For the fourth year in a row, the Nebraska football team conducted a draft to pick the squads for this weekend's Red-White game in Lincoln.
Huskeronline.com will break down the strengths and weaknesses of the Red and White squads leading into Saturday's Spring Game. Here, we have a complete breakdown of the White squad. Led by a cast of stars and promising young players on both sides of the ball, there will be plenty of players to watch, especially on defense.
WHAT STANDS OUT ABOUT THE WHITE OFFENSE
The first thing that stands out about the White offense its backfield combination of junior running back Rex Burkhead and junior quarterback Cody Green. Green might get a little more work on Saturday than Burkhead - who will likely play no more than a couple drives - but the White seems to have the overall advantage in terms of experience in the backfield.
There's not a lot of other returning star power at the skill positions, as only tight end Ben Cotton saw any significant playing time last season. However, the White do feature some young players who have earned quite a bit of hype over the course of the spring, highlighted by freshman receiver Jamal Turner and redshirt freshman quarterback Brion Carnes.
The White also boasts Quincy Enunwa, who played as a true freshman last year, and Stanley Jean-Baptiste at receiver, and will be anchored on the offensive line by senior captain Mike Caputo at center as well as promising true freshman tackle Tyler Moore.
WHAT STANDS OUT ABOUT THE WHITE DEFENSE
There's no arguing that the defense is the strength of the White squad, as team features as many as six projected starters on the defensive side of the ball, led by linebackers Lavonte David and Will Compton, defensive linemen Baker Steinkuhler, Terrence Moore and Josh Williams and cornerback Ciante Evans.
After that, the White defense also features a number of players battling for playing time and even starting spots. P.J. Smith is right in the mix at safety, and Alonzo Whaley and Graham Stoddard are both projected as No. 2 linebackers. In the secondary, cornerbacks Josh Mitchell and Lance Thorell and safety Harvey Jackson should all get plenty of snaps on Saturday.
There are also a couple of guys up front to keep an eye on, as defensive ends Walker Ashburn and Kevin Thomsen have both reportedly taken big strides so far this offseason.
SLEEPER ON THE WHITE OFFENSE
My sleeper for the White offense has to be Jamal Turner. Since moving from quarterback to receiver after the first week of spring ball, the Arlington, Texas, native has done nothing but impress with his electric playmaking ability when the ball is in his hands. With not a whole lot of depth at receiver for the White team, I expect Turner to get a lot of chances to show what he's capable of in his debut performance in front of Husker Nation.
SLEEPER ON THE WHITE DEFENSE
There's a lot of promising young talent on the White defense, but there's not a player I want to see more than redshirt freshman safety Harvey Jackson. Along with fellow redshirt freshman safety Corey Cooper (who's on the Red team), coaches and players alike have been raving about just how good Jackson could be by the time he's done at NU, saying his natural instincts to find the ball and hard-hitting style have been nothing short of stellar.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE WHITE
Across the board, I think the White has the advantage on defense, and with both teams expected to keep things pretty close to the vest offensively, that could be a huge advantage. Having Burkhead is big, but like I said, don't expect him to be the typical workhorse he normally is.
This could be a good chance for Green to make one last push for the starting job this spring, but I wouldn't be surprised if Carnes didn't end up getting the bulk of the reps in the game.
PROJECTED WHITE OFFENSIVE DEPTH CHART
Cody Green (6-4, 235), Sj.
Brion Carnes, (6-1, 200), RFr.
Rex Burkhead (5-11, 210), Jr.
Ty Kildow (5-7, 180), So.
Yusef Wade (5-10, 175), RFr.
Colin McDermottp (6-2, 255), Jr.
Quincy Enunwa (6-2, 215), So.
Jamal Turner (6-1, 180), Fr.
Stanley Jean-Baptiste (6-3, 220), So.
KC Hyland (6-6, 215), Jr.
Taylor Dixon (5-11, 195), Sr.
Keegan Hughes (6-0, 195), RFr.
Jacob Smith (5-11, 195), Fr.
Ben Cotton (6-6, 255), Jr.
Jake Long (6-4, 240), So.
Lester Ward (6-3, 230), Jr.
Offensive line starters
LT - Tyler Moore (6-6, 390), Fr.
LG - Andrew Rodriguez (6-6, 325), So.
C - Mike Caputo (6-1, 275), Sr.
RG - Brandon Thompson (6-6, 300), Jr.
RT - Jake Cotton (6-8, 285), RFr.
Offensive line reserves
Brandon Chapek (6-5, 305), So.
Mark Pelini (6-0, 285), RFr.
Mike Moudy (6-5, 305), RFr.
Nick Ash (6-5, 275), So.
PROJECTED RED DEFENSIVE DEPTH CHART
Josh Williams (6-4, 260), Jr.
Walker Ashburn (6-2, 250), RFr.
Kevin Thomsen (6-2, 245), Sr.
Andy Gdowski (6-3, 255), RFr.
Baker Steinkuhler(6-6, 290), Jr.
Terrence Moore (6-1, 280), RFr.
Kevin Williams (6-2, 270), Fr.
Conor McDermott (6-2, 270), Jr.
Jeff Uher (6-1, 275), RFr.
WILL - Lavonte David (6-1, 220), Sr.
MIKE - Will Compton (6-2, 230), Jr.
BUCK - Graham Stoddard (6-2, 235), Jr.
Alonzo Whaley (6-1, 235), Jr.
Devin Paulsen (6-2, 215), So.
Tyson McGill (6-0, 225), RFr.
Ciante Evans (5-11, 185), So.
Josh Mitchell (5-11, 165), RFr.
Dijon Washington (6-0, 185), So.
Anthony Blue (5-10, 190), Sr.
Lazarri Middleton (6-1, 195), So.
Seth Jameson (6-1, 200), So.
Joey Felici (5-9, 175), RFr.
P.J. Smith (6-2, 215), Jr.
Harvey Jackson (6-2, 205), RFr.
Lance Thorell (6-1, 200), Sr.
Wil Richards (5-11, 195), So.
Austin Williams (6-0, 190), RFr.
Kicker - Ethan Davis (5-10, 185), Fr.
Punter - Jon Damkroger (6-1, 185), Sr.
Long Snapper - P.J. Mangieri (6-4, 240), Jr.
Not expected to play
WR - Khiry Cooper (6-2, 195), Jr.
QB - [db]Kody Spano (6-2, 210), So.
RB - Curenski Gilleylen (6-0, 215), Sr.
CB - Jase Dean (6-0, 200), Jr.
FB - C.J. Zimmerer (6-0, 235), So.
DE - Cameron Meredith (6-4, 260), Jr.
TE - Jay Martin (6-2, 230), Sr.
DB - Andrew Holt (6-0, 200), RFr.
DB - Brent Moravec (6-0, 195), Jr.
OL - Dwight Jones (6-4, 265), So.
OL - Spencer Long (6-4, 300), So.
DE - Kenny Anderson (6-2, 260), Jr.
OL - Jesse Coffey (6-7, 295), So.
TE - Mychael McClure (6-5, 245), Jr.
DT - Jared Crick (6-6, 285), Sr.
DT - Chase Rome (6-3, 295), RFr.
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