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Nebraska Football Spring Preview: Wide Receivers

Who ends up starting on day one? Your guess is as good as mine.

Minnesota v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

Full of potential and promise.

Short on guarantees.

That is how I view the wide receiving position room going into spring football.

The leading returning pass catcher in terms of total catches is Levi Falck with 13 catches. The leading returning pass catcher in terms of total yards is Zavier Betts who had 121 yards on 12 catches all of last season.

Not ideal. There is no Kool-Aid to be found in this preview article.

If football teams were built on potential and promise then Nebraska would likely be in a different position in regards to national relevance than they find themselves to be going into Scott Frost’s fourth season.

It is clear that Scott Frost has made size at the wide receiving position to be a priority over the past couple of years. That is why the potential (because we really don’t have a clue who is going to show up right?) starters going into spring are Zavier Betts (6’2”), Omar Manning (6’4”) and Samori Toure (6’3”).

Add that with Austin Allen being a sly 7’3”*, then that should only help Adrian Martinez when he’s throwing the ball in 2021.

After those three potential starters the guys to keep and eye on are Alante Brown (I’m a fan), Jamie Nance, Will Nixon, Wyatt Liewer, Chris Hickman, Levi Falck, and Oliver Martin.

In terms of potential (fifth time I’ve used that word) the ceilings of Alante Brown, Will Nixon and Oliver Martin appear to be the highest. They were extremely high on Will Nixon last season until his season was ended with an injury. Alante Brown has been sitting behind Wan’Dale Robinson and I think has an opportunity to break out. Oliver Martin was a former highly rated recruit that just reported a 40-inch vertical. Martin started toward the end of the season so he was making progress.

It is arguable that we don’t need to use the word potential for what we should expect from Samori Toure. It isn’t every day that you get a transfer from a 1st, 2nd and 3rd team FCS All-American, depending on the publication. He set a Montana single-season records in receiving yards (1,495) and receptions (82) in 2019.

I believe that Zavier Betts will end up being a special player for Nebraska by the time he is done here. Hopefully, he shows us that type of player in 2021 as he should get a ton of snaps.

Then there is the complete unknown in Omar Manning. Coach Frost said that if he shows up every day that he is so athletic and talented that it will take care of itself. He could be a future pro, potentially (eighth time).

If Omar Manning ends up being the player we expected then all bets are off. Unfortunately, we know that nothing is guaranteed.

*Austin Allen is only 6’8”

Random Thought: Could Wan’Dale Robinson have been the Teddy Allen of Nebraska football?

This is not an attempt to make anybody feel better about Wan’Dale Robinson transferring to Kentucky. I am just wondering if he was being force fed to a certain degree and if that took away from the offense as a whole?

Members of the Wide Receiver Room

  • #3 Jamie Nance - Redshirt Freshman, Blanchard, Oklahoma - 6’0”, 180 pounds
  • #4 Alante Brown - Freshman, Chicago, Illinois - 5’11”, 190 pounds
  • #5 Omar Manning - Junior, Lancaster, Texas - 6’4”, 225 pounds
  • #10 Demariyon Houston - Redshirt Freshman, Oklahoma City, OK - 6’0” 180 pounds
  • #12 Will Nixon - Freshman, Waco, Texas - 5’11” 185 pounds
  • #15 Zavier Betts - Freshman, Bellevue, Nebraska Nice - 6’2” 200 pounds
  • #17 Ty Hahn - Freshman, Johnson, Nebraska Nice - 6’2” 195 pounds
  • #19 Barron Miles Jr - Freshman, Montréal, Quebec, Canada - 6’0” 170 pounds
  • #29 Bennett Folkers - Sophomore, Gothenburg, Nebraska Nice - 6’2” 205 pounds
  • #30 Brody Belt - Sophomore, Omaha, Nebraska Nice - 5’8” 185 pounds
  • #41 Elliott Brown - Freshman, Omaha, Nebraska Nice - 6’1” 180 pounds
  • #42 Broc Douglass - Freshman, Grand Island, Nebraska Nice - 6’0” 160 pounds
  • #47 Austin Jablonski - Redshirt Freshman, Lincoln, Nebraska Nice - 6’2” 215 pounds
  • #84 Matthias Algarin - Freshman, Pierz, Minnesota - 6’0” 170 pounds
  • #85 Wyatt Liewer - Sophomore, O’Neill, Nebraska Nice- 6’3” 195 pounds
  • #87 Chris Hickman - Redshirt Freshman, Omaha, Nebraska Nice - 6’6” 215 pounds
  • #88 Levi Falck - Senior, Circle Pines, Minnesota - 6’2” 205 pounds
  • #89 Oliver Martin - Junior, Coralville, Iowa - 6’1” 200 pounds
  • Alex Bullock - Freshman, Omaha, Nebraska Nice - 6’2 190 pounds
  • Kamonte Grimes - Freshman, Naples, Florida - 6’3” 200 pounds
  • Shawn Hardy II - Freshman, Kingsland, Georgia - 6’3” 190 pounds
  • Latrell Neville - Freshman, Fresno, Texas - 6’4” 195 pounds
  • Taveon Thompson - Freshman, Lincoln, Nebraska Nice - 6’4” 200 pounds
  • Samori Toure - Senior, Portland, Oregon - 6’3” 190 pounds