Sean Callahan of HuskerOnline/Rivals ($$$) and Steven M. Sipple of the Lincoln Journal-Star both report tonight that sophomore-to-be I-back Aaron Green plans to transfer from Nebraska. Callahan says that Green's father says that they are looking to play in an offense that would use Aaron Green in space. Sipple adds that Green is looking to play closer to home. He's looking at Oklahoma, TCU, Houston, Baylor, and Texas Tech.
With Green's departure, that leaves Rex Burkhead and fellow sophomore-to-be Ameer Abdullah as experienced I-backs. Junior transfer Mike Marrow is also on the roster, as is incoming freshman Imari Cross. Marrow is a big back at 6'2" and 250 pounds. Incoming freshman Imani Cross from Gainesville, Georgia will also join the program this summer; he's a 6'2" 210 pound back who rushed for 1,698 yards and 24 touchdowns as a senior in high school.
From a depth perspective, while the loss of Green hurts, it also doesn't create a huge void either. Nebraska has more returning I-backs with experience than they did last year, and still should have the ability to go four deep if injuries set in. And with former I-back Braylon Heard still with the program on defense, he's an insurance policy just in case. Green played in 12 games last season, carrying 24 times for 105 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught a 25 yard touchdown pass. Sam McKewon feel that Heard should move back to I-back immediately; I disagree if he's already worked himself into position for playing time in the secondary. With Nebraska's defensive woes last season, the Huskers need a Blackshirt more than a third-string I-back.
Why now? While fans didn't get a chance to view the spring game, the coaches still evaluated the players and likely sat down with each player and reviewed their progress. Reports were that both Abdullah and Green looked good in the spring, and that probably raised concerns about playing time moving forward if the coaches still felt that Abdullah ranked ahead of Green. So after thinking about it for a few days, Green makes the decision.
While Green will be missed, if he doesn't want to be in Lincoln, here's hoping he finds a place to shine elsewhere. It's not like Green's departure creates a huge void, and it opens up another opportunity to bring in another back in next year's class.