{{featured_button_text}}

College football rosters do not stay static for long.

Nebraska knows this well, considering it had a scholarship quarterback leave a week before the regular season began this fall and two more over the first month of game action.

The Huskers reached the first major mile marker of the offseason recently, though, as the first signing period has now come and gone. Nebraska added 24 known scholarship players and eight walk-ons to its roster — and also saw linebacker Jacob Weinmaster retire for medical reasons — putting its current numbers at 82 scholarship players and 145 overall.

Of those numbers, 84 have joined the program since coach Scott Frost was hired less than 13 months ago, and 96 will be sophomore eligibility or younger in 2019.

NU will undoubtedly see more attrition as the offseason progresses and spring ball shows where the roster stands, and the Huskers will add more players in February and perhaps beyond.

At this point, though, here’s a look at NU’s roster with the latest round of signees.

Quarterback (3)

Returning scholarship players (2019 eligibility)

Sophomores Adrian Martinez and Noah Vedral.

Incoming players

Freshman Luke McCaffrey (Littleton, Colorado).

Walk-on to watch

Junior Andrew Bunch.

Recruiting status

Nebraska is set for 2019, has a verbal commitment from Logan Smothers (Athens, Alabama) for 2020 and is beginning to evaluate 2021 options. Quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco is playing from ahead.

Overview

Martinez is primed for a huge sophomore year and Frost said this week he must be the leader of the offense. The biggest question is whether Bunch, who is in the NCAA’s transfer portal, leaves or returns. NU would love to have him back but understands he wants to play. Vedral provides a steady hand either way. The Huskers love McCaffrey’s athleticism and his upside. The future for this group is bright.

Running back (5)

Returning scholarship players

Senior Wyatt Mazour, sophomores Maurice Washington and Jaylin Bradley.

Incoming players

Freshmen Ronald Thompkins (Loganville, Georgia) and Rahmir Johnson (Oradell, New Jersey).

Recruiting status

NU has a verbal commitment from Dedrick Mills (Garden City Community College), though his status moving forward is cloudier than it was. He hasn't signed yet, but the mid-year junior college rules are different than the rules governing high school players. Juco players can sign until Jan. 15. Meanwhile, John Bivens (Dayton, Ohio) is at least on the radar screen for 2019 still. They’ll be after more talented backs in 2020.

Overview

It’s going to be a new-look backfield for running backs coach Ryan Held and company. Can Bradley take a step forward? How much better can Washington get with experience and a little more bulk? One way or another, the Huskers will need production from newcomers. Johnson is speedy and Thompkins, if healthy after two knee surgeries in high school, has the chance to be special. Lots of questions but also intrigue.

Receivers (9)

Returning scholarship players

Seniors Jaron Woodyard and Mike Williams; junior JD Spielman; sophomore Jaevon McQuitty; redshirt freshmen Miles Jones and Andre Hunt.

Incoming players

Freshmen Jamie Nance (Blanchard, Oklahoma), Darien Chase (Vancouver, Washington) and Wandale Robinson (Frankfort, Kentucky).

Walk-ons to watch

Sophomore Kade Warner.

Recruiting status

The Huskers will pursue another receiver for the February signing period, likely including Charles Njoku (Wayne, New Jersey). They’ll cast a wide net in 2020, but two targets are close to home in Zavier Betts (Bellevue West) and Xavier Watts (Omaha Burke).

Overview

This group is wide, wide open after Spielman, who will be one of the top returning players in the Big Ten. Can Woodyard, Williams and/or McQuitty emerge? A healthy year will do Jones wonders. The staff likes Hunt. Still, NU had to build some depth here and started with three newcomers. It might count as a mild surprise if the returning group of slot guys is able to keep Robinson from seeing the field early and often.

Offensive line (13)

Returning scholarship players

Senior Christian Gaylord; juniors Brenden Jaimes, Matt Farniok, John Raridon and Boe Wilson; sophomores Matt Sichterman and Broc Bando; redshirt freshmen Will Farniok and Cameron Jurgens.

Incoming players

Freshmen Bryce Benhart (Lakeville, Minnesota), Matthew Anderson (Leesville, Louisiana), Jimmy Fritzsche (Greenville, South Carolina) and Michael Lynn (Greenwood Village, Colorado).

Walk-ons to watch

Sophomores Trent Hixson and Hunter Miller.

Recruiting status

The Huskers signed four and have a verbal commitment from juco Desmond Bland, though time will tell if he actually winds up in Lincoln. Otherwise, NU is likely done up front. The 2020 group includes extensive regional talent. Tackle Turner Corcoran (Lawrence, Kansas) is a priority and Colorado has more top prospects as well.

Overview

The critical question: Who replaces Tanner Farmer at center and Jerald Foster at left guard? Hixon and Miller could factor in as walk-ons. Can the converted Jurgens or Will Farniok win the job in the middle? How close will Benhart be to game-ready as a freshman? Jaimes and Matt Farniok are suddenly the veterans of the group.

Tight end (5)

Returning scholarship players

Junior Jack Stoll; sophomores Austin Allen and Kurt Rafdal; redshirt freshman Katerian Legrone.

Incoming players

Freshman Chris Hickman (Omaha).

Walk-on to watch

Redshirt freshman Bryson Krull.

Recruiting status

The Huskers are set for 2019. In 2020, early targets include Jonathan Odom (Tampa) and perhaps Darnell Washington (Las Vegas), a five-star per Rivals who was in town for a June Friday Night Lights camp but didn’t work out.

Overview

This is a young and talented group that has two more seasons together before Stoll graduates. Sean Beckton’s crew struggled at times in 2018, but it’s a talented unit and has a chance to be a strength in 2019 and beyond.

Defensive line (15)

Returning scholarship players

Seniors Carlos Davis, Khalil Davis, DaiShon Neal, Vaha Vainuku and Darrion Daniels; junior Ben Stille; sophomores Damion Daniels, Deontre Thomas and Chris Walker; redshirt freshmen Tate Wildeman and Casey Rogers.

Incoming players

Freshmen Ty Robinson (Gilbert, Arizona), Mosai Newsom (Waverly, Iowa), Brant Banks (Houston) and Ethan Piper (Norfolk).

Walk-on to watch

Redshirt freshman Ryan Schommer.

Recruiting status

Nebraska added a big class of defensive lineman — literally and figuratively — with four incoming freshmen plus Oklahoma State graduate transfer Darrion Daniels. They are likely set for 2019, unless perhaps Matthew Pola-Mao of Arizona joins the fold late. A 2020 regional priority is four-star Nash Hutmacher (Chamberlain, South Dakota).

Overview

Here we find an interesting dichotomy of experience and prototype. The Davis brothers and Stille have played a lot of football, while the redshirt freshmen and incoming freshmen are more the body types that Mike Dawson wants long term. NU could really use productive snaps from either of the other two seniors. A big wild card: Damion Daniels. If he takes a big step, he could grow into a force. If not, NU is thin inside. Meanwhile, older brother Darrion, the newest addition, is in line for immediate playing time and has the versatility to play any spot in Dawson’s structure.

Inside linebacker (6)

Returning scholarship players

Senior Mohamed Barry, juniors Will Honas and Collin Miller.

Incoming players

Freshmen Nick Henrich (Omaha), Jackson Hannah (Nashville, Tennessee) and Garrett Snodgrass (York).

Walk-on to watch

Redshirt freshmen Chris Cassidy.

Recruiting status

NU is probably set for 2019, though considering the numbers, it could look for another player or a transfer. Otherwise, the focus will be on 2020.

Overview

Barry has clear captain potential in 2019, but this is perhaps the thinnest group on the roster, especially with Honas coming off a season-ending knee injury and Miller moving from outside at the beginning of the season. Henrich might be on the two-deep when he arrives in January just by the room’s numbers. Hannah and Snodgrass, too, will have every opportunity to make some noise when they arrive this summer.

Outside linebacker (9)

Returning scholarship players

Seniors Tyrin Ferguson and Alex Davis, juniors Quayshon Alexander and Pernell Jefferson, sophomores Breon Dixon and Caleb Tannor, redshirt freshman David Alston.

Incoming players

Freshmen Garrett Nelson (Scottsbluff) and Jamin Graham (Attalla, Alabama).

Walk-on to watch

Redshirt freshman Simon Otte.

Recruiting status

This is a spot where NU will try to add another in 2019. Brandon Mack (Montgomery, Alabama) decommitted from Pitt on Thursday, Desmond Little is a sleeper in Mobile, Alabama, and the Huskers offered Eugene Asante (Chantilly, Virginia) on Thursday. A key position for 2020, too.

Overview

If Ferguson plays all of 2019 healthy, that would be a great starting point. Otherwise, uncertainty abounds. Dixon and Tannor each have the potential to take a big step forward. NU’s still looking for another difference-maker here. Luke Gifford might be one of the most difficult players to replace on the roster, just because of his consistency and availability.

Cornerback (7)

Returning scholarship players

Seniors Lamar Jackson and Eric Lee; juniors Dicaprio Bootle and Tony Butler; sophomore Cam Taylor; redshirt freshman Braxton Clark.

Incoming players

Freshman Quinton Newsome (Suwanee, Georgia).

Walk-ons to watch

Sophomore Ethan Cox and redshirt freshman Moses Bryant.

Recruiting status

Nebraska wants more for 2019. The big fish is Noa Pola-Gates (Gilbert, Arizona). A couple of other official visitors and longtime targets such as Tavian Mayo (Leesburg, Georgia) and Jamel Starks (Decatur, Georgia) remain unsigned.

Overview

This is a group that made major strides in 2018 and has every major contributor back. It has a chance to be a real strength of the 2019 defense. Bootle has captain potential and Jackson has a chance to cap his college career with a flourish. Travis Fisher loves Taylor. Now, can the rangy Clark take a step, too?

Safety (8)

Returning scholarship players

Senior Avery Anderson; juniors Deontai Williams, JoJo Domann and Marquel Dismuke; redshirt freshmen C.J. Smith and Cam’ron Jones.

Incoming players

Freshmen Myles Farmer (Atlanta) and Javin Wright (Chandler, Arizona).

Walk-ons to watch

Senior Reid Karel.

Recruiting overview

The Huskers will look for another defensive back at least in 2019. Then Travis Fisher is off to find 2020 talent and beyond. Way down the road, keep an eye on 2021's Avante Dickerson (Omaha Westside).

Overview

One of the most intriguing groups on the roster as departed players Antonio Reed, Aaron Williams and Tre Neal leave a ton of snaps to be claimed in 2019. Williams is the starting point. Domann could move around again or settle in at safety, while Dismuke showed signs of coming around and is a special-teams weapon. Smith was just coming on when he suffered a season-ending injury. Jones is talented but hasn’t yet played after dealing with an injury of his own. The staff loves both big, rangy freshmen. A talented group but an inexperienced one. Much to sort out for Fisher here.

Specialists (2)

Returning scholarship players

Senior punter Caleb Lightbourn and sophomore kicker Barret Pickering.

Incoming players

None.

Walk-on to watch

Punter Isaac Armstrong, long-snapper Chase Urbach.

Recruiting status

The Huskers loaded up on walk-on specialists with kicker Dylan Jorgensen (Lincoln Southwest) and punter Grant Detlefsen (Lincoln Southeast) so far. There’s seemingly no rush to find scholarship options at the moment.

Overview

Pickering steadied himself after a rocky start and is entrenched as the place-kicker. He showed he can handle kickoffs, too, even without an overwhelming leg. Can Lightbourn win his punting job back, or is it Armstrong’s to lose? The return game features several options — Spielman, Washington, Wandale Robinson, Woodyard, etc. — and should be a strength.

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

9
1
3
1
1

Nebraska football scholarship chart

How do the Huskers scholarship numbers break down? A look at each position.

Position Freshman RS Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
QB (3) Luke McCaffrey Adrian Martinez
Noah Vedral*
RB (5) Ronald Thompkins Maurice Washington Dedrick Mills*
Rahmir Johnson Jaylin Bradley*
TE (6) Chris Hickman Katerian Legrone* Austin Allen* Jack Stoll*
Kurt Rafdal* Travis Vokolek
WR (11) Jamie Nance Andre Hunt* Jaevon McQuitty* JD Spielman* Jaron Woodyard*
Darien Chase Miles Jones* Mike Williams
Wan'Dale Robinson Kanawai Noa*
Demariyon Houston
T (7) Bryce Benhart Broc Bando* Brenden Jaimes Christian Gaylord*
Matthew Anderson Matt Farniok*
Jimmy Fritzsche
G (5) Michael Lynn Trent Hixson* Boe Wilson*
Matt Sichterman* John Raridon*
C (3) Ethan Piper Will Farniok*
Cameron Jurgens*
DE (12) Ty Robinson Tate Wildeman* Chris Walker* Ben Stille* Khalil Davis*
Mosai Newsom Casey Rogers* Deontre Thomas* Jahkeem Green Carlos Davis*
Brant Banks DaiShon Neal*
DT (3) Damion Daniels* Darrion Daniels*
Vaha Vainuku*
OLB (8) Garrett Nelson David Alston* Caleb Tannor JoJo Domann* Tyrin Ferguson*
Jamin Graham Pernell Jefferson* Alex Davis*
ILB (6) Nick Henrich Collin Miller* Mohamed Barry*
Jackson Hannah Will Honas*
Garrett Snodgrass
S (6) Myles Farmer Marquel Dismuke* Eric Lee Jr.*
Noa Pola-Gates Deontai Williams* Avery Anderson*
CB (7) Javin Wright Braxton Clark* Cam Taylor Dicaprio Bootle* Lamar Jackson
Quinton Newsome Tony Butler*
ST (1) Barret Pickering (K)
Class Total 25 9 17 17 15
Overall Total 83
*Player has used redshirt

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.

Load comments