The new year is off to a good start for the Huskers.

Outside linebacker JoJo Domann announced Saturday afternoon that he is returning to Nebraska next year and will take advantage of the extra year of eligibility granted to all players by the NCAA due to the coronavirus pandemic.

That, of course, is a major boost for the Blackshirts. Domann not only led Nebraska in tackles (58) and tied for the team lead in tackles for loss (6½), but he’s a versatile player who in 2020 showed himself capable of holding up against the run and also playing in coverage. He tied senior cornerback Dicaprio Bootle for the team lead with five pass breakups, and forced two fumbles and recovered one while playing in all eight games.

Domann’s return is made even more significant by the fact that NU lacks depth at outside linebacker overall. Assistant coach Mike Dawson helped the group develop in 2020 and NU saw progress from players such as junior Caleb Tannor and sophomore Garrett Nelson, but nobody else in the room had shown so far the capability of being an every-down player like Domann was.

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The 6-foot-1, 230-pounder has largely put early career injuries in the rearview mirror, too. Domann has played in each of Nebraska’s 20 games the past two seasons and has become a more reliable playmaker along the way. Over the past two seasons, he has a total of 110 tackles (15½ for loss), 2½ sacks, 11 passes defensed and four forced fumbles.

Domann is the first Nebraska senior to announce that he's going to use the extra season given out by the NCAA, but he's likely not the last. To this point, several others had announced their intentions to move on. Left tackle Brenden Jaimes, tight end Jack Stoll and cornerback Dicaprio Bootle are headed to the NFL Draft, and senior guard Boe Wilson plans to transfer, while inside linebacker Collin Miller medically retired following a neck injury suffered this season.

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