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2013 Nebraska Football Season-Opening Depth Chart

The big question is who's the nickel back: Ciante Evans again, or Nathan Gerry?

Jamal Turner returning punts?  Yes, please!
Jamal Turner returning punts? Yes, please!
Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Bo Pelini has released a depth chart for the season opener against Wyoming.

By position:

QB: Taylor Martinez, Ron Kellogg or Tommy Armstrong Jr.

Kellogg being listed ahead of Armstrong in the "or" is a bit of a surprise. Perhaps some lingering issues with Armstrong's summer knee injury?

I-Back: Ameer Abdullah, Imani Cross, Terrell Newby, King Frazier or Adam Taylor

I understand why Taylor wanted to redshirt; save that year of eligibility.  I suspect if a rash of injuries were to emerge, Taylor probably would move ahead of Frazier, if the redshirt were to be burned.

Fullback: C.J. Zimmer or Andy Janovich

X Wide Receiver: Kenny Bell, Tyler Wullenwaber or Brandon Reilly or Alonzo Moore
Z Wide Receiver: Quincy Enunwa, Sam Burtch or Alonzo Moore
A Wide Receiver: Jamal Turner, Jordan Westerkamp

Interesting seeing Brandon Reilly and Sam Burtch listed here...especially ahead of Alonzo Moore.  Many people are surprised that Taariq Allen wasn't listed; he's still recovering from his knee injury last season.

Tight End: Jake Long, Cethan Carter, Trey Foster

I think we'll see a lot of Carter on Saturday; he's really taken advantage of the injuries to Long and Sam Cotton.

LT: Jeremiah Sirles or Brent Qvale, Matt Finnin
LG: Jake Cotton, Ryne Reeves
C: Cole Pensick or Mark Pelini
RG: Spencer Long, Mike Moudy
RT: Andrew Rodriguez, Zach Sterup

No surprises here either, other than Pensick won't be sliding over to guard apparently.  The coaches talk about the depth; I'd love to see Reeves, Moudy, and Sterup in the game in the second quarter...especially on a warm night.

DE: Jason Ankrah, Greg McMullen
DT: Thad Randle, Aaron Curry, Brodrick Nickens
DT: Vincent Valentine, Maliek Collins or Kevin Maurice
DE: Avery Moss or Randy Gregory, Donovan Vestal

I've been looking forward to Valentine since last fall, and I think the coaches are really excited about his potential.  Many fans misread the comments of the coaching staff this summer; Valentine has a very high ceiling, and they are talking about what it's going to take for him to get there.  No doubt the kid is going to play.  The only question is how good he can be. And some people may have misread all of the talk about Brodrick Nickens; he'll play, but he's there to help out with so many youngsters surrounding him.  Especially with Thad Randle's history with injuries.

BUCK: Jared Afalava, Nathan Gerry
MIKE: David Santos, Josh Banderas
WILL: Zaire Anderson, Michael Rose

No surprises here.  Look for Afalava to play on rushing downs, Gerry in passing situations.  My question is...does Afalava/Gerry leave the field in the nickel, or does Zaire Anderson?  I suspect that Gerry will be your dime back.

CB: Josh Mitchell or Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Daniel Davie
CB: Ciante Evans, Johnathan Rose or Mohammed Seisay

OK, there's our surprise.  This might be Bo trying to fit his nickel defense into a standard 4-3 defense.  Ciante will be on the field most of the time, I suspect.  But I think Jean-Baptiste will slide over when Ciante moves up to nickel.  Or maybe Gerry is the nickel back.  I think that's Gerry's ultimate position (i.e. the Peso), but I've been thinking 2014. Maybe the future is now?

S: Corey Cooper, LeRoy Alexander, D.J. Singleton
S: Harvey Jackson or Andrew Green, Charles Jackson, Wil Richards

I think Harvey Jackson will get the first start.  I'm sure some people are surprised that Charles Jackson is listed behind Harvey and Green.  He's still young.  I'm going to keep an eye on LeRoy Alexander tomorrow; he wouldn't have been on my depth chart a month ago.

K: Mauro Bondi or Pat Smith
P: Sam Foltz

Everything I've seen and heard, I think Bondi will kickoff.  Field goals and extra points is another matter entirely; I suspect that Smith will handle extra points.

Kickoff Returns: Kenny Bell and Terrell Newby
Punt Return: Jamal Turner, Terrell Newby

We've wanted to see Jamal Turner returning punts ever since that first spring game.  Now it's finally happening.  Now just catch the gol-dang ball!

Any surprises for you?