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Return of the Big Red Roundtable - 2010 Spring Nebraska Football Edition

It's the rebirth of the Big Red Roundtable! That's where your favorite Nebraska Cornhuskers-based web sites all get together and answer the same set of questions.

This roundtable discussion for this edition surround 2010 Spring football. Participating sites are Big Red Network, Double Extra Point, and the new guys - Husker Hype. We'll post links to their answers as soon as we get them.

Here are the links to responses: 

Big Red Network - Double Extra Point - Husker Hype

Continue on after the jump for our answers on the Q&A, which was put together by Husker Hype.

- Who do you think will come out of Spring Practice as the Offensive and Defensive MVP?

Husker Mike: It's going to be interesting to see how this spins out, but spring is a time to uncover new players.  Most likely on offense IMHO is WR Brandon Kinnie, but watch out for QB Taylor Martinez.  On defense, I'm going to go with LB Eric Martin .

Jon Johnston: Defensive MVP - Prince Amukamara. I'm going to make it a personal goal to state his name at least 500 times before the end of 2010 because it's the coolest name ever or at least since that Ndamukong Suh guy was around.

Offensive MVP - Rex "Superman" Burkhead, because he can do everything. Run the ball, run the wildcat, throw the ball, hell, maybe we'll see him drop-kick at the spring game. Is that still worth two points?

Wait..... these guy are both known quantities. People love to pick out some dude who hasn't played and talk him up as if he's the next coming of Tommie Frazier or IM Hipp. In that case, I'll go with Mike's selection - Taylor Martinez. There's nothing like external optimism that comes out of spring.

On the defensive side of the ball, it'll be Jason Ankrah. Remember that guy's name.

- Nebraska appears to be switching to a spread-option style offense. How do you think this will effect quarterback and running back rotation and play?

HM: Well, they've been implementing parts of that for the last couple of years, and will continue to be multiple.  We won't know a lot about quarterback this spring without Zac Lee on the field.  I do think Dontrayevous Robinson will fulfill the Cody Glenn/Quentin Castille "big back" role, and we might even see him in some "two back" sets at fullback, especially if NU runs a little Wildcat.  Rex and Roy will probably alternate as the #1 back depending on who's fresh, who's hot, and who's not injured.

Jon Johnston: Spread-option? Is that it? I see us moving to more of a power running game. I mean, hell, we've got tight ends, backs, and linemen going into 2010 so why not? OTOH, Niles Paul and Brandon Kinnie look like pretty attractive choices at receiver, so maybe more of a spread passing offense.

BTW, if Shawn Watson can keep us in the dark about what he's going to do, what do you think he's doing to opponents? You think that look on their face is just because they're wondering how he got that great hair?

Oh, yeah, the question. Well, given that they're not wearing green jerseys this spring it would seem we're going to find out who can take a hit and keep on ticking and who can't. You'll see a lot more playing time for the younger quarterbacks against Western Kentucky and Idaho because they need to get on the field and let the coaches see what they can do.

- Who do you think the starting QB will be coming out of Spring Practice and do you feel that his spot is safe until Western Kentucky week?

HM:  Coming out of spring practice?  It will be Zac Lee...but we really won't know until the fall when he returns to practice at full speed.  This is an opportunity for Cody Green, LaTravis Washington, and yes, Taylor Martinez to play catch-up and show what they can do.

Jon Johnston: Zac Lee is a proven starter already, and I have to believe he'll be the starter come the real games. Kody Spano will come out of spring practice being talked up as the starter - if he doesn't suffer another injury. Hopefully his snake-bit days are behind him.

- Who will be the #1 Running Back coming out of Spring Practice? Some have questioned Roy Helu, Jr.'s durability and Rex Burkhead busted out on the scene showing he can do impressive amounts of damage himself.

HM:  Roy Helu will be #1.  That being said, Helu has proven to be somewhat fragile.  When he's healthy, he might be all-Big XII...but he won't be healthy all season.  Even when Helu is healthy, Rex Burkhead will probably carry the ball 10 times a game.

Jon Johnston: Agree with Mike, Helu will be #1, then Burkhead, then Robinson. I'm not sure why people have an obsession with being #1 or who's starting because you're going to see a lot of rotation between them, Helu healthy or not.

- Which defensive unit will look best coming out of spring ball and why?

HM:  The starters?  Oh wait, you wanted which part of the defense.  My instinct suggests that the defensive line will probably surprise.  We know how good Jared Crick was last season.  Cameron Meredith was very impressive last fall, and Pierre Allen improved quite a bit.  So all we're waiting for is to see if Baker Steinkuhler is ready to make an impact.  Instinctively, I think the secondary will be the strength of next season's defense, but they'll be playing so much base defense in the spring, we won't really see it.

Jon Johnston: The secondary. How could it not? Look at the secondary - you've got Amukamara, Alfonzo Dennard, Dejon Gomes, and Anthony West. Add to them Lance Thorell and Anthony Blue and you've got an incredible set of cornerbacks.

Replacing Larry Asante and Matt O'Hanlon at safety is a priority, but Eric Hagg is still around. Add P.J. Smith and you've got an incredible all-around unit.

- Ndamukong Suh, Phil Dillard and Larry Asante all are likely to be chosen during the draft. Does Matt O'Hanlon get picked up in one of the later rounds, go undrafted and sign as a free agent or another route not mentioned?

HM:  As much as I love O'Hanlon, I don't think he'll get drafted.  But he'll sign a free agent contract and work his tail off.  He'll probably miss the final cut, but will end up on someone's practice squad and hang on there.  In the end, I think he'll probably play somewhere on the active roster in 2011 or 2012.

Jon Johnston: I'll echo Mike's answer. I don't think O'Hanlon gets drafted, and it might work out better for him that he doesn't - he'd have more choice about where he can take his shot at making a roster.

- Now for the obvious question on everyone's mind: What does St. Louis do with the #1 pick?

HM: St. Louis doesn't need another defensive tackle right now, especially with Adam Carriker already in place.  So they'll trade down, and my bet is with Tampa Bay, for fear that someone else will trade up.  St. Louis will take Sam Bradford #3 and the Bucs will take Big Mister Suh with the #1 pick...  Suuuuuuuuuuuh & Ruuuuuuuuuuuuud, the NUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU connection.

Jon Johnston: I can see that happening because St. Louis could pick up some more draft picks in a trade, and they need to fill a lot of holes. The counter to that is - despite the fact that we're all Suh homers - can you think of another player that looked more like a sure thing than Suh? I can't. That's why they'll pick him.