Brenden Jaimes made history as a freshman last season for Nebraska. The offensive lineman became only the fifth first-year freshman offensive lineman to start for the Huskers. He debuted on Sept. 23 against Rutgers.
Jaimes, who is 6-foot-5 and 280 pounds, made his debut at right tackle in place of injured senior David Knevel (right foot) and redshirt freshman Matt Farniok (right wrist), but that wasn’t it for Jaimes. The freshman impressed the former Nebraska staff, and found himself playing in every game post-Rutgers.
As coach Scott Frost and the new staff prepare for spring football and a new season, Jaimes is already getting a lot of hype. The departure of left tackle Nick Gates for the NFL draft also means some potential movement, which Gates alluded to at the NFL combine.
“I think Brenden Jaimes is going to be moving over,” Gates told Land of 10.
Gates started at left tackle in 2017, which appears to be where Jaimes will end up. That’s not too surprising either, considering Frost’s comments last Wednesday on Sports Nightly.
“We’re going to get the best five linemen on the field that we possibly can,” Frost said. “Nebraska used to be offensive line U, and we want it to be offensive line U. The pipeline was a big deal when I was here.”
Despite Gates’ departure, Nebraska does return quite a bit of experience to its offensive line. That includes seniors Cole Conrad, Tanner Farmer and Jerald Foster, junior Michael Decker, and sophomores Jaimes and Matt Farniok. However, Decker will miss spring practice with a leg injury.
There’s a lot yet to be determined about who lines up and where, but Farniok and Jaimes appear to be Nebraska’s best options at the tackle slots. Foster and Farmer would then line up at guard, while Conrad and Decker compete for the starting spot at center.
For Jaimes, he’s long shown his potential for Nebraska. Even before injuries paved the way to his first start, Jaimes was making a name for himself. So much so, former offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh thought Jaimes might not redshirt his freshman year.
“Jaimes is doing a really nice job,” Cavanaugh said in August. “He’s learning quick, he’s a good athlete, obviously. He picks up technique quick, he’s getting quite a few reps in there. He’s doing a good job.”
Just over a month after those comments were made, the redshirt was gone and Jaimes made history. With a season now under his belt, he’s poised for an even brighter sophomore season.
As for Gates, he’s excited to see his former teammate grow and excel in the spot he’s leaving behind.
“Brenden Jaimes is a young guy and has a lot of talent,” Gates said. “He still has time to develop. We had to throw him in there. Everybody wishes he could have redshirted to get stronger and understand the game a little bit more. He did a great job this season at right tackle.
“He’s going to be a good player. He’s going to be going through this process in three years. He’ll be good.”