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Nebraska Spring Football Previews: Offensive Line

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They could be pretty good.

Nebraska v Maryland Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images

Position Coach: Greg Austin

Breakdown By Class:

  • Senior: 0
  • Junior: 3
  • Sophomore: 3
  • Redshirt Freshmen: 8
  • Freshmen: 10

Egad! 18 of our 24 offensive linemen on the roster are freshmen!

Departed:

  • Matt Farniok - NFL bound
  • Will Farniok - transferred to Tulsa
  • Brendan Jaimes - NFL bound
  • Boe Wilson - transferred to Western Kentucky

Projected Starters:

  • Left Tackle: Turner Corcoran
  • Left Guard: Ethan Piper
  • Center: Cam Jurgens, ?
  • Right Guard: Trent Hixson, Broc Bando
  • Right Tackle: Bryce Benhart

Overview:

Let’s start with some stats from last season, the season from hell. Nebraska was 28th nationally in rushing offense, 37th in yards per carry, and 56th in rushing TDs. They were 47th in sacks allowed, like that one that cost us a shot at coming back in the Iowa game because a lineman couldn’t figure out if you can’t block a guy, you hold him at that point in the game rather than let your quarterback get hit and cough up the frickin’ ball.

That play describes last year’s line play fairly well. Line play wasn’t disastrous - these were the guys who held their own against Ohio State in the first game of the season, at least for a while - but it was madly inconsistent.

Inconsistency is part of youth. At first glance, this looks like a REALLY young offensive line, but because of “unpredecented times”, our projected starters have more playing time under their belts than you realize at first glance.

Cam Jurgens has started 19 games, 7 last season and all 12 in 2019. 2021 will be his fourth year with the program. Hixson started every game (12) at right guard in 2019. He’s in his fifth year. Benhart started every game (8) last season at right tackle. Piper started the last seven games at right guard last season. Corcoran started one game, against Rutgers, after Brendan Jaimes declared for the NFL.

If the roster can develop more this season, think about all of the eligibility they have in front of them. Granted, some may transfer as everybody does these days, but this is a pretty decent set of young building blocks we have on the offense.

The biggest question - who will backup Jurgens at center? Maybe Bando gets the start at guard with Hixson filling in as a backup as he has shown some versatility.

Ezra Miller and Nouredin Nouili are interesting walk-on guys. Nouili started seven games at Colorado State in 2019, then transferred to Lincoln. Miller is a four-star recruit that spent a year at Iowa before transferring to a better life at Nebraska. Both could play into the two-deep or perhaps even start this coming fall.

Brant Banks, Michael Lynn, Jimmy Fritzsche have been in the program for over a year. Banks played in a few games last season, while Lynn and Fritzsche did not. I don’t expect newcomers to contribute right away. It’s a cute thought, but a year of strength and conditioning is better.

Will Nebraska pick up some transfers in the fall? If they do, I wouldn’t expect them to play right away. Frost seems to take his time with everyone on the roster.

Nebraska has the makings of a pretty decent offensive line. They have decent experience, not a lot, and the key to having a decent season will be continuing to develop as the year goes on.

Jurgens has had his issues the past couple seasons. This season he should be the position group leader, and have enough experience to become the Big Ten center Scott Frost has projected him to be.

It’s gonna be fun, one way or another.

Full Roster

2021 Nebraska Offensive Line

NO. NAME POS. HT. WT. YEAR HOMETOWN / PREVIOUS SCHOOL
NO. NAME POS. HT. WT. YEAR HOMETOWN / PREVIOUS SCHOOL
51 Cameron Jurgens OL 6-3 290 So. Beatrice, Neb. / Beatrice
53 Riley Moses OL 6-2 315 R-Fr. Fairmont, Neb. / Fillmore Central
54 Bryce Benhart OL 6-9 330 R-Fr. Lakeville, Minn. / Lakeville North
57 Ethan Piper OL 6-4 300 R-Fr. Norfolk, Neb. / Norfolk Catholic
59 Ian Boerkircher OL 6-6 275 So. Aurora, Neb. / Aurora HS/Nebraska-Kearney
62 Noah Stafursky OL 6-3 340 R-Fr. York, Neb. / York
63 Nouredin Nouili OL 6-4 320 So. Frankfurt, Germany / Norris HS/Colorado State
66 Ezra Miller OL 6-6 325 R-Fr. Holstein, Iowa / Ridge View HS/Iowa
69 Turner Corcoran OL 6-6 300 Fr. Lawrence, Kan. / Free State
70 Matt Sichterman OL 6-4 315 Jr. Cincinnati, Ohio / Kings
71 Keegan Menning OL 6-4 330 Fr. Fremont, Neb. / Fremont
73 Broc Bando OL 6-5 315 Jr. Lincoln, Neb. / IMG Academy
74 Brant Banks OL 6-7 305 R-Fr. Houston, Texas / Westbury Christian
75 Trent Hixson OL 6-4 320 Jr. Omaha, Neb. / Skutt Catholic
77 Michael Lynn OL 6-6 290 R-Fr. Greenwood Village, Colo. / Cherry Hills
78 Jimmy Fritzsche OL 6-7 290 R-Fr. Greenville, S.C. / Greenville
79 Alex Conn OL 6-6 300 Fr. Derby, Kan. / Derby
Sam Hoskinson OL 6-0 245 Fr. Omaha, Neb. / Elkhorn South
Henry Lutovsky OL 6-6 320 Fr. Crawfordsville, Iowa / Mount Pleasant
Joey Mancino OL 6-3 300 Fr. Holmdel, N.J. / Holmdel
Teddy Prochazka OL 6-9 280 Fr. Elkhorn, Neb. / South
Weston Reiman OL 6-2 290 Fr. Weeping Water, Neb. / Weeping Water
Beau Schaller OL 6-2 265 Fr. Waukee, Iowa / Waukee
Branson Yager OL 6-8 330 Fr. Grantsville, Utah / Grantsville