clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2020 Nebraska Football Preview: Inside Linebackers

New, 9 comments

The big hitters on the inside are here

Nebraska v Purdue Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Check out the other position previews:


The Dearly Departed

One of my favorite Nebraska football players over the past decade graduated last year. I don’t believe he had as good of a year as was expected as far as quality of play on the field but I think we all can agree that he gave us everything he had. That man is Mohamed Barry. He was no invited to the NFL Combine, but maybe he will have a chance to find his way onto a roster somehow.

From everything I have heard he was one of the best leaders on the team and Nebraska will miss his leadership.

Barry lead the team with 89 tackles in 2019, which was a repeat of his junior year (the leading the team in tackles part). According to Huskers.com, he was the first husker to lead the team in tackles back-to-back seasons since Suh and Lavonte David.

That is pretty good company.

He finished his career with 245 tackles which is 15th on the Nebraska All-Time Tackle list.

You will be missed Mr. Barry.

Survived By

Position Coach: Barrett Rudd (#1 on the Nebraska All-Time Tackle List)

Seniors-To-Be: Will Honas, Collin Miller,

Juniors-To-Be: (NONE)

Sophomores-To-Be: Zach Schlager, Luke Reimer, Jake Archer, Joseph Johnson, Chris Cassidy,

Freshmen-Either-Again-Or-To-Be: Jackson Hannah, Garrett Hustedt, Nick Henrich, Caden McCormack, Braden Klover, and Grant Tagge

Angels from Heaven?

Keyshawn Greene and Eteva Mauga-Clements

The Viewing

So the two presumptive starters going to into this season are Will Honas and Collin Miller. They both have worlds of experience above and beyond anybody else on the roster when it comes to playing linebacker in the Big Ten or in Power Five Football.

It isn’t close.

So what do we have to look forward to? Well I still believe that Collin Miller could end up being a star at the linebacker position because of his explosiveness. Will Honas was coming on toward the end of the year in 2019 so I think we are pretty confident in the two top inside linebackers.

However, it would be nice to have some other contributors on that level of the defense. Who could that be? I would present to you five names.

Nick Henrich, Jackson Hannah, Luke Reimer, Keyshawn Greene and Eteva Mauga-Clements, and not in that order.

Some experts thought Jackson Hannah could have been an immediate contributor last year as a true freshman. It didn’t happen. In fact, I am not sure the coaches ever mentioned him. Nick Henrich was making inroads as far as health his true freshman year in 2019 and was close to getting some snaps at the end but it didn’t happen.

As everybody expected....not...Luke Reimer was the only one of the three 2019 true freshman inside linebackers to burn his redshirt. He spent a lot of time on the special team’s unit in 2019.

Joseph Johnson has been mentioned from time to time but we shall see on him.

Which brings us to the newcomers of note. Keyshawn Greene was considered by many as the steal of the 2020 recruiting class. He was wanted by a whole bunch of big time schools but we somehow pulled him out of Florida. He was wanted by Florida State, Florida and Miami.

People think he could contribute right away. But as I said, they said the same about Jackson Hannah last season.

Then we have Eteva Mauga-Clements. To me, he could either be great or a bust. There might be no middle ground. He comes in as a junior from the juco ranks and from everything I have heard and read he simply is a gamer. He wasn’t much of a football player and then all the sudden got bigger and stronger and something seemed to have clicked.

From the Huskers.com profile of Mauga-Clements:

He made 61 tackles with 23 tackles for loss and 7.0 sacks, leading the Vikings in all three categories, as he had four more sacks than any other player and 12 more TFLs. Mauga-Clements also forced one fumble and blocked two kicks. In his first year at Diablo Valley, Mauga-Clements recorded 21 tackles with 6.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. He totaled 82 tackles, 29.5 TFLs and 8.5 sacks in 18 career games at Diablo Valley. A native of American Samoa, Mauga-Clements joined the Vikings after playing his high school ball for College Park in Pleasant Hill, Calif.

Hugs All Around

Don’t worry. Everything will be fine.