Nebraska senior punter Caleb Lightbourn is exploring a transfer. 

The Washougal, Washington, native entered his name into the NCAA's transfer portal, meaning coaches from other schools are allowed to have contact with him, an NU spokesman confirmed Monday. 

Lightbourn lost his starting job in the middle of last year to walk-on Isaac Armstrong. He participated in spring ball and was on the White Team for Saturday's Red-White Spring Game, which was made up mostly of back-ups and scout teamers. 

In a Tuesday statement on Twitter, Lightbourn acknowledged the trouble he's had getting back into form after sliding into a funk in 2018. 

"I battled adversity when I first came here," he wrote. "And I will continue to battle adversity as I leave, as I learn to master the mental side of the game." 

Lightbourn also wrote, "I've given this team and state my all and you all gave it right back. I leave with no regrets." 

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Lightbourn started his first two years here and was a strong incumbent into 2018 before losing his job after 148 career punts for Nebraska. He has not used a redshirt, so theoretically Lightbourn has two years to play one. 

Just because a player is in the portal doesn't guarantee that he will transfer, but in all likelihood Lightbourn will play elsewhere in 2019. When a player enters his name into the portal, the school can end his scholarship at the end of the semester. In rare occasions -- for instance, NU walk-on quarterback Andrew Bunch -- there may be an agreement between the player and coaches to look around, but that will be much more the exception than the rule. 

Armstrong is the favorite to win the job in 2019 and is joined by fellow senior walk-on Jackson Walker. Michigan State transfer William Przystup joins the fold this summer, but under normal transfer rules will not be eligible until 2020 at which point he'll be a sophomore. 

For the Huskers, it only took one day after spring ball ended for the attrition to begin. As it stands, NU now has 84 scholarship players and 15 seniors. 

Position Freshman RS Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
QB (3) Luke McCaffrey Adrian Martinez
Noah Vedral*
RB (6) Ronald Thompkins Maurice Washington Dedrick Mills* Wyatt Mazour*^
Rahmir Johnson Jaylin Bradley*
TE (6) Chris Hickman Katerian Legrone* Austin Allen* Jack Stoll*
Kurt Rafdal* Travis Vokolek
WR (10) Jamie Nance Andre Hunt* Jaevon McQuitty* JD Spielman* Jaron Woodyard*
Darien Chase Mike Williams
Wan'Dale Robinson Kanawai Noa*
Demariyon Houston
T (7) Bryce Benhart Broc Bando* Brenden Jaimes Christian Gaylord*
Matthew Anderson Matt Farniok*
Jimmy Fritzsche
Brant Banks
G (5) Michael Lynn Trent Hixson* Boe Wilson*
Matt Sichterman* John Raridon*
C (3) Ethan Piper Will Farniok*
Cameron Jurgens*
DE (12) Ty Robinson Tate Wildeman* Chris Walker* Ben Stille* Khalil Davis*
Mosai Newsom Casey Rogers* Deontre Thomas* Jahkeem Green Carlos Davis*
DaiShon Neal*
DT (3) Damion Daniels* Darrion Daniels*
Vaha Vainuku*
OLB (8) Garrett Nelson David Alston* Caleb Tannor JoJo Domann* Tyrin Ferguson*
Jamin Graham Pernell Jefferson* Alex Davis*
ILB (6) Nick Henrich Collin Miller* Mohamed Barry*
Jackson Hannah Will Honas*
Garrett Snodgrass
S (6) Myles Farmer Marquel Dismuke* Eric Lee Jr.*
Noa Pola-Gates Deontai Williams* Avery Anderson*
Jeremiah Stovall*^
CB (7) Javin Wright Braxton Clark* Cam Taylor Dicaprio Bootle* Lamar Jackson
Quinton Newsome Tony Butler*
ST (1) Barret Pickering (K)
Class Total 25 8 17 18 17
Overall Total 85
*Player has used redshirt
^Added for 2019 season

Contact the writer at pgabriel@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.


Sports writer

Parker joined the Journal Star as the University of Nebraska football beat writer in August 2017. He previously covered Montana State athletics for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2012.

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