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JD Spielman.

The players

1, Wan’Dale Robinson, 5-10, 190, fr.

3, Jamie Nance, 6-0, 170, fr.

4, Jaevon McQuitty, 6-0, 200, so.

5, Demariyon Houston, 6-0, 180, fr.

8, Jaron Woodyard, 5-11, 185, sr.

9, Kanawai Noa, 6-0, 180, sr.

10, JD Spielman, 5-9, 180, jr.

11, Austin Allen, 6-8, 250, so.

12, Katerian Legrone, 6-3, 245, rfr. (indefinitely suspended)

13, Darien Chase, 6-1, 200, fr.

15, Andre Hunt, 6-0, 190, rfr. (indefinitely suspended)

19, Mike Williams, 5-10, 180, sr.

22, Miles Jones, 5-8, 175, rfr.

29, Bennett Folkers, 6-2, 205, rfr.

35, Riley Kinney, 6-4, 185, fr.

36, Christian Banker, 6-0, 190, so.

40, Brian Perez, 6-3, 265, jr.

45, Ty Chaffin, 6-5, 215, jr.

46, John Goodwin, 6-2, 255, fr.

47, Austin Jablonski, 6-2, 215, fr.

48, Bryson Krull, 6-3, 250, rfr.

81, Kade Warner, 6-1, 210, so.

82, Kurt Rafdal, 6-7, 245, so.

83, Travis Vokolek, 6-6, 250, jr.

85, Wyatt Liewer, 6-3, 195, rfr.

86, Jack Stoll, 6-4, 260, jr.

87, Chris Hickman, 6-6, 215, fr.

89, Todd Honas, 5-11, 210, jr.

Second-to-none: JD Spielman

Spielman’s first two collegiate seasons came with so much production and so much consistency that sometimes it almost seems as though he’s taken for granted. As a mental exercise, take his numbers the first two years — 121 catches, 1,648 yards and 10 touchdowns — and double them while keeping in mind he’s missed four games to injury. Those numbers would rewrite Nebraska’s record books. He could threaten some of his friend Stanley Morgan’s marks as soon as this fall. Spielman is in many ways not your typical receiver. He’s quiet, he doesn’t much care for interviews, he’s not physically imposing. And yet, he’s among the most productive returning receivers in the Big Ten. Spielman has dealt with multiple injuries in his career, and keeping him healthy will be a priority. He’ll have more attention from defenses with Morgan gone. At this point, though, what’s stopping anyone from assuming 60-plus catches and another run toward 1,000 yards?

Two things to watch

1. Who else? Spielman is clearly the No. 1 target, but there are a dozen players vying for time behind him. Head coach Scott Frost and offensive coordinator Troy Walters are confident enough guys will step up and into big roles. Who will it be? That’s less clear.

2. Multiple freshmen? Wan’Dale Robinson is as close to a sure bet to be a factor as a true freshman can be, assuming he's healthy. Can one or more of Nebraska’s other true freshmen — Jamie Nance, Darien Chase and Demariyon Houston — get in on the action, too?

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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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