Considering the two Huskers booted off the team this past week hadn't played a down in a game for Nebraska, it's impossible to know exactly what is lost in terms of their on-field prowess.
Of course sometimes a team actually adds by subtracting players too. But this blog post is not about that discussion or to analyze the decision of Bo Pelini to kick Thomas Brown and Ernest Suttles off the team.
Frankly, I find it amusing when people try to decide whether a dismissal was the right thing to do in cases like this where the reportable facts have a limited reach.
This space won't get into all that. It's more so a refresher on what we've written about Brown and Suttles since they became involved with the Husker program.
Because in news stories about player dismissals, you generally just get a brief paragraph summation about the player's career at the bottom of the story.
So the bold-faced links below will hopefully provide some more detail...
* Since the dismissal news, you've probably been reminded that the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Brown was defensive MVP of the scout team last fall.
And in December, when everyone was writing their update stories on Husker redshirts, it's true that Brown's name was generating about as much buzz as anyone, more so at that time then it did this past spring.
Perhaps more interesting: Brown was very close to playing last fall.
Defensive coordinator John Papuchis said in December that coaches were about to use the linebacker as a rush end presence against UCLA.
But Brown sprained his ankle on his second rep while working with the top units before that game. He didn't get back to full speed for three weeks.
“By the time he was back to full speed, we were kind of down the road of moving on with other guys,” Papuchis said then. “It would have been too much for him to learn in the back half of the year.”
* One of the things that excited coaches was the idea that Brown could possibly develop into a guy who could be used creatively, in 30 fronts and in a hand-on-the-ground rushing role similar to that held by Eric Martin.
Husker coaches dabbled some with Brown and Jared Afalava at rush end spots during the past spring.
"We'll move them around and give them a chance to make their mark in a number of different ways," Pelini said during spring ball.
* Brown certainly was in the running during the spring to be top string at BUCK linebacker, although it was Jared Afalava who Pelini actually highlighted during a teleconference after spring ball.
"(He's) probably a little bit further ahead of where I thought he'd be," Pelini said of Afalava, who will have even more eyes on him now this fall camp.
* If in need of a refresher on Nebraska's linebacker puzzle, here's a blog from the spring on the matter. Take Brown's name out of the equation and that seems about where matters stand.
Asked specifically about the progress of Afalava and Brown at the end of spring, Papuchis said: "Kind of what we expected from them. Both of them have flashes of pretty dynamic athleticism, whether it's from their blitzing or running a play down or their physicality at the point of attack."
* As for Suttles, there hasn't been as many words written on the defensive end from Tampa. He just arrived to Lincoln in June, after all. And he was really connected to Nebraska only since January, when he committed a few weeks before signing day.
But he was one of six incoming recruits on the defensive line that position coach Rick Kaczenski was really excited about, an enthusiasm that was clear this spring as he talked about their arrival.
"Will all six play? It's highly unlikely," Kaczenski said then. "But all six are going to have an opportunity. I think all six will be physically ready to go."
* For his part, Suttles came off well during his interviews with the media after pledging to Nebraska.
He was admittedly a raw player coming out of high school, having played football for just a couple of years.
But he quickly caught college coaches' notice, first committing to Iowa State before changing his decision to Nebraska.
Among other things, he expressed excitement about the opportunity to make an immediate impact.
“But in the end it’s up to me, and my work ethic when I go up to Nebraska this summer,” Suttles told the Journal Star after committing. “That is my plan to be an immediate help. But that all relies on my shoulders.”