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Nebraska Spring Football Preview: Defensive Line

Not a lot of news out of this group.

NCAA Football: Nebraska at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

I mean what exactly do we know about the defensive line? Do we know what we are going to get? Is there any unknowns to get excited about?

I am not so sure.

Position Coach: Tony Tuioti

Coach Tuioti has been an impressive hire by Coach Frost. One of the most important facets of his hire is that it should be easier to make inroads into the Polynesian community where they produce really good football players.

This will be Coach Tuioti’s third season at Nebraska and the defensive line play has improved with each season.

Unfortunately, it has not improved to the point that we can depend on our defensive linemen to generate a pass rush by themselves. That is what we are missing from the defense at Nebraska

The Players

  • #50 - Jailen Weaver - 6’8”, 320 pounds - Freshman from Antioch, CA
  • #52 - Mosai Newsom - 6’4”, 285 pounds - Redshirt Freshman from Waverly, Iowa
  • #55 - Chris Walker - 6’6”, 300 pounds - Junior from Lincoln, NE
  • #63 - Ru’Quan Buckley - 6’5”, 280 pounds - Freshman from Wyoming, MI
  • #71 - Maddox Burton - 6’4”, 285 pounds - Freshman from Lincoln, NE
  • #72 - Nash Hutmacher - 6’5”, 330 pounds - Freshman from Oacoma, SD
  • #73 - Baylor Brannen - 6’4”, 260 pounds - Freshman from Omaha, NE
  • #80 - Jacob Herbek - 6’5”, 260 pounds - Redshirt Freshman from Grand Island, NE
  • #82 - Colton Feist - 6’2”, 280 pounds - Sophomore from Yutan, NE
  • #87 - Jordan Riley - 6’6”, 330 pounds - Junior from New Bern, NC
  • #89 - Jamin Graham - 6’4”, 245 pounds, Redshirt Freshman from Attalia, AL
  • #92 - Tate Wildeman - 6’5”, 290 pounds, Sophomore from Parker, CO
  • #93 - Damion Daniels - 6’3”, 335 pounds, Junior from Dallas, TX
  • #95 - Ben Stille - 6’5”, 295 pounds, Senior from Ashland, NE
  • #96 - Marquis Black - 6’4”, 310 pounds, Freshman from McDonough, GA
  • #97 - Deontre Thomas - 6’3”, 295 pounds, Junior from Mustang, OK
  • #98 - Casey Rogers - 6’4”, 300 pounds, Sophomore from Syracuse, NY
  • #99 - Ty Robinson - 6’6”, 310 pounds, Redshirt Freshman from Gilbert, AZ

Expected Contributors

Ty Robinson, Casey Rogers, Deontre Thomas, Ben Stille, and Damion Daniels

Them da dudes for 2021.

I suggest buying stock in Casey Rogers. You know what a 6’4”, 300 person should look like? Extremely overweight. When I saw Rogers in 2020, I had to do a double-take.

Me: “Who the frick is this guy?”

Facts: “Casey Rogers.”

Me: “Is he related to Mr. Rogers?”

Facts: “Unknown. Cannot verify.”

Me: “He looks like he could rip the bark off of a mature cottonwood.”

Facts: “Hyperbole.”

Me: “No. It is true.”

To be completely honest I’m not sure how much there is to actually say about this defensive line group. With the exception of Keem Green, the entire group comes back from last season. So there is an additional year to get bigger, stronger, faster and more experienced.

I think Coach Frost and the staff have done a good job of getting bigger on the defensive line. Ty Robinson could break out and become a star this season. Ben Stille could get all-conference mentions if not more. Damion Daniels is a large human being that has gotten better every single season and Deontre Thomas is ready to take on a more consistent role.

It is nice to have a good crop of guys in the “well” to go to for this coaching staff. A couple more would be ideal but this is as deep of a group that Frost and company have had since they have been here.

Up and Coming?

Tate Wildeman, Jordan Riley, Colton Feist, Nash Hutmacher and Mosai Newsom

I think we will start finding out if Nash Hutmacher is just really good at lifting weights or if he can also be a really good Power Five football player. Tate Wildeman and Jordan Riley are probably the next two up.

Colton Feist is a walk-on from Yutan that I used to have to coach against in basketball and I’m glad that’s over. He has been mentioned a couple times by the coaching staff. Same goes for Mosai Newsom but he probably still needs to get a bigger.