inWV

Defensive Coordinator
Sep 22, 2007
7,150
4,677
113
Last decade? So Stanley Morgan, Ameer Abdullah, Kenny Bell, Taylor Martinez are all behind Wandale? You know, guys that actually produced. That is using hyperbole to try to push that narrative that Frost sucks huh?
Burkhead as well. Shit, Tommy won a bunch games for NU. I was one awaiting WanRob’s arrival and he played well for NU. But in the history of the program, he’s just a nice WR. A wideout who has trouble running through contact is liability in the B1G.
 

John_J_Rambo

All-American
Jan 10, 2020
4,824
8,535
113
Burkhead as well. Shit, Tommy won a bunch games for NU. I was one awaiting WanRob’s arrival and he played well for NU. But in the history of the program, he’s just a nice WR. A wideout who has trouble running through contact is liability in the B1G.
I would kill to have Tommy Armstrong back. kid had guts and heart for days.
 

HominidHusker

Junior
Jun 25, 2018
1,784
2,965
113
Most teams outside of the top schools have strengths and weaknesses, non-ideal gaps in their roster.

I see enough “paper talent” to get W’s.... but alas, this is where coaches need to earn their salary.
They get paid a lot to turn that group into a contender capable of winning the division.

At a glance, we may have approx. 12 or so 4* players in the offensive two deep and approx. 7-8 4* in the defensive two deep.

Coaching.
Coaching.
Coaching.....

Coaching.
 

poundth3rock

Sophomore
Jul 20, 2007
1,200
127
63
Kansas
Why does our offense look so explosive on paper but we played so bad?
Not intending on being disagreeable, but I haven't seen anything resembling an explosive offense on paper for a long time. More than anything, we Husker fans overvalue our better players and sometime have blinders on just how bad play has been at some positions in the last 10 years.

Our talent on offense the last three years has been below big ten Average. The offensive line has been mostly Big Ten poor and up to slightly below big ten average for the stretch Farmer was moved Center and toward the end of the year as the freshman duo Piper/Benhardt developed and Corcoran showed there was really no drop off from SR. James to him.

The 2019 group was simply bad The interior group of 265 Freshman TE convert Jurgens, Walkon So. Hixson and injured Wilson was the worst interior oline in the Big Ten. As much potential as Jurgens has, he simply wouldn't have had to play on any Big Ten team with depth until his Jr year. Hixson has developed a great deal and provides great depth but should have seen a Big Ten field as a sophmore. Even Farniok was well below big ten average as a tackle. We had a bad offensive line and were average at best everywhere else.

If you think I am exaggerating about how bad play was on the interior in 2019 go re-watch the South Alabama game where we rushed for roughly 100 yards on 40+ carries. If you are overmatched by South Alabama what do you think is going to happen when you play one of the many physical Big Ten teams like Iowa or Wisconsin. To the players and Staff's credit both Jurgen and Hixson improved a great deal over the year and we were only Big Ten poor at the end of the year and even competitive against some decently physical teams at the end of the year. This also goes against he is just overmatched in the Big Ten talking point you hear about Frost. The Oregon teams he coordinated and the last two UCF teams would have hung 50+ and 500+ yard on that bad South Alabama team. He didn't just get stupid, there are a lot of personnel and other things that are simply taking time to sort out and that game is the poster child for just where the talent truly was.

Besides being poor up front we were average to below average at all other offensive positions in 2019 and really haven't been above Big Ten average at any position group outside of RB with Ozigbo and have had a few good big ten players like Robinson but not enough. When you look at the lack of representation on the all conference teams ands in the draft it is completely obvious to anyone not wearing blinders.

Before I jump to next year, I want to point out that Frost is not without fault. When you have the deficiencies we had and are trying to go from the losing team he inheritied with below average talent you have to do the little things to win games and also throw more Juco's at positions that your may need it instead of arrogantly thinking your are going to coach around it. Also, Special teams, mental errors, allowing the snapping thing to continue like it did was not acceptable and needs to be addressed. Clean that crap and at least get 1-2 more legit Big Ten players up front in 2019 and you maybe get your 6-7 wins and bowl practice, Martinez doesn't regress so much his Sophmore year and a guy like Robinson continues to believe and gives it another year.

As for this years roster or projected depth chart I actually believe this is the first year he will roll with above Big Ten average talent on offense. I absolutely love the left side of the line with Corcoran and Piper. They will start next year above Big Ten average and grow over the next 3-4 years. With a healthy offseason Jurgens should get the rest of the weight he needs and continue to work on technique and be a good Big Ten center. I personally believe the combination of Jurgens, Piper and Corcoran is the best block of offensive lineman we have had in a long time. Benhardt will continue to grow and his floor should be around Big Ten average to slightly above average. While RG is a bit of an unknown I am hopeful Nouili wins the job and the depth chart looks like "Dacred" is guessing. This leaves guys like Banks, Hixson and Sichterman to provide the depth.

While this group is still fairly young overall it does have some very good young players and some depth and will be by far the best line Scott has had to work with and will only get better over next 2-3 years. This is what happens with a position group when you target and hit on your higher ranked prospects and also catch the diamond with Piper. There will be NFL players in this group and at least one first or second team all Big Ten player over that stretch. We have not seen a position group stacked like this in long time. Starting guys like Pelini, Utter, Conrad, 265 So. Jurgens or So Hixson is a thing of the past for the foreseable future.

All I will say about RB is we have enough solid recruits who have been around for a couple years that through Spring and Fall camp we should find someone that can be Big Ten average to slightly above that and productive like Mills. Reason I wanted Mills back was we new what his floor was and that was good enough for this offense to be effective with the players they have next year. We need someone to be big ten average to have a chance to reach our goals.

Wide Receiver and Tight End

Martin, Toure, Brown, Falck, Warner, Allen and Volkokek would give us a competitive group of guys with Allen being above average and the group as a whole being a bit below Big Ten avg. What could make this group "good" is for one of Betts, Manning and/or Fidone to become a "Dude". Given the level of recruits and athletes these three are I feel really good about one of more of them developing into the player we expect and take this group to next level. I know have been snake bit some at WR with the Manning injury and the number of gusy that didn't pan out but I expect that tide to turn with this group. I would love for that guy to be Fidone as I expect him to play outside and inside and think he has that same ability to have as much or more impact as Robinson did as a Freshman. I also expect Manning and Betts to be a productive part of rotation and one of them to take that next step. Overall, the WR/TE group could be well above Big Ten average and very likely contains 1-2 future NFL players. By far the best overall group in Scott's four years.

I also believe with the Depth and size at TE and WR that that we will finally become an above average blocking group on perimeter as well. As bad as the 2019 interior line was, the perimeter blocking at WR with that small group was almost equally as crappy.

Quarterback

Martinez will have a tremendous opportunity next year. For the first time in his career he will start the year with a legit Big 10 offensive line. I fully expect this will result in a running game which will take off some pressure off and put him in advantageous down and distances much like he was the 2nd half of his Freshman year accept with an even better o-line. I expect him to be in great shape and continue to have that extra gear in his running game. If he can gain some confidence protect the football and make a couple plays, this offense may finally resemble a unit we hoped for when Frost arrived.

Defense

Overall the projections are probably pretty spot on as we have a lot of experienced players coming back. I expect a Big Ten average defense with the guys we have assembled and past performance. It is nice group with the SR's we having coming back but until I see a legit pass rusher and an overall unit more consistent in stopping the run (nightmare of Illinois dancing in my head) I don't see better than that. While I feel better about Chinander, I am still not 100% sold his scheme will be effective enough against Big Ten Rushing offenses.

Overall Scott has group of players that a coach like Fitz at Northwestern would have a solid chance of winning the West with. Will Scott take the next step as head coach and address deficiencies holding program back like special teams, clean up mental/snap errors and give the kids the chance to compete for that.

For the optimists among us I will be looking for the following things prior to OU game to feel good.

- We are in 2nd and 5 and 3rd and 2 more often than not against Illinois and Buffalo without overworking Martinez in the run game. This will be in indication that o-line is good and we found a suitable running back replacement
- At least two of the combination of Fidone, Manning, Betts and Toure a getting major reps at WR. Cannot win west without a "Dude" at WR and Fidone, Manning and Betts have the physical abilities to develop into that.
- Very limited number of the following items (pre snap penatlies, stupid holds (some types of holds are OK), bad snaps that kills what looked to be a good drive.
- At least hold our own in net return game and avoid special team killers like the dropped punt against Iowa
- Break even or better in Net Turnover first two games
- We aren't starting any uncompetitive players. As important as it is to have good players to win the West, it is equally important to not play bad players. I feel offense will have competive players accross the board unlike 2019. There is still a position on defense I am very concerned about in that regard and will be very interested in that.

For first time in a long time, I am cautiously optimistic about our chances of fielding a good football team that is fun to watch. This is a real important year for Scott and program. If the roster is truly better and includes a good offensive line and defense is competitive and we win 8 games and compete in the others we will be able to reinvigorate recruiting and would likely have all key offensive players returning for 2022 and then true Kool Aid drinking can begin. If they go 5-7 again and are uncompetitive against OSU/OU and don't win 1/2 games from the Iowa/Wisconsin/Northwester/Minnesota group then there is no reason to believe that group would be much better in 2022. Truly a pivotal season for Scott and the program.
 

9and4

Senior
Dec 4, 2013
2,360
3,533
113
Iowa City
Not intending on being disagreeable, but I haven't seen anything resembling an explosive offense on paper for a long time. More than anything, we Husker fans overvalue our better players and sometime have blinders on just how bad play has been at some positions in the last 10 years.

Our talent on offense the last three years has been below big ten Average. The offensive line has been mostly Big Ten poor and up to slightly below big ten average for the stretch Farmer was moved Center and toward the end of the year as the freshman duo Piper/Benhardt developed and Corcoran showed there was really no drop off from SR. James to him.

The 2019 group was simply bad The interior group of 265 Freshman TE convert Jurgens, Walkon So. Hixson and injured Wilson was the worst interior oline in the Big Ten. As much potential as Jurgens has, he simply wouldn't have had to play on any Big Ten team with depth until his Jr year. Hixson has developed a great deal and provides great depth but should have seen a Big Ten field as a sophmore. Even Farniok was well below big ten average as a tackle. We had a bad offensive line and were average at best everywhere else.

If you think I am exaggerating about how bad play was on the interior in 2019 go re-watch the South Alabama game where we rushed for roughly 100 yards on 40+ carries. If you are overmatched by South Alabama what do you think is going to happen when you play one of the many physical Big Ten teams like Iowa or Wisconsin. To the players and Staff's credit both Jurgen and Hixson improved a great deal over the year and we were only Big Ten poor at the end of the year and even competitive against some decently physical teams at the end of the year. This also goes against he is just overmatched in the Big Ten talking point you hear about Frost. The Oregon teams he coordinated and the last two UCF teams would have hung 50+ and 500+ yard on that bad South Alabama team. He didn't just get stupid, there are a lot of personnel and other things that are simply taking time to sort out and that game is the poster child for just where the talent truly was.

Besides being poor up front we were average to below average at all other offensive positions in 2019 and really haven't been above Big Ten average at any position group outside of RB with Ozigbo and have had a few good big ten players like Robinson but not enough. When you look at the lack of representation on the all conference teams ands in the draft it is completely obvious to anyone not wearing blinders.

Before I jump to next year, I want to point out that Frost is not without fault. When you have the deficiencies we had and are trying to go from the losing team he inheritied with below average talent you have to do the little things to win games and also throw more Juco's at positions that your may need it instead of arrogantly thinking your are going to coach around it. Also, Special teams, mental errors, allowing the snapping thing to continue like it did was not acceptable and needs to be addressed. Clean that crap and at least get 1-2 more legit Big Ten players up front in 2019 and you maybe get your 6-7 wins and bowl practice, Martinez doesn't regress so much his Sophmore year and a guy like Robinson continues to believe and gives it another year.

As for this years roster or projected depth chart I actually believe this is the first year he will roll with above Big Ten average talent on offense. I absolutely love the left side of the line with Corcoran and Piper. They will start next year above Big Ten average and grow over the next 3-4 years. With a healthy offseason Jurgens should get the rest of the weight he needs and continue to work on technique and be a good Big Ten center. I personally believe the combination of Jurgens, Piper and Corcoran is the best block of offensive lineman we have had in a long time. Benhardt will continue to grow and his floor should be around Big Ten average to slightly above average. While RG is a bit of an unknown I am hopeful Nouili wins the job and the depth chart looks like "Dacred" is guessing. This leaves guys like Banks, Hixson and Sichterman to provide the depth.

While this group is still fairly young overall it does have some very good young players and some depth and will be by far the best line Scott has had to work with and will only get better over next 2-3 years. This is what happens with a position group when you target and hit on your higher ranked prospects and also catch the diamond with Piper. There will be NFL players in this group and at least one first or second team all Big Ten player over that stretch. We have not seen a position group stacked like this in long time. Starting guys like Pelini, Utter, Conrad, 265 So. Jurgens or So Hixson is a thing of the past for the foreseable future.

All I will say about RB is we have enough solid recruits who have been around for a couple years that through Spring and Fall camp we should find someone that can be Big Ten average to slightly above that and productive like Mills. Reason I wanted Mills back was we new what his floor was and that was good enough for this offense to be effective with the players they have next year. We need someone to be big ten average to have a chance to reach our goals.

Wide Receiver and Tight End

Martin, Toure, Brown, Falck, Warner, Allen and Volkokek would give us a competitive group of guys with Allen being above average and the group as a whole being a bit below Big Ten avg. What could make this group "good" is for one of Betts, Manning and/or Fidone to become a "Dude". Given the level of recruits and athletes these three are I feel really good about one of more of them developing into the player we expect and take this group to next level. I know have been snake bit some at WR with the Manning injury and the number of gusy that didn't pan out but I expect that tide to turn with this group. I would love for that guy to be Fidone as I expect him to play outside and inside and think he has that same ability to have as much or more impact as Robinson did as a Freshman. I also expect Manning and Betts to be a productive part of rotation and one of them to take that next step. Overall, the WR/TE group could be well above Big Ten average and very likely contains 1-2 future NFL players. By far the best overall group in Scott's four years.

I also believe with the Depth and size at TE and WR that that we will finally become an above average blocking group on perimeter as well. As bad as the 2019 interior line was, the perimeter blocking at WR with that small group was almost equally as crappy.

Quarterback

Martinez will have a tremendous opportunity next year. For the first time in his career he will start the year with a legit Big 10 offensive line. I fully expect this will result in a running game which will take off some pressure off and put him in advantageous down and distances much like he was the 2nd half of his Freshman year accept with an even better o-line. I expect him to be in great shape and continue to have that extra gear in his running game. If he can gain some confidence protect the football and make a couple plays, this offense may finally resemble a unit we hoped for when Frost arrived.

Defense

Overall the projections are probably pretty spot on as we have a lot of experienced players coming back. I expect a Big Ten average defense with the guys we have assembled and past performance. It is nice group with the SR's we having coming back but until I see a legit pass rusher and an overall unit more consistent in stopping the run (nightmare of Illinois dancing in my head) I don't see better than that. While I feel better about Chinander, I am still not 100% sold his scheme will be effective enough against Big Ten Rushing offenses.

Overall Scott has group of players that a coach like Fitz at Northwestern would have a solid chance of winning the West with. Will Scott take the next step as head coach and address deficiencies holding program back like special teams, clean up mental/snap errors and give the kids the chance to compete for that.

For the optimists among us I will be looking for the following things prior to OU game to feel good.

- We are in 2nd and 5 and 3rd and 2 more often than not against Illinois and Buffalo without overworking Martinez in the run game. This will be in indication that o-line is good and we found a suitable running back replacement
- At least two of the combination of Fidone, Manning, Betts and Toure a getting major reps at WR. Cannot win west without a "Dude" at WR and Fidone, Manning and Betts have the physical abilities to develop into that.
- Very limited number of the following items (pre snap penatlies, stupid holds (some types of holds are OK), bad snaps that kills what looked to be a good drive.
- At least hold our own in net return game and avoid special team killers like the dropped punt against Iowa
- Break even or better in Net Turnover first two games
- We aren't starting any uncompetitive players. As important as it is to have good players to win the West, it is equally important to not play bad players. I feel offense will have competive players accross the board unlike 2019. There is still a position on defense I am very concerned about in that regard and will be very interested in that.

For first time in a long time, I am cautiously optimistic about our chances of fielding a good football team that is fun to watch. This is a real important year for Scott and program. If the roster is truly better and includes a good offensive line and defense is competitive and we win 8 games and compete in the others we will be able to reinvigorate recruiting and would likely have all key offensive players returning for 2022 and then true Kool Aid drinking can begin. If they go 5-7 again and are uncompetitive against OSU/OU and don't win 1/2 games from the Iowa/Wisconsin/Northwester/Minnesota group then there is no reason to believe that group would be much better in 2022. Truly a pivotal season for Scott and the program.
Great. Now I have expectations. Damn you!
 

headcard

Nebraska Legend
Feb 2, 2005
33,956
26,882
113
Not intending on being disagreeable, but I haven't seen anything resembling an explosive offense on paper for a long time. More than anything, we Husker fans overvalue our better players and sometime have blinders on just how bad play has been at some positions in the last 10 years.

Our talent on offense the last three years has been below big ten Average. The offensive line has been mostly Big Ten poor and up to slightly below big ten average for the stretch Farmer was moved Center and toward the end of the year as the freshman duo Piper/Benhardt developed and Corcoran showed there was really no drop off from SR. James to him.

The 2019 group was simply bad The interior group of 265 Freshman TE convert Jurgens, Walkon So. Hixson and injured Wilson was the worst interior oline in the Big Ten. As much potential as Jurgens has, he simply wouldn't have had to play on any Big Ten team with depth until his Jr year. Hixson has developed a great deal and provides great depth but should have seen a Big Ten field as a sophmore. Even Farniok was well below big ten average as a tackle. We had a bad offensive line and were average at best everywhere else.

If you think I am exaggerating about how bad play was on the interior in 2019 go re-watch the South Alabama game where we rushed for roughly 100 yards on 40+ carries. If you are overmatched by South Alabama what do you think is going to happen when you play one of the many physical Big Ten teams like Iowa or Wisconsin. To the players and Staff's credit both Jurgen and Hixson improved a great deal over the year and we were only Big Ten poor at the end of the year and even competitive against some decently physical teams at the end of the year. This also goes against he is just overmatched in the Big Ten talking point you hear about Frost. The Oregon teams he coordinated and the last two UCF teams would have hung 50+ and 500+ yard on that bad South Alabama team. He didn't just get stupid, there are a lot of personnel and other things that are simply taking time to sort out and that game is the poster child for just where the talent truly was.

Besides being poor up front we were average to below average at all other offensive positions in 2019 and really haven't been above Big Ten average at any position group outside of RB with Ozigbo and have had a few good big ten players like Robinson but not enough. When you look at the lack of representation on the all conference teams ands in the draft it is completely obvious to anyone not wearing blinders.

Before I jump to next year, I want to point out that Frost is not without fault. When you have the deficiencies we had and are trying to go from the losing team he inheritied with below average talent you have to do the little things to win games and also throw more Juco's at positions that your may need it instead of arrogantly thinking your are going to coach around it. Also, Special teams, mental errors, allowing the snapping thing to continue like it did was not acceptable and needs to be addressed. Clean that crap and at least get 1-2 more legit Big Ten players up front in 2019 and you maybe get your 6-7 wins and bowl practice, Martinez doesn't regress so much his Sophmore year and a guy like Robinson continues to believe and gives it another year.

As for this years roster or projected depth chart I actually believe this is the first year he will roll with above Big Ten average talent on offense. I absolutely love the left side of the line with Corcoran and Piper. They will start next year above Big Ten average and grow over the next 3-4 years. With a healthy offseason Jurgens should get the rest of the weight he needs and continue to work on technique and be a good Big Ten center. I personally believe the combination of Jurgens, Piper and Corcoran is the best block of offensive lineman we have had in a long time. Benhardt will continue to grow and his floor should be around Big Ten average to slightly above average. While RG is a bit of an unknown I am hopeful Nouili wins the job and the depth chart looks like "Dacred" is guessing. This leaves guys like Banks, Hixson and Sichterman to provide the depth.

While this group is still fairly young overall it does have some very good young players and some depth and will be by far the best line Scott has had to work with and will only get better over next 2-3 years. This is what happens with a position group when you target and hit on your higher ranked prospects and also catch the diamond with Piper. There will be NFL players in this group and at least one first or second team all Big Ten player over that stretch. We have not seen a position group stacked like this in long time. Starting guys like Pelini, Utter, Conrad, 265 So. Jurgens or So Hixson is a thing of the past for the foreseable future.

All I will say about RB is we have enough solid recruits who have been around for a couple years that through Spring and Fall camp we should find someone that can be Big Ten average to slightly above that and productive like Mills. Reason I wanted Mills back was we new what his floor was and that was good enough for this offense to be effective with the players they have next year. We need someone to be big ten average to have a chance to reach our goals.

Wide Receiver and Tight End

Martin, Toure, Brown, Falck, Warner, Allen and Volkokek would give us a competitive group of guys with Allen being above average and the group as a whole being a bit below Big Ten avg. What could make this group "good" is for one of Betts, Manning and/or Fidone to become a "Dude". Given the level of recruits and athletes these three are I feel really good about one of more of them developing into the player we expect and take this group to next level. I know have been snake bit some at WR with the Manning injury and the number of gusy that didn't pan out but I expect that tide to turn with this group. I would love for that guy to be Fidone as I expect him to play outside and inside and think he has that same ability to have as much or more impact as Robinson did as a Freshman. I also expect Manning and Betts to be a productive part of rotation and one of them to take that next step. Overall, the WR/TE group could be well above Big Ten average and very likely contains 1-2 future NFL players. By far the best overall group in Scott's four years.

I also believe with the Depth and size at TE and WR that that we will finally become an above average blocking group on perimeter as well. As bad as the 2019 interior line was, the perimeter blocking at WR with that small group was almost equally as crappy.

Quarterback

Martinez will have a tremendous opportunity next year. For the first time in his career he will start the year with a legit Big 10 offensive line. I fully expect this will result in a running game which will take off some pressure off and put him in advantageous down and distances much like he was the 2nd half of his Freshman year accept with an even better o-line. I expect him to be in great shape and continue to have that extra gear in his running game. If he can gain some confidence protect the football and make a couple plays, this offense may finally resemble a unit we hoped for when Frost arrived.

Defense

Overall the projections are probably pretty spot on as we have a lot of experienced players coming back. I expect a Big Ten average defense with the guys we have assembled and past performance. It is nice group with the SR's we having coming back but until I see a legit pass rusher and an overall unit more consistent in stopping the run (nightmare of Illinois dancing in my head) I don't see better than that. While I feel better about Chinander, I am still not 100% sold his scheme will be effective enough against Big Ten Rushing offenses.

Overall Scott has group of players that a coach like Fitz at Northwestern would have a solid chance of winning the West with. Will Scott take the next step as head coach and address deficiencies holding program back like special teams, clean up mental/snap errors and give the kids the chance to compete for that.

For the optimists among us I will be looking for the following things prior to OU game to feel good.

- We are in 2nd and 5 and 3rd and 2 more often than not against Illinois and Buffalo without overworking Martinez in the run game. This will be in indication that o-line is good and we found a suitable running back replacement
- At least two of the combination of Fidone, Manning, Betts and Toure a getting major reps at WR. Cannot win west without a "Dude" at WR and Fidone, Manning and Betts have the physical abilities to develop into that.
- Very limited number of the following items (pre snap penatlies, stupid holds (some types of holds are OK), bad snaps that kills what looked to be a good drive.
- At least hold our own in net return game and avoid special team killers like the dropped punt against Iowa
- Break even or better in Net Turnover first two games
- We aren't starting any uncompetitive players. As important as it is to have good players to win the West, it is equally important to not play bad players. I feel offense will have competive players accross the board unlike 2019. There is still a position on defense I am very concerned about in that regard and will be very interested in that.

For first time in a long time, I am cautiously optimistic about our chances of fielding a good football team that is fun to watch. This is a real important year for Scott and program. If the roster is truly better and includes a good offensive line and defense is competitive and we win 8 games and compete in the others we will be able to reinvigorate recruiting and would likely have all key offensive players returning for 2022 and then true Kool Aid drinking can begin. If they go 5-7 again and are uncompetitive against OSU/OU and don't win 1/2 games from the Iowa/Wisconsin/Northwester/Minnesota group then there is no reason to believe that group would be much better in 2022. Truly a pivotal season for Scott and the program.
Really good post, thanks for putting that together. Which position on defense are you worried about not having a competitive player? The OLB spot held down by Nelson/Payne? Or maybe the DE spot with Robinson/Thomas? Corner spot with Newsome/Clark? I think Robinson has a very high ceiling, even if he struggled last year and Newsome and Clark have both showed some talent, so I assume you are talking about OLB.
 

FortNebraska

Redshirt Freshman
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Oct 24, 2020
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I will be the first to admit, I was easily frustrated and did not watch as much Husker football this past year as I usually do. So, don't beat me up too much on this subject. I was hoping that I was forgetting about some people but we don't have a lot of depth unless some young players step up at several positions. I am going to assume all transfers are available. Sorry if any names are not spelled correctly and if I list a Senior that is not coming back :)

Offense
QB- AM- Smothers
RB- Stepp - Scott - Morrison/Thompkins/Johnson
WR- Martin - Warner/Manning
WR- Toure - Betts/Falck
WR- Brown - LM
TE- Allen - Vokolek - Fidone/Rafadal
RT- Benhart - Miller
RG- Nouili - Sichterman
C - Jurgens - Farniok
LG- Pieper - Bando
LT- Corcoran - Banks

Defense
DE- Stille - Payne
DT- Daniels - Riley
DE- Robinson - Rogers
OLB- Domann - Tannor
OLB- Nelson - Cooper
ILB - Honas - Heinrich
ILB - Reimer/Kolarevic
CB - CTB - Clark
CB - Newsome - Joseph
S - Dismuke - Farmer
S - Williams - Gates
QB - Max Duggan
 

poundth3rock

Sophomore
Jul 20, 2007
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Really good post, thanks for putting that together. Which position on defense are you worried about not having a competitive player? The OLB spot held down by Nelson/Payne? Or maybe the DE spot with Robinson/Thomas? Corner spot with Newsome/Clark? I think Robinson has a very high ceiling, even if he struggled last year and Newsome and Clark have both showed some talent, so I assume you are talking about OLB.
I would preface this by saying my football knowledge is limited to reffing HS and lower levels of football and according to some that would indicate that I am not only am blind, but I have no football knowledge at all. I am not a coach and cannot diagnose how well a player utilizes technique, how sound run fits are etc. I cannot tell you why the effort against illinois was so poor against the run that day. I can say there is no way that was just players and had to be some part preparation, scheme, technique (coaching).

I know Robinson had his struggles occasionally got moved around more than I would like but he is also a big/strong/athletic kid that should get a lot better and likely played a year or so before he was truly ready so I try not to judge to harshly (same goes for Jurgens). We also have large number of scholarship players with decent ratings and offer lists accross the front 3. We should be competitive there and I expect Robinson to be a good football player eventually.

That OLB position just hasn't produced like you need it to for a good 3-4 defense. My expectation is that position should be one of your more productive players. In 2019 I think we got 2 sacks. Maybe 4 in 2020 in the shortened season. I have probably given up on Tannor although he did have 2 sacks. Part of me wants to believe in Nelson/Cooper taking the next step but its honestly probably kool-aid drinking and while we may not be really poor at that spot like we were in 2019 my fear is it will be well below big ten average for what you should expect from your premier pass rush position.

I also worry about depth in Secondary. If we are lucky enough to be injury free I like the group and think they give us more than a chance in the West. A couple guys go down and drop off could be staggering and into that range of not getting Big Ten production and not something you can coach around. I know we missed on some guys but you cannot bolster depth with walkon program in the secondary. There has to be more than 13 scholarship guys for that group.