Nebraska Football: Five Huskers Ready For Breakout Spring Performances

Brandon Cavanaugh

The NFL combine's almost wrapped up, the draft's in the distance and while March Madness serves as a distraction, college football fans are starting to feel some heavy withdrawal.

For fans of the Huskers, good news comes in the form of two words: spring practice. It begins this Saturday and will conclude with the Red-White Spring Game on April 6. Assuming Bo Pelini doesn't invoke the power of Thor again, that is.

The entire roster has a chance to make an impression on the coaching staff, but the following five players' may very well carry over into the fall.

5. S D.J. Singleton - In the interest of not repeating myself, I'll direct your attention to yesterday's mailbag.

4. LB Trevor Roach - With Will Compton gone, the Huskers are going to need some beef in the middle of the linebacking corps. Roach has played impressively in backup situations over the past two seasons.

While he'll have to battle Michael Rose, Max Pirman and potentially Thomas Brown, the opportunity to solidify his chance for a starting role is there for the taking.

3. TE Jake Long - There's no more Ben Cotton or Kyler Reed which puts the spotlight squarely on Long. Once Greg Hart and Cethan Carter get on campus, they'll likely push him for playing time, but the Elkhorn, NE native has been in the system for four years now. It's time to produce.

2. DT Vincent Valentine - Heading into another season where depth at defensive tackle is an issue, Valentine may be a blessing for Bo Pelini's front four. The 6'3" 320-pound beast had a whole year to study his eventual duties thanks to a redshirt year.

He may be young, but he showed flashes of FBS-level ability at the high school level. Look for that to translate over as soon as this March/April.

1. QB Tommy Armstrong - Seems like a cop out answer, but let's be logical here. If Taylor Martinez goes down and you get to make the call on who goes in to replace him, who would you pick?

Before you point to Ron Kellogg III, I will remind you that while he is a tough young man with fantastic character, his knees are essentially filled with marshmallow fluff.

We both know that there needs to be a quarterback under center/in the pistol and/or shotgun that can run all aspects of Tim Beck's system properly. No. 4 is that guy.

Armstrong may not have seen the field last season, but he'll wind up being Nebraska's unofficial No. 2 by the time spring ball is done. That's not a bad thing, either.

You can expect him to not only give Husker fans hope for the future, but excitement about it.

Which Huskers do you see making a name for themselves this spring?

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