The first Bo Pelini depth chart was released today not too many surprises, but worth a discussion.
Quarterback: 1 - Joe Ganz, 2 - Patrick Witt, 3- Zac Lee.
No surprises here, although you have to ask yourself what happens if Joe Ganz goes down with an injury. What does that do to the season?
I-Back: 1 - Marlon Lucky -or- Roy Helu -or- Quentin Castille
So there are three backs listed as co #1's. There seems to be a lot of buzz about this, and I'll be honest, I don't get it (the fuss, that is). Running backs get the holy crap beat out of them much worse than they used to, so you are not going to make it through a full season without your main guy getting banged up.
What is sad here is the name that's missing - Kenny Wilson. It's doubtful he'll play again due to his leg injury. It's easy to forget the potential that was there, but don't.
Fullback: 1 - Thomas Lawson, 2 - Justin Makovicka
No surprises, remember that while Callahan didn't use fullbacks on the run, Lawson caught three TD's last season which was as many as Nate Swift and Marlon Lucky, and more than the entire receiving corp besides Swift and Peterson.
Wide Receiver X: 1 - Nate Swift, 2 - Menelik Holt, 3 - Will Henry, 4- Chris Brooks
No surprise, although I guess I'm a little surprised that Chris Brooks is all the way down at #4.
Wide Receiver Z: 1 - Todd Peterson, 2 - Niles Paul or Curenski Gilleylen
Again, no surprise here.
Tight End: 1 - Mike McNeill, 2 - Dreu Young, 3 - Ryan Hill, 4 - Ben Cotton
Obviously Tyson Hetzer hasn't recovered enough from his spring knee injury to be listed on the roster at this point. Perhaps he'll join in later in the season. This position is more critical to offensive success than people are giving it, here's hoping they can perform well this season.
They're a unit, and we treat them like a unit.
LT: 1 - Mike Smith, 2 - Jaivorio Burkes
LG: 1 - Mike Huff, 2 - Keith Williams
C: 1 - Jacob Hickman, 2 - Mike Caputo
RG: 1 - Matt Slauson, 2 - DJ Jones
RT: 1 - Lydon Murtha, 2 - Marcel Jones
Lydon Murtha moves back to right tackle. Murtha is an enigma - the guy has the body size for a prototypical NFL left tackle, but gives that spot up to Mike Smith. Go figure. Burkes at #2 behind Mike Smith is a little surprise, but we'll see how the rotation comes out.
The key to this line is that some of these guys can move around to different positions. Slauson has played both guard and tackle, while Hickman has played guard and center. An incredibly solid group, with plenty of depth and experience.
Nose Tackle: 1 - Ndamukong Suh, 2 - Shukree Barfield, 3 - Terrence Moore
Defensive Tackle: 1 - Ty Steinkuhler, 2 - Jared Crick
Base End: 1 - Zach Potter, 2 - Clayton Sievers
Open End: 1 - Barry Turner, 2 - Pierre Allen
No surprises here. Obviously losing Kevin Dixon hurt, but I don't see this group as thin as a lot of other people. Note that Baker Steinkuhler isn't listed - hopefully a redshirt season is in the works for him.
Will Linebacker: 1 - Cody Glenn, 2 - Blake Lawrence
Mike Linebacker: 1 - Phillip Dillard, 2 - Will Compton, 3 - Colton Koehler
Buck Linebacker: 1 - Tyler Wortman, 2 - Sean Fisher
Obviously the linebacker position is of huge concern. Will Compton and Sean Fisher are both true freshmen. Dillard is a solid middle linebacker with experience, so the hope would be that Compton and Fisher aren't needed this season which will give them time to get stronger and learn. LaTravis Washington is not listed here due to injury. Nor is Nick Covey.
Is there a Husker fan who isn't cheering for Cody Glenn's position switch to work out well? Even beyond the sake of the team, you have to admire the guy for moving there. Lot of guts, love that guy.
Right Cornerback: 1 - Anthony West, 2 - Prince Amukamara
Left Cornerback: 1 - Armando Murillo, 2 - Eric Hagg
Strong Safety: 1 - Larry Asante, 2 - Major Culbert
Free Safety: 1 - Rickey Thenarse, 2 - Matt O'Hanlon
The starting four are a pretty decent group. What you have to ask is what happens when we move to using five or six defensive backs, ala defending Texas Tech. Amukamara has never played corner before, so the first three games may be key to getting him valuable experience. Eric Hagg and Major Culbert should be able to step into the extra roles if needed, so keep an eye on them should they get into the game against Western Michigan.
I realize I tagged everyone on the depth chart with this post, but hey it was my chance to check out our rosters, and make sure everything is okay. Corrections will be made!