Brian Christopherson of the LJS offered his 7 Huskers to watch this spring on Sunday. It’s hard to argue much with his list, but I would get my blogging pass revoked if I didn’t at least try to hammer out my own.
1. Anthony West – This guy looks like a playmaker in waiting. The only question is where will he line up. With Anthony Blue’s injury he could get a shot at locking down the other corner spot opposite Murillo. In addition, should Larry Asante move from safety to linebacker, West could win the spot at FS allowing Rickey Thenarse to take over at SS.
2. Keith Williams – I have a hunch that this guy is our most talented interior lineman. This spring will be his chance to breakout. The Andy Christiansen fiasco only hastens the need for a guy like Williams to step up. If I’m Barney Cotton I line Williams up on the same side of the field as Jaivario Burkes and watch us dominate the LOS for the first time in years.
3. Prince Amukamara – Like West, he could get a shot at one of the corner spots. More importantly, however, is the talent the Prince could bring to our special teams. Amukamara’s high school films showed his uncanny ability to change directions and make guys miss. That sort of skill needs to be on the field.
4. Shukree Barfield – Our defensive line remains thin and unproven. Suh and Dixon are the more known entities, but Barfield’s development could be key for the unit as a whole. If he comes on especially strong at NT, Suh might be able to play more at the 3 technique where I feel he’ll be more comfortable under Pelini. Barfield will get his chance to eat a bunch of reps with Suh sitting out the spring.
5. Ryan Hill/Dreu Young/Mike McNeill – Somebody has to step up at tight end, and I feel comfortable saying it will be one of these three (hey, thin limbs are scary). Watson’s CU offenses relied heavily on the tight end, especially in the flats with a mobile QB rolling in that direction. I’d be ecstatic to see Nebraska run that several times a game, and I’m even more ecstatic that it won’t be J.B. Phillips on the receiving end this season.
6. Kevin Thomsen – Another relative unknown who could wind up as our starting fullback this fall. Word on campus a year ago was the Thomsen’s blocking ability will remind Husker fans of our fullbacks of the past. With another off-season spent stressing the importance of the running game, Thomsen could become a key cog.
7. Austin Stafford – Well, the list has to include a linebacker so I’ll take a chance with Stafford. We know we need help and out of the guys on the roster Stafford fits the bill in terms of quickness and aggressiveness. Another bonus in my mind is Stafford redshirted a year ago, which shielded him some from the “coaching” of the previous staff. I can’t be the only one that feels that truly works in his favor.
Honorable Mention: Curenski Gilleylen, LaTravis Washington, Jared Crick, Jacob Hickman
Ok, so there’s my list and again I apologize for my recent absence. What I’d like to see in the comments are your thoughts and your seven Huskers to watch this spring.