Extrapolating a Nebraska Depth Chart

Is Jamal Turner finally ready for more playing time? (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)

Depth charts seem to have become a thing of the past. Situational substitutions and coaches confidentiality (paranoia?) seem to make the depth chart a somewhat archaic remnant of the past. Bill Callahan was loathe to publish one, and Bo Pelini isn't much better. But fans being what fans are, desire to have a sense of who's where and who's competing with who for spots. Little tidbits (and sometimes big ones) come out at various times, and from that, you can start extrapolating a depth chart. Is it 100% accurate? Nope. We're not at practice; some of what we're hearing is incomplete, or maybe even wrong. But it's what we've got to work with, so here's my first stab at a depth chart:

Quarterback: Taylor Martinez, Tommy Armstrong, Ron Kellogg III or Brion Carnes

Nobody with half of a brain expected anybody other than Martinez to be on top, barring an injury. What is a surprise is all the talk Armstrong, the true freshman, is receiving. It sounds like he's passed Carnes, and frankly, I get the impression that Kellogg may have as well.

I-back: Rex Burkhead, Ameer Abdullah, Braylon Heard, Imani Cross

Cross continues to get rave reviews with his work effort and physical presence. Some thought he would redshirt this year originally, but now, maybe not. If he plays, there has to be an intention to get him meaningful snaps early in the season.

Fullback: Mike Marrow or Andy Janovich or C.J. Zimmerer

This is a guessing game here...though Janovich, the true freshman from Gretna, is getting some buzz as someone who could play this year...and I'm thinking he may be moving to the top of the depth chart.

Wide Receiver: Kenny Bell (X), Quincy Enunwa (Z), Jamal Turner, Tim Marlowe, Steven Osborne, Tariq Allen

Tim Beck said on Tuesday that Turner had his best week of practice; if so, he has to be in line for more playing time. You know the coaches desperately want to get him on the field; they just need some assurance that he's not going to be a liability when the ball isn't in his hands. He can't be out there only when he's the primary target; Bill Callahan fooled absolutely nobody when he brought in young players in these situations.

Offensive tackle: Brent Qvale (LT), Jeremiah Sirles (RT), Andrew Rodriguez, Givens Price, Zach Sterup

It's just speculation on my part, but I'm guessing that the final straw for Tyler Moore was when Qvale passed him on the depth chart. I'm guessing on Price and Sterup here, though.

Offensive guard: Spencer Long (LG), Seung Hoon Choi (RG), Brandon Thompson, Jake Cotton, Ryne Reeves

This one was easy...but I wish I had a good feel about the backups moving up that haven't played so far.

Center: Justin Jackson or Cole Pensick , Mark Pelini

This is probably the biggest question mark on offense, and it doesn't sound like anybody is taking command of this battle.

Update: 8/22. Based on feedback, moved Pelini to the end, and moved Jackson slightly ahead of Pensick...though it's still up in the air.

Tight End: Ben Cotton or Kyler Reed, Jake Long, Sam Cotton

Big no-brainer here. I wonder if they wouldn't prefer to redshirt the last of the Cotton boys.

Defensive End: Jason Ankrah & Cameron Meredith, Eric Martin, Joe Carter, Avery Moss

Moss, the true freshman from Tempe, Ariz. is one of the freshmen generating some buzz.

Defensive Tackle: Baker Steinkuhler & Chase Rome, Thaddeus Randle, Jay Guy, Aaron Curry

Curry is yet another freshman pushing for playing time.

MIKE linebacker: Will Compton, Trevor Roach
BUCK linebacker: Sean Fisher, Zaire Anderson
SAM linebacker: Alonzo Whaley, David Santos

With Pelini's love of nickel and dime defenses, the only constant is going to be Compton. I think Anderson and Santos eventually push Whaley, and we'll see if Fisher's finally healthy to play.

Safety: Daimion Stafford, Harvey Jackson or P.J. Smith, Courtney Osborne

Not much buzz outside of Stafford to work with here. I'd sure like to see Osborne return to 2010 form.

Update 8/22 Noon: Based on Brian Christophorson's Journal-Star article ($$), I've moved Jackson slightly ahead of Smith. I really was impressed with Jackson in the 2011 spring game, so I'm not surprised that he's making a push this season.

Cornerback: Andrew Green, Antonio Bell, Josh Mitchell, Mohammed Seisay, Stanley Jean-Baptiste

Bell came on in relief in the Capital One Bowl, and supposedly had a great spring. Mitchell has generated some talk here.

Update 8/22 Noon: Seisay has been hampered by an ankle injury. Jean-Baptiste is still learning the position, according to Joseph, though he adds that Jean-Baptiste is “as physically gifted as any corner I’ve been around.” I expect Seisay to jump up into the top two eventually.

Nickel/Dime: Ciante Evans, Charles Jackson, Corey Cooper

Update: 8/22 Noon- Breaking this out, again because of Christophorson's interview with Terry Joseph.

That's my speculation...and again, that's all that this is. Speculation coming out of my crystal ball...or maybe more accurately, my Carnac hat.

What's your take? What did I get wrong?

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