Normally I wouldn't take direction from Coloradans as they've given historically bad advice, i.e. "Sure you can make it over the pass this time of year, Mr. Donner" - that kind of stuff. But in this case Corn Nation has chosen to participate in the helping pick the preseason Big 12 team. Here's what we were asked to do for Phase I:
From each of your respective rosters, highlight the following number of players at each position whom you wish to nominate for the Big 12 team- (1) qb (2) rb (2) wr (1) te (3) ol (3) dl (2) lb (3) db (1) k (1) p.
Given that information, here's my picks. The other guys from CN are going to nominate their own, and then we'll do a summary posting depending upon feedback from you, our loyal reader.
So.... phase #1 is nominate our guys for the Big 12 preseason team:
- (1) Quarterback - Joe Ganz
Given that the other guys haven't seen the field yet in a Husker uniform (with the exception of Beau Davis being thrown to the wolves against Texas Tech in a 70-10 loss, thanks Billy C), it's Joey Ganz.
- (2) Running Back - Marlon Lucky, Quentin Castille.
The Big 12's only 1,000 returning rusher, and the top receiving running back in the nation last year - if Marlon Lucky isn't considered by our counterparts as the top back in the Big 12, you know that they have something against the Big Red.
Quentin Castille - hey you know that behind the 2008 offensive line that 'Truck Stick' is going to pick up a lot of short yardage first downs and score a lot of goal line TD's, so he deserves a mention.
- (2) Wide Receiver - Nate Swift, Todd Peterson
Nate Swift isn't too far away from being the top receiver in Nebraska history, 43 catches to be exact. That deserves a mention.
As does Todd Peterson, a walk-on from GI. These are our only really experienced receivers. People will take them for granted. They shouldn't.
- (1) Tight End - Mike McNeil
Quick - name two tight ends at Nebraska besides someone named Hunter. You had to look it up, didn't you? Well, after 2008, you'll know Mike McNeil. You will, I swear. So will the rest of the Big 12.
- (3) Offensive Line - Matt Slauson, Lydon Murtha, Mike Huff
Matt Slauson has the heart of a warrior. It was broken several times last season, but this season will be different as his coaches will know what they're supposed to be doing. Slauson will make it on Sundays after this coming season, same as
Lydon Murtha who will finally show this season why God game him that phsyique. With a new coaching staff that won't tolerate taking time off, Murtha will rise to the occasion and pummel the opponent's defensive ends.
Mike Huff gets the nod here because he's a guard and with Slauson will make opposing linebackers pay this coming season. We won't be doing zone blocking the entire season, so look for a linebacker pasting from Huff and Slauson many times throughout the season.
Matt Slauson - Hear Him Roar - Courtesy Husker Extra
- (3) Defensive Line - Ndamukong Suh, Barry Turner, Zach Potter.
Suh is recovering from undisclosed knee injury and may not be full strength come fall. Still, he was a force in 2006. 2008 he will return, as will our pair of defensive ends Turner and Potter. If I were a betting man, I'd bet $10 that Nebraska's sack total goes from 112th to a top 25 finish. These guys aren't bad, last season they were just lost and overweight (slow). Not only will they be hungry, but they'll be faster, leaner and meaner. And like the rest of the defense, they'll be taken for granted.
- (2) Linebackers - Cody Glenn, Major Culbert
Cody Glenn gets the nod because he has the heart of a Husker - a guy who just wants to play football. Whether he's good or not, well, time will tell.
And what am I doing sticking Culbert in at linebacker when he's probably a safety? Well, look for Nebraska to run a lot of defensive back-heavy sets this coming season, given the offenses we're going to face. The guy has played spy, running back, nose guard, water boy, kick coverage, and all without complaints. Why not linebacker?
- (3) Defensive Back - Armando Murillo, Larry Asante, Ricky Thenarse
Armando Murillo... say that again and again, and the name just rolls off your tongue. He's the guy that stole your last three girlfriends.
Larry Asante and Ricky Thenarse - well, if the other teams don't know these guys now, they will soon enough. Boom! There you go, Big 12 quarterbacks, a Bo Pelini safety blitz you never saw coming.
- (1) Kicker - Adi Kunalic
Although Alex Henery hasn't missed a PAT or Field Goal, given the rule changes the past couple years, wouldn't you think the guy who averaged more touchbacks than anyone in 2007 deserves to be pre-season All Big 12?
- (1) Punter - Dan Titchener
Dan Tichtener will be punting on Sundays in a couple years.
Nebraska has the best overall kicking and punting in the Big 12. We'll be overlooked by fans and writers in that department, just like we will on defense. Don't believe it.
One question for you Big 12 guys - where the hell are the returners?