The Huskers need to replace both safeties, but all of the cornerbacks return. But it's not inconceivable that Nebraska might have four new starters in the secondary this fall.
Returning: Andrew Green, Sr. CB; Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Sr. CB; Ciante Evans, Sr. CB/Peso; Mohammed Seisay, Sr. CB; Josh Mitchell, Jr. CB; Charles Jackson, So. CB; Harvey Jackson, So. S; Corey Cooper, So. S; Jonathan Rose, So. CB; Daniel Davie, So. CB; Wil Richards, Sr. S
Incoming: Boaz Joseph, Signed LOI; Nathan Gerry, Signed LOI; Drake Martinez, Signed LOI, D.J. Singleton, Enrolled
Departing: Daimion Stafford; P.J. Smith; Courtney Osborne
2013 Previews* Quarterbacks
* Running Backs
* Wide Receivers
* Tight Ends
* Offensive Line
* Defensive Line
* Special Teams
Mike: I made the mistake of expecting too much from Mohammed Seisay in 2012, so I don't want to repeat that. But I have to believe that Jonathan Rose plays a lot in 2013 based on Terry Joseph's comments earlier this fall. I get the feeling that while Nebraska has returning starters at corner, those returners may not be at those same positions this fall.
My first guess at a secondary? Jonathan Rose and Seisay/Jean-Baptiste/Charles Jackson at corner. Safeties will be Harvey Jackson and either Corey Cooper or Andrew Green. Ciante Evans stays at nickel back. I think we'll find that he Capital One Bowl was an aberration for the secondary, and this group will be improved in 2013.
Jon: Stafford finished the season second (Compton-110) in total tackles with 96 and earned a First Team All-Big Ten selection, while Smith finished third with 86 and earned Honorable Mention. Osborne played in twelves games and finished with 12 total tackles.
Evans returns after earning Honorable Mention last season. So the question is - is there a first-team All Big Ten player coming up the ranks? If I had to guess the general mood of Husker fans, most of us would say no (although Evans, honestly, could have a shot). The last two games of the season left didn't have anyone feeling good about the defense.
Still, there's a fair amount of experience returning, especially at corner. Green has started 22 games, 12 of 13 in 2012. Josh Mitchell - played in every game but one in 2012, gaining eight starts at corner. Jean-Baptiste played in every game in 2012 and started five. Evans has 20 starts over the past three years. Charles Jackson didn't earn a start, but saw significant amount of playing time. Seisay played in 12 games.
Rose sat out last season after transferring from Auburn where he had earned playing time as a true freshman. Expecting that he gains a starting role when he's competing for one of the deepest positions on the team might be a bit much.
Cooper and Harvey Jackson have the most experience at safety. Harvey Jackson played in 13 games last season, starting one, while Cooper played in all 14 games, starting three.
Despite how the season ended, Nebraska had one of the better pass defenses in the nation last season. There's plenty of experience and talent returning - enough that Husker fans shouldn't worry about the secondary. If only there were this much depth and talent on the defensive line.....