Spring Game, 4.13

Nebraska offensive coordinator Troy Walters coaches during warm-ups before the Red-White Spring Game on April 13 at Memorial Stadium.

Troy Walters isn't afraid to roll through a lot of options at the wide receiver position. 

The Nebraska offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach might do just that in 2019. 

In an appearance on the "Sports Nightly" radio program, Walters listed off more than 10 guys who he thought could contribute this coming fall in his room and said that a collective effort is most likely the way to replace record-setting Stanley Morgan, who is now in the NFL. 

"With all the guys we have, I think receiver-by-committee will be kind of where we go this year," Walters said.

The Huskers have a good starting point in junior JD Spielman, who will put several of Morgan's records in his sights if he continues the pace he set over his first two collegiate seasons. After that, Cal graduate transfer Kanawai Noa and freshman Wan'Dale Robinson are almost certain to factor heavily in NU's offense. 

Walters continued the string of high marks for Noa, started last week by head coach Scott Frost and quarterback Adrian Martinez at Big Ten Media Days in Chicago and reiterated the staff's high hopes for Robinson. 

"Wan'Dale is a special player," Walters said of the freshman from Frankfort, Kentucky. "He just brings a whole other dimension both as a running back and as a receiver. He was a little nicked up during spring with a hamstring, so the biggest thing for us is just to make sure he's healthy going into fall camp. 

"If he is, then he's going to be all over the place." 

After that, it's wide open. Seniors Mike Williams and Jaron Woodyard showed a sense of urgency in the spring and have continued to show improved consistency. Sophomore walk-on Kade Warner emerged as a vocal leader for the group this summer and, according to Walters, "he's going to factor into the rotation."

Redshirt freshman Andre Hunt came into his own this spring and finished on the top line of the depth chart. Fellow redshirt freshman Miles Jones will make an impact if he can stay healthy. Freshman Jamie Nance benefited by enrolling in January, participating in spring ball and adding 7-10 pounds of muscle to his frame. 

"He might be one of the fastest guys we have on the team and one of the most explosive guys we have on the team," Walters said. 

Two more freshmen arrived this summer in Demariyon "Peanut" Houston and Darien Chase. Walters hasn't even got a chance to work up close and personal with them on the field yet, but didn't shy away from saying what he expected from them. 

"I think both of those guys are going to figure into the rotation and compete for playing time this year," Walters said. "(The redshirt rule) is a great rule. ... Sometimes freshmen aren't ready early in the season, but the light comes on midway to the end. It's a good rule and those guys will definitely see four games, but probably more this fall." 

So Walters is comfortable playing a lot of guys or having a "by committee" setup, but that doesn't mean expectations are low.

"Really looking across the board at the receiver position, we've become more explosive," Walters said. "We've got guys that can take a 5-yard pass and go 90 or can run by a corner and catch a 70-yard pass." 

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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