LINCOLN, Neb. — Now that the ink is dry on the letters of intent and National Signing Day is in the rear view, the next part of the processes now begins: Figuring out who will emerge from the class as contributors right away, and who will spend their first season in Lincoln as a redshirt.
These decisions will ultimately be decided in spring or fall camp — likely the latter.
Regardless, here’s who we think could contribute immediately on the field for Nebraska in 2017:
The 4-star wide receiver is Nebraska’s highest-rated recruit in the class, and could be a dynamic slot receiver for the Huskers as a true freshman.
Nebraska graduates three of its top four receivers from 2016 (Brandon Reilly, Jordan Westerkamp and Alonzo Moore), which leaves room for young talent. Stanley Morgan Jr., De’Mornay Pierson-El, Bryan Reimers and JD Spielman are the favorites to fill in some spots. However, Lindsey could still get on the field with some jet-sweeps, slot routes or even punt returns.
Miles, the nation’s No. 2 fullback in 2017, will have a tough time beating out senior Luke McNitt for the starting spot. Regardless, Miles is a bowling ball at 6-foot-1 and 210-pounds and will likely find a spot somewhere on the field. It wouldn’t be shocking to see him in some offensive sets, or on punt return or kick coverage.
Roberts is a 4-star linebacker and Nebraska’s second-highest rated recruit in the class. He was the No. 1 recruit out of Delaware, and the No. 7 inside linebacker in the 2017 class.
He enrolled early, which is important for a linebacker, and seems like he’ll be a good fit in Bob Diaco’s 3-4 defense. At 6-1, 220-pounds and with nearly eight months on a weight program and to learn the defense, Roberts could be an immediate guy for Diaco and linebackers coach Trent Bray.
Daniels is 6-1 and 315-pounds. He is a defensive tackle. He is made to be a nose tackle.
The 3-star defensive lineman will likely play behind redshirt sophomore Carlos Davis at the nose tackle position. But he could battle for that starting spot, or at least get on the field his freshman year rotating into a young defensive line.
Kurt Rafdal/Austin Allen
Both are on here because both will compete for the starting tight end spot.
It is one of the slimmest positions on Nebraska’s depth chart. With Cethan Carter and Sam Cotton both graduating and out of eligibility, the 6-8 Allen and 6-7 Rafdal will likely compete against each other and a handful of walk-ons for the starting spot.