As most spring camps are just opening around the country, some are now actually already coming to an end. Such is the case with the team that is the focus of our next spring football preview. What’s the old saying…“the early bird gets the worm”? Not to be late to the party, we take a closer look at Nebraska’s keys to this spring as well as what progress has already been made.
Camp Opens: March 2nd
Spring Game: April 6th
Only in Nebraska would a video of the Huskers doing the Harlem Shake at the start of camp be so widely talked about and controversial. You can see the video here. It sparked criticism that head coach Bo Pelini would be better served working on his defense in camp than being a part of the latest YouTube craze. Lighten up, people. I think it shows a different side to Bo, who is known more for his temper and sideline antics than his easy going, free spirited dance moves. Kids and recruits LOVE this kind of stuff and I think it shows that college football at Nebraska can be, and is, fun.
Pelini and his staff do have their hands full this spring, make no bones about it. They have the task of replacing 8 starters on a defense that got abused at times last season; although the transition of some new blood may actually be a positive for the black shirts heading into 2013. Much scrutiny has befallen the Nebraska defense during its first 2 seasons in the B1G. It has been said the defense is not being recruited for the style of play the B1G lends itself to. Year 3 might be when it finally comes together and resembles the bruising defense Husker fans are more accustomed to, a la Bo’s first few seasons in the Big 12.
This spring is vital to the youth movement going on in Lincoln and the strides they make will be the key for this fall. Look for players like Charles Jackson, Jonathan Rose, and Thomas Brown to become key contributors for the black shirts in 2013. Another interesting spot in the secondary will be the race at both safety spots. The Huskers lost both starters and key contributors at safety and getting that shored up will be a top priority for Bo and his staff.
And last but not least, what Husker preview from the last 4 seasons is complete without discussing the white elephant in the room? There is hardly a more polarizing player in all of college football than Taylor Martinez. Kill ya or heal ya, the guy made great strides from his sophomore to junior seasons. If Taylor can continue his progression as the Husker’s play caller, he very well could be one of the most dynamic players in all of college football in 2013. He cut down on his mistakes last season but still made the typical “wtf?” play in big games and at crucial moments. Match that with a defense that never really gelled and you have a volatile combo that leaves the kid open to some heavy criticism.
Up Next: Northwestern
BY RYAN OSBAHR ON APRIL 5, 2013