As Nebraska preseason approaches, Husker Extra is counting down the 30 most intriguing players on the roster.
A couple of notes: 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.
The only scholarship player not considered for the list is defensive lineman Jahkeem Green, because at the outset of our countdown he is still in junior college and is only verbally bound to Nebraska.
No. 27: Darien Chase, WR, freshman
When talking intrigue, attention can skew toward young players and players we know less about. Chase falls squarely in both categories. The Vancouver, Washington, native was one of the highest-ranked players on the West Coast and is coming off a prolific career at Union High.
He was one of the last players to campus due to his school’s academic calendar, arriving in June, but plays a position, receiver, where little is settled.
The addition of Cal graduate transfer Kanawai Noa adds some veteran presence to Troy Walters’ room, but everybody else besides junior JD Spielman has plenty to prove.
That’s where Chase is interesting. At 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, he’s bigger than NU’s other freshman receivers and, frankly, most of the receivers on the roster. In fact, he’s the tallest scholarship wideout the Huskers have this fall.
Chase doesn’t have the clear-cut path to playing time that some of Nebraska’s other incoming freshmen have, and it’s certainly possible that a couple of veterans step forward, leaving him and fellow freshman receivers Demariyon “Peanut” Houston and Jamie Nance the chance to redshirt and develop for a year.
Until that actually happens, though, Chase’s size and speed make him the most intriguing of the trio.