Coach: Barrett Ruud
Easily the best linebacker in the history that gets booed every time he made a big play for the defense.*
It would likely be nice to have an inside linebacker’s coach who is the all-time leading tackler in Nebraska history and also spent eight years in the NFL. He has coached up Mohamed Barry (my current favorite player) as well as Dedrick Young who both had career high tackles in a season.
Coach Ruud also does a lot of the recruiting in Nebraska for some obvious reasons.
*This reminds me of the joke I made on the Corn Nation twitter account during the Akron rain delay/suspension in which Suh walked across the field and I said that the fans were booing him. People obviously didn’t get the joke and I got killed. That was a new experience for me.
So Who Makes Up This Inside Linebackers Group?
- Jake Archer, 6’0” 215 lbs, Redshirt Freshman (#50)
- Anthony Banderas, 6’1” 225 lbs, Redshirt Freshman (#51)
- Mohamed Barry, 6’1” 230 lbs, Senior (#7)
- Chris Cassidy, 6’1” 225 lbs, Redshirt Freshman (#58)
- Jackson Hannah, 6’3” 225 lbs, Freshman (#10)
- Nick Henrich, 6’4 220 lbs, Freshman (#42)
- Will Honas, 6’1” 225 lbs, Junior (#3)
- Garrett Hustedt, 6’2” 230 lbs, Freshman (#39)
- Joseph Johnson, 6’3” 240 lbs, Redshirt Freshman (#53)
- Caden McCormack, 6’0”, 230 lbs, Freshman (#59)
- Collin Miller, 6’3” 245 lbs, Junior (#31)
- Luke Reimer, 6’1” 220 lbs, Freshman (#28)
- Garrett Snodgrass, 6’3” 225 lbs, Freshman (#41)
Expected Contributors for 2019
Mohamed Barry: Last year Barry was picked as third-team all-big ten by the media and was honorable-mention all-big ten by the coaches. Probably considered by most to be the vocal leader of the defense both on the field and in front of the media.
He also is not worried about upsetting teammates as he called out a few last season. Last season he compiled 112 tackles and played in all 12 games.
He is the only “sure thing” this coming season at the inside linebacker position.
Collin Miller: Hopefully Miller has finally found a home at the inside linebacker position. Unless Honas takes it from him, I expected Miller to be the other starter at inside linebacker for the upcoming 2019 season. In 2018, he played all twelve games including a lot of time on special teams. If he can progress with the mental side of the game, I think he has the physical tools to be a really good inside linebacker in 2019.
Will Honas: In 2018, the season appeared to be a series of games in which Honas was trying to catch up to the speed of the game. It appeared to my untrained eye that he was figuring it out in his fourth game of the season. Then he injured his knee and was out for the rest of the season.
He will contribute for the upcoming season and may even take the starting spot from Collin Miller.
Hopeful Contributors for 2019
Jackson Hannah: Hannah is one of the 10 freshman/redshirt freshman inside linebackers on the roster. There are three non-freshman/redshirt freshman inside linebackers. Even with all of those considers for top “freshman” status, it appears the front runner is Jackson Hannah, who is a true freshman from Nashville, Tennessee. Hannah had other offers from the likes of Alabama, Florida, and LSU.
Hopefully he is what we hope he is.
Nick Henrich: Kind of like Hannah, Henrich could be a contributor in his true freshman season. He has some injury history so we hope he can get healthy and the best situation might be a redshirt season for Henrich. However, the staff may not have a choice.
Joseph Johnson: Might be a long shot, but we have heard a couple rumblings that Johnson had made some inroads and after a reshirt freshman season he could be up to the task of contributing in 2019.
Outlook for 2019
The depth of this group is stark to say the least. The coaching staff should feel pretty good with the top three and just hope that they stay healthy. It would be ideal for all of the true freshman to get their four game redshirt but I have a feeling that will not happen.
The defensive line and secondary are relative strengths of this defense while the line backer corps would be the opposite.