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Most Intriguing Huskers: No. 22, WR Zavier Betts
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Most Intriguing Huskers: No. 22, WR Zavier Betts

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Bellevue West vs. Omaha Westside, 11.26

Bellevue West's Zavier Betts (14) carries the ball as he is defended by Omaha Westside's Koby Bretz (25) in the first half of the Class A state football final in November 2019 at Memorial Stadium.

As the scheduled Aug. 7 start to Nebraska's preseason camp approaches, Husker Extra is counting down the 30 most intriguing players on the roster.

This isn’t best player or most important. As a list based on intrigue, it skews a bit toward youth and new players, but there will be plenty of established contributors, too.

No. 22, Zavier Betts, WR, fr.

The second incoming wide receiver on this list, freshman Zavier Betts isn't the last. Sure, there's always more intrigue about newcomers, but this year the receiving corps is particularly fascinating because of the roster makeup and coach Scott Frost acknowledging that several of the new guys have to make an impact. 

Few have higher upside — and maybe less certainty for this fall in particular — than Betts. He is physically imposing at 6-foot-3 and 200 or more pounds. He has flashed a skill set that made him a blue-chip recruit who would have been pursued even more heavily than he was were it not for a relatively early commitment to the Huskers and questions about his academic standing. 

All of that is in the rearview mirror now, though, and Betts' challenge now is to see how quickly he can crack wide receiver coach Matt Lubick's rotation. He and junior college standout Omar Manning will join redshirt freshman Chris Hickman as the biggest receivers on the roster. 

Not often has NU found premium skill position recruits in its own backyard. 

"It’s nice when you look all around the country and as good a wide receiver as we've seen around the country is right down the road in Omaha," Frost said earlier this year. "We have high hopes for him. We need to get bigger on the outside, we need to block better on the perimeter and Zavier will help us do that." 

How soon? That question and Betts' unquestionable upside are plenty intriguing. 

— Parker Gabriel

The list

No. 30: Caleb Tannor, OLB, jr.

No. 29: Brenden Jaimes, LT, sr. 

No. 28: Marvin Scott and Sevion Morrison, RB, fr.

No. 27, Ethan Piper, OG, rfr.

No. 26, Marcus Fleming, WR, fr.

No. 25, Mosai Newsom, DL, rfr.

No. 24, Braxton Clark, CB, so.

No. 23, Jordon Riley, DL, jr.

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

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Husker football reporter

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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