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As Nebraska's preseason camp 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 committed to Nebraska.

No. 7: Tyrin Ferguson, OLB, senior 

One day after Lamar Jackson, this list continues with another senior with something to prove and the potential for a big final collegiate season. 

For outside linebacker Tyrin Ferguson, the key to production is seemingly all about health. His position coach, Jovan Dewitt, has raved about his potential since this coaching staff arrived here late in 2017.

After a battle with turf toe limited the 6-foot-2, 230-pound New Orleans native to five games in 2017, he started his tenure under the Scott Frost staff with a bang, logging 10 tackles (two for loss) and a sack against Colorado. Ferguson racked up five TFLs in NU's first three games, but then missed two and was limited in the middle of the season before missing two more. 

Then he closed the year on a high note, recording 14 stops combined against Michigan State and Iowa. 

Ferguson's final tallies -- 36 stops (six for loss), two sacks and a break-up -- were all career bests but also represent, according to NU coaches and teammates, only the tip of the iceberg. 

Factor in the relative lack of experience the Huskers currently have on the outside -- the two-deep also includes senior Alex Davis, junior JoJo Domann, sophomore Caleb Tannor and then a host of younger, inexperienced players -- and it's easy to see what makes Ferguson so interesting and so important to Erik Chinander's second defense. 

Ferguson's played 13 games total the past two seasons. If he comes close to (or succeeds in) doubling that number in his final go-around as a college player, Nebraska will almost certainly be much better for it. 

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

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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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