Nebraska's five biggest strengths coming of spring ball

Robin Washut, Senior Writer
Husker Online

Tyler Krecklow

After a successful 15 spring practices, Nebraska's 2017 is officially well underway.

Here is a look at five of the Huskers' biggest strengths heading into the start of summer conditioning...

The quarterbacks

One of the biggest changes facing Nebraska's offense the season was obviously a completely new look at the quarterback position.

With the departure of Tommy Armstrong and the arrivals of Tanner Lee and Patrick O'Brien, a major storyline for the Huskers was how the offense would change with a new style of quarterback under center.

Based on the past 15 spring practices, including two major scrimmages and the annual Red-White game, most all concerns about the position were quickly put to rest.

Both Lee and O'Brien shined in the Spring Game, and even true freshman Tristan Gebbia put on an impressive show in front of nearly 80,000 fans on Saturday.

A starter for the season is still yet to be named, but regardless of who wins the job, Nebraska's offense looks to be in good hands in 2017 and beyond.

The defensive line

Nebraska's defense also underwent a major upheaval this spring with the transition from a 4-3 base scheme to new defensive coordinator for Bob Diaco's 3-4 system.

Few groups underwent as big of a change as the defense of line, but that didn't stop the unit from having an impressive overall spring.

Mick Stoltenberg thrived as much as anyone in taking over the ever important nose guard role, and twins Carlos and Kahlil Davis shined in getting the opportunity to work more on the edges.

There are still plenty of questions regarding the depth behind that starting group, but Nebraska couldn't have asked for a much better start from its top the line than what they got the spring.


Tyler Krecklow

The linebackers

Another group that underwent just as much transition with the new defense as the d-line were the linebackers, and they too hit the ground running this spring.

Diaco and linebackers coach Trent Bray turned a unit that struggled mightily at times over the past two seasons into maybe one of the defense's biggest strengths heading into the summer.

Not only did the first-team just extremely well, the second team - especially guys like Luke Gifford, Mohamed Barry and Avery Roberts - was almost just as impressive. There is no doubt that the move to the 3-4 benefited NU's cast of athletic linebackers as much as anyone.

Maybe the only real concern at this point is how the base outside linebackers come along before the start of the season, as guys like Alex Davis and Ben Stille still seem to have a lot of work to do.

The wide receivers

Arguably no position on the entire roster had bigger shoes to fill in terms of production and experience than Nebraska's wide receivers.

Based on what we saw over the course of the spring, and with what the Huskers will add at the position later on this fall, many of the worries surrounding the wide outs may have been put to rest.

Stanley Morgan has the look of an all-conference caliber receiver right now, and De'Mornay Pierson-El is finally healthy and playing the best football of his career.

But it was the emergence of guys like Keyan Williams, JD Spielman, and Bryan Reimers that really answered a lot of questions about NU's depth at the position.

Things will only get better this fall, as early enrollees Keyshawn Johnson Jr. and Jaevon McQuitty - who were severely limited this spring due to injuries - will join star incoming freshman Tyjon Lindsey to help make a very young but extremely talented receiving corps.


Tyler Krecklow

Drew Brown

There really weren't many reports regarding Nebraska's place kicking situation this spring, and that was for good reason.

Drew Brown, who has emerged as one of the most consistent and productive kickers in the Big Ten conference, was as automatic as ever during spring ball.

He drilled both of his field goal attempt in the spring game, and looks poised to continue an impressive streak of consistency he's put together over the past three seasons.

Brown is poised to etch his name at or near the top of almost every school kicking record this season, and he'll be a leading candidate for All-Big Ten, All-America, and Lou Groza Award honors.

What to Read Next