Scott Frost and the Husker coaching staff released the first depth chart of the season. There aren’t a ton of surprises but some interesting things to take away nonetheless.
Offensive Depth Chart
2019 Offensive Depth Chart - Game 1
|WR||10 JD Spielman 5-9 180 Jr. Eden Prairie, Minn.|
|4 Jaevon McQuitty 6-0 200 So. Columbia, Mo.|
|-OR- 8 Jaron Woodyard 5-11 185 Sr. Gaithersburg, Md.|
|LT||76 Brenden Jaimes 6-6 300 Jr. Austin, Texas|
|73 Broc Bando 6-5 310 So. Lincoln, Neb.|
|LG||75 Trent Hixson 6-4 310 So. Omaha, Neb.|
|50 John Raridon 6-4 315 Jr. West Des Moines, Iowa|
|C||51 Cameron Jurgens 6-3 285 RFr. Beatrice, Neb.|
|68 Will Farniok 6-3 295 RFr. Sioux Falls, S.D.|
|RG||56 Boe Wilson 6-3 300 Jr. Lee’s Summit, Mo.|
|70 Matt Sichterman 6-4 315 So. Cincinnati, Ohio|
|RT||71 Matt Farniok 6-6 335 Jr. Sioux Falls, S.D.|
|54 Bryce Benhart 6-9 295 Fr. Lakeville, Minn.|
|TE||86 Jack Stoll 6-4 260 Jr. Lone Tree, Colo.|
|-OR- 11 Austin Allen 6-8 250 So. Aurora, Neb.|
|82 Kurt Rafdal 6-7 245 So. Carmel, Ind.|
|WR||9 Kanawai Noa 6-0 200 Sr. Honolulu, Hawaii|
|-OR- 19 Mike Williams 5-10 180 Sr. Lake City, Fla.|
|13 Darien Chase 6-1 200 Fr. Vancouver, Wash.|
|WR||1 Wan'Dale Robinson 5-10 190 Fr. Frankfort, Ky.|
|22 Miles Jones 5-8 175 RFr. Miramar, Fla.|
|-OR- 81 Kade Warner 6-1 210 So. Scottsdale, Ariz.|
|QB||2 Adrian Martinez 6-2 225 So. Fresno, Calif.|
|16 Noah Vedral 6-1 200 So. Wahoo, Neb.|
|7 Luke McCaffrey 6-2 200 Fr. Highlands Ranch, Colo.|
|RB||26 Dedrick Mills 5-11 220 Jr. Waycross, Ga.|
|-OR- 28 Maurice Washington 6-1 190 So. Stockton, Calif.|
|37 Wyatt Mazour 5-9 200 Sr. Albion, Neb.|
|-OR- 6 Rahmir Johnson 5-10 180 Fr. Oradell, N.J.|
Battle for QB2
Noah Vedral is listed as the backup QB to Adrian Martinez with Luke McCaffrey as QB3. I think most of us expected the coaching staff to do this as Vedral has their trust and a redshirt year for McCaffrey makes a lot of sense looking toward the future. Luke is the presumptive QBOTF (quarterback of the future) when Husker Nation reaches “Life after Adrian”.
Of course, with all the high-profile quarterback transfers we’ve seen recently, guessing who your team’s quarterback will be two or three seasons from now can be a futile exercise. Fortunately for us, McCaffrey showed up on campus knowing he was likely to sit behind the freshman All-American Martinez. That seems to bode well for some continuity in Mario Verduzco’s room.
Dedrick Mills and Maurice Washington are separated by an “OR”. This seems to indicate that Washington will be available this weekend. It could be a precaution in case he isn’t. Regardless, this is a classic thunder and lightning combination and both will get plenty of touches. Wyatt Mazour and Rahmir Johnson sharing the RB3, to me, appears to be your second team thunder and lightning combo.
No surprises here either. Broc Bando appears to have slid into the backup left tackle spot after Christian Gaylord’s season-ending knee injury. In reality, I wonder if Matt Farniok would slide over to the left if Brenden Jaimes suffered some kind of injury. Then again, it isn’t as easy as it sounds to switch sides. True freshman Bryce Benhart is listed as the backup at right tackle.
Cameron Jurgens and Will Farniok are the #1 and #2 centers. Jurgens’ foot injuries that limited him through spring and until the very end of fall camp are still a concern for me, but we’ve heard enough good things about Farniok for me to feel okay about the talent - just unsure of experience and durability at this spot.
The recent news that walk-on Trent Hixson was given a scholarship foretold his ascension to the starting LG spot with the RG spot seemingly locked down by Boe Wilson early.
Jack Stoll and Austin Allen are separated by an “OR”. I expect Stoll to start, but coaches have mentioned multiple times that Allen and Kurt Rafdal have closed the gap on him. After a spring with a lot of shoutouts, Katerian Legrone wasn’t able to make a move onto the depth chart but he seems like the likely TE4 and may see time if he is on special teams or if the game plan calls for a lot of two tight end sets.
JD Spielman and Wan’Dale Robinson seemed likely to snag starting spots with grad transfer Kanawai Noa getting constant praise from the coaches. Noa and Mike Williams being separated by and “OR” indicates Williams really did step up in practice like we’ve been hearing. Javeon McQuitty or Jaron Woodyard are listed behind Spielman with freshman Darien Chase behind Noa/Williams. Redshirt freshman Miles Jones is separated from Kade Warner by an “OR” behind Wan’Dale.
Missing - Redshirt freshman Andre Hunt had gotten a lot of shoutouts in spring ball but isn’t on depth chart. True freshman Demariyon Houston and Jamie Nance also appear to be buried behind the more experienced players for now.
Defensive Depth Chart
Defensive Depth Chart 2019 Week 1
|DE||96 Carlos Davis 6-2 320 Sr. Blue Springs, Mo.|
|97 Deontre Thomas 6-3 295 So. Mustang, Okla.|
|NG||79 Darrion Daniels 6-4 340 Sr. Dallas, Texas|
|93 Damion Daniels 6-3 340 So. Dallas, Texas|
|DE||94 Khalil Davis 6-2 315 Sr. Blue Springs, Mo.|
|95 Ben Stille 6-5 295 Jr. Ashland, Neb.|
|OLB||22 Alex Davis 6-5 250 Sr. Riviera Beach, Fla.|
|43 Tyrin Ferguson 6-2 230 Sr. New Orleans, La.|
|-OR- 44 Garrett Nelson 6-3 260 Fr. Scottsbluff, Neb.|
|ILB||31 Collin Miller 6-3 245 Jr. Fishers, Ind.|
|-OR- 3 Will Honas 6-1 225 Jr. Wichita, Kan.|
|ILB||7 Mohamed Barry 6-1 245 Sr. Grayson, Ga.|
|53 Joseph Johnson 6-3 240 RFr. Gretna, Neb.|
|OLB||1 Caleb Tannor 6-2 220 So. Stone Mountain, Ga.|
|-OR- 13 JoJo Domann 6-1 235 Jr. Colorado Springs, Colo.|
|CB||21 Lamar Jackson 6-3 215 Sr. Elk Grove, Calif.|
|-OR- 5 Cam Taylor 6-0 215 So. Montgomery, Ala.|
|2 Tony Butler 6-2 220 Jr. Lakewood, Ohio|
|S||19 Marquel Dismuke 6-2 215 Jr. Compton, Calif.|
|49 Isaiah Stalbird 6-0 210 RFr. Kearney, Neb.|
|30 Eli Sullivan 6-2 215 Jr. Longmont, Colo.|
|S||8 Deontai Williams 6-1 205 Jr. Jacksonville, Fla.|
|6 Eric Lee Jr. 6-0 215 Sr. Milton, Mass.|
|36 Reid Karel 6-3 215 Sr. Seward, Neb.|
|CB||23 Dicaprio Bootle 5-10 195 Jr. Miami, Fla.|
|11 Braxton Clark 6-4 210 RFr. Orlando, Fla.|
|-OR- 12 Quinton Newsome 6-2 180 Fr. Suwanee, Ga.|
The Davis twins are the starting bookends around the Daniels brothers with Darrion (as expected) the #1 nose guard and Damion backing him up. Deontre Thomas and Ben Stille are the reserve ends. Juco transfer Jahkeem Green made it to fall camp in the final week, so he isn’t on the depth chart...yet.
We’ve been hearing about the rise of Alex Davis on the outside and that is backed up by his presence on the chart as one of the starting OLB. Caleb Tannor OR JoJo Domann will be starting at the other spot. JoJo has been dealing with injuries which delayed his arrival to fall camp. Tyrin Ferguson OR true freshman (and Nebraska native) Garrett Nelson will back up Davis. Those are all the names we’ve been hearing through fall camp, so no surprises there.
At inside linebacker Mohamed Barry will be running with Collin Miller OR Will Honas. In other words, still no clarity on that second spot. What is surprising is that Joseph Johnson (a redshirt freshman from Nebraska) is listed as Barry’s backup. Fellow Nebraskan Luke Reimer had been getting a lot of attention in fall camp, so that is a bit of a surprise.
There are 11 safeties listed on the Huskers roster and six of them are on the depth chart. The big surprise is that true freshmen Myles Farmer and Noa Pola-Gates are not among those names. Instead juniors Marquel Dismuke and Deontai Williams will start redshirt freshman and Nebraska native Isaiah Stalbird and Eric Lee, Jr. listed as the backups. Eli Sullivan and Reid Karl (a senior from Seward, NE) are on the third team.
I’m not sure what to make of that, but it appears the highly touted freshman recruits have some work to do.
Dicaprio Bootle will start at one spot with Lamar Jackson OR sophomore Cam Taylor at the other side. Tony Butler is listed behind Jackson/Taylor.
Bootle’s backups will be either redshirt freshman Braxton Clark or true freshman Quiton Newsome. The freshman, Javin Wright (tallest corner on the team at 6’3”) received a lot of media interest through fall camp but isn’t on the depth chart for now. Ethan Cox was another player (sophomore from Blair, NE) that received some mentions in spring ball and was part of the fall camp roster, so he might be one to watch for special teams time?
Senior Isaac Armstrong appears to have held onto his position as starting punter after a battle in fall camp with Will Przystup (redshirt freshman). If the coaching staff has two more scholarships to give, Armstrong seems to be a likely candidate for one of those after he took over mid-season for Caleb Lightbourn in 2018 and went on to have an excellent season (ranking in the top 10 in school history for net average).
No surprise that sophomore Barret Pickering will still be doing the kickering.
Senior Chase Urbach is listed as the starting long snapper with former Navy SEAL (cue the camera shots and patriotic music) and redshirt freshman Damian Jackson as the backup.
Returning kicks will be Maurice Washington OR Wan’Dale Robinson with Rahmir Johnson and Miles Jones listed at 3 and 4 respectively.
Punt returner is JD Spielman (not sure I want to see him back there taking those hits) with Cam Taylor his backup and Wan’Dale Robsinson or Kanaway Noa as the third option.
More News and Notes
Scott Frost spoke to the media and the Blackshirts were handed out. There are conflicting tweets about how many were given out, but here’s what I could piece together. It looks like the starters (and the “OR”s) all received them along with Ben Stille.
Each position group is separated by an extra space.
The Blackshirts have been handed out.@coach_frost decided to make it a really special honor this year.— Nebraska On BTN (@NebraskaOnBTN) August 26, 2019
"We got on the phone and got some of the Blackshirts in the vicinity to come to practice today." pic.twitter.com/UPcdPT0yPO
Part of former Blackshirt Jay Foreman's message to today's Blackshirts: He has it in his will to have his Blackshirt buried with him. #Huskers— Brian Rosenthal (@GBRosenthal) August 26, 2019
Others ex-Huskers included in the Blackshirt reveal today included Marc Munford, Tony Veland, Zack Bowman and Keyuo Craver.— Mitch Sherman (@mitchsherman) August 26, 2019
Frost said Dedrick Mills has surprised him how quickly he’s adapted.— Steven M. Sipple (@HuskerExtraSip) August 26, 2019
“Probably has better breakaway speed than I expected and he’s hard to bring down,” Frost says.
No decision on Maurice Washington's status for Saturday's game yet, Frost says. Says several people will sit down this week and decide. #Huskers— Brian Christopherson (@Husker247BC) August 26, 2019
Frost says #Huskers didn't expect to maybe have Cam Jurgens until a couple weeks to the season, but when he got out there he showed he was ready. Said it's possible there be a "pitch count" for Jurgens on Saturday.— Brian Christopherson (@Husker247BC) August 26, 2019
Wan'Dale Robinson made a lot of waves early in camp but was slowed for part of August. He shouldn't be overlooked, according to Frost, and is a rare true freshman Week 1 starter. "He’s one of the kids we have who just understands football, understands space," the coach said.— Mitch Sherman (@mitchsherman) August 26, 2019