After a strong showing by Devine Ozigbo and Maurice Washington during Frost’s first season, Nebraska has really struggled (outside of a few Dedrick Mills games) to match that production. Enter Markese Stepp who comes to Nebraska from USC where he spent three years but only played in a total of 11 games. In my latest Scouting Perspective article I took a look at three of Stepp’s games to get an understanding of what he’ll bring to this Nebraska offense along with a look at his NFL projection.
Where He Wins
At his best Stepp is a between the tackles power runner who is going to make strong decisive cuts. Stepp shows good contact balance that allows him to bounce off body shots and run through arm tackles. His size and lower body strength allows him to get tough yards and help move the chains. Through his games against Notre Dame, UCLA and Oregon, Stepp showed the ability to put a foot down and get upfield in zone runs, but also the stop and start ability to navigate through traffic.
Fit in the Offense
At USC Stepp was utilized as the power back and would often be brought in on short yard and goal line situations. With Nebraska moving towards a more power rushing attack that should suit Stepp well as he could be looked upon to be the between the tackles runner as a part of a committee. The problem is Stepp missed out on Spring drills while Jaquez Yant emerged as a power runner. Fall camp should be interesting to see how Stepp compares to the Huskers young and inexperienced backs. If you are looking for Stepp to save the run game, you’ll be disappointed. But that being said, he has a chance to give Nebraska something they haven’t had in a long time.
If we look ahead to Stepp’s NFL future it doesn’t look great at this point. Stepp lacks the good traits needed to be drafted. He’s got talent but he lacks good lateral quickness, explosiveness or speed. Stepp is a grinder and a role player in college but there are too many other backs that have the skill set. But with a few remaining years of eligibility he has a chance to prove that narrative wrong.