Nebraska signed 24 athletes to its 2018 recruiting class. Since the class was completed on National Signing Day, the questions about who will and will not have an immediate impact on the team have rolled in. With a new set of coaches, there’s reason to believe the Nebraska roster could look very different in 2018, and that starts with the incoming class.
Removing the junior college athletes from consideration, the Huskers have 19 incoming freshmen, four of whom have enrolled early on campus.
Looking ahead, who will redshirt and who will not? And are there any players who could be on the fence? Let’s take a look at what the redshirt situation could look like in 2018.
Who will redshirt
|Offensive tackle||Willie Canty|
|Tight end||Katerian Legrone|
|Defensive end||Casey Rogers|
It doesn’t seem likely that Nebraska will redshirt too many players from the 2018 class. The biggest reason for this is that coach Scott Frost immediately identified positions of need when he got to Nebraska and went to work recruiting those players. Having put focus on key areas, it would be hard to imagine Frost and his staff wouldn’t want to use those athletes right away.
Both the offensive and defensive lines have a fair amount of depth. There wouldn’t be much reason not to redshirt Will Farniok and Willie Canty on the offensive side and a player such as Casey Rogers on the defensive line.
As for Katerian Legrone, he’s walking into a pretty crowded tight end room with redshirt freshmen Austin Allen and Kurt Rafdal ready to play. That’s on top of those already on the roster, such as junior Matt Snyder and sophomores David Engelhaupt and Jack Stoll. Incoming freshman Cameron Jurgens is expected to compete quickly, so it may make the most sense for Legrone to take a redshirt year before stepping in.
Regardless, the redshirt list won’t be too long in 2018. There might be a couple of players not listed here who are later added, but it won’t be too extensive come September.
Who won’t redshirt
|Running back||Maurice Washington|
|Tight end||Cameron Jurgens|
|Wide receiver||Andre Hunt|
|Defensive end||Tate Wildeman|
|Outside linebacker||Caleb Tannor|
When Frost took the Nebraska job in December, an area where he saw immediate need was defensive back. While there are plenty of defensive backs on Nebraska’s roster now, the depth was not what Frost and his staff wanted and they set out to correct that.
Expect to see young players like Cam’ron Jones, C.J. Smith and Braxton Clark step up quickly. They might not be Day 1 starters, but they could find a spot on the defensive depth chart and push those ahead of them to get better faster.
Beyond that, players such as Washington and Tannor have impressive high school film that could translate to what Frost and his staff are looking to do at Nebraska. Running backs and linebackers might find themselves jostling for playing time, but that’s not a bad thing when it comes to development.
On the fence
|Wide receiver||Justin McGriff|
|Wide receiver||Dominick Watt|
The quarterback position will be an interesting one this spring, as incoming freshman Adrian Martinez will work to take the starting spot from sophomore Patrick O’Brien and redshirt freshman Tristan Gebbia. It’s hard to make a call now as to whether Martinez will redshirt without knowing what Gebbia and O’Brien can do this spring. For example, if Gebbia successfully can step into the role of a dual-threat quarterback, Frost and quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco might consider redshirting Martinez. Spring football will determine a lot about the direction this goes.
As for the wide receiver position, Nebraska has talent on the roster. Senior Stanley Morgan Jr., sophomore JD Spielman and others will continue to be impact players in 2018. However, Frost cited the position as a weak spot when he was hired in December, and the staff went to work on the recruiting trail to correct that. A lot of what happens will depend on scheme, but it won’t be surprising if all — or at least a majority of — incoming freshman wide receivers do not redshirt. It also wouldn’t be surprising if they do.