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Nebraska Football Position Breakdown: Offensive Line

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Just in time for spring practice!

Jon Johnston

Nebraska fans love their offensive linemen more than any other fan base in the nation. While it seems like the recent units haven’t been that good, last year’s offensive line did well enough to get Devine Ozigbo 1,000 yards rushing, becoming the first back since Ameer Abdullah in 2014 to do so. They were good enough for Stanley Morgan to become Nebraska’s first receiver with a 1,000 yards in a single season.

Unfortunately, they weren’t good enough to get to a bowl game.

Gone:

Cole Conrad, Tanner Farmer, Jerald Foster

Conrad started the first four games at center last season. He suffered an injury after which Farmer took over and started every game at center for the rest of the season. The departing trio take a lot of experience with them as Farmer had 30 starts, Foster 28, and Conrad 16.

Returning:

Below are the returning players from last year’s depth chart. There is some decent experience. Brenden Jaimes has 21 starts, Matt Farniok, 15, so the starting tackle positions are set. It’s a matter of finding who else will be in the rotation.

Boe Wilson has 9 starts at guard. Hixson played in four games last season, as did Sichterman. Raridon saw action in three games. Senior Christian Gaylord played in 10 games.

LT - Brenden Jaimes, Christian Gaylord

LG - John Raridon

C - Both Farmer and Conrad are gone.

RG - Boe Wilson, Trent Hixson

RT - Matt Farniok, Matt Sichterman

If I had to guess, I’d project Will Farniok as this year’s starting center. Redshirt freshman Cameron Jurgens is listed as a tight end on the roster, but was moved to interior offensive line last fall. He is very inexperienced, but there’s been plenty of raving about his potential.

Others:

Redshirt Freshmen: Broc Bando, AJ Forbes, Collin Shefke, Mitchell Balenger

Sophomore: Hunter Miller

Junior: Brian Perez

Senior: Nick Virka

Newcomers:

Bryce Benhart

Benhart was the big “get” as an offensive line recruit. Rated a four-star, and at 6’9”, 305 pounds, you might think he’d be ready to play as a true freshman. I hope we see him get more time in strength and conditioning, but keep in mind you can play in up to four games and retain a redshirt.

Jimmy Fritzsche

Nebraska won out over Clemson to get this guy. At 6’7”, 255 pounds, he’ll need to spend some time in the program before he sees the field.

Matthew Anderson

Here’s what our recruiting guru had to say about this dude:

Anderson’s offer list is not exemplary. Mostly, there are regional offers due to his weight, such as Louisiana-Monroe and McNeese State. Additionally, he has only been playing football for a year. The staff evaluated his frame and playing style and decided there was lots of potential.

Michael Lynn

More from our recruiting guy:

A product of Cherry Creek, a school in Englewood (Denver suburb), Lynn had offers from several westerns programs such Arizona, Arizona State, Utah, UCLA, and Okie State. Washington State and UCLA had been making headway until he made an unofficial visit to Lincoln in early June.

Walk-Ons:

Eli Richter, Noah Stafursky

Summary

Much was made last year about the lack of strength across the football team. Now these guys have had a full year of strength and conditioning under Zach Duval. The schedule isn’t nearly as brutal. It’d be nice to get Nebraska back into position to win some awards, like an Outland, a Rimington, or even some of the Big Ten awards.

Nebraska hasn’t done a bad job recruiting in recent years. Where they’ve been lacking is in player development. Now we’ll get to see what Greg Austin can do.