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Nebraska Football 2023 Spring Preview: The Defensive Line

NCAA Football: Oklahoma at Nebraska Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Position Coach: Terrance Knighton

Knighton has spent the past two seasons in the NFL coaching with Matt Rhule in Carolina. This will be the fifth straight season he has been coaching the defensive line. Knighton played seven seasons in the NFL.

Who Makes Up the Defensive Lineman Room?

#16 Elijah Jeudy - Sophomore from Philadelphia, PA

#55 Princewill Umanmielen - Freshman from Austin, TX

#72 Nash Hutmacher - Junior from Oacoma, SD

#80 Jacob Herbek - Junior from Grand Island, NE

#87 Brodie Tagaloa - Redshirt Freshman from Pittsburg, CA

#88 Ru’Quan Buckley - Sophomore from Wyoming, MI

#90 Stephon Wynn Jr. - Senior from Anderson, SC

#91 Cameron Lenhardt - Freshman from Staten Island, NY

#93 Kai Wallin - Sophomore from Sacramento, CA

#97 Blaise Gunnerson - Sophomore from Carroll, IA

#99 Ty Robinson - Junio from Gilbert, AZ

Who Will Be Joining At A Later Time?

Vincent Carroll-Jackson - Freshman from Harrisburg, PA

Sua Lefotu - Freshman from Bellflower, CA

Riley Van Poppel - Freshman from Argyle, TX

Thoughts on the Defensive Line for Spring Football

I’m holding out hope at this point.

The entire spring this group has been going without Blaise Gunnerson and Ty Robinson as they are out with injuries. Robinson is a sure fire starter with a ceiling of a future NFL draft pick. Gunnerson was coming on last season and he is poised to make a breakout this coming fall.

But they aren’t here for the spring and we have been hearing a lot of compliments about the offensive line. This is the same offensive line that had a rough season and the entire group returns and has the same position coach.

Could it be that the offensive line is having so much success because they are going up against this defensive line group? I have no idea, but I am interested in finding out.

The guys leading this group this spring are probably Nash Hutmacher and Stephon Wynn Jr. Hutmacher started two games last season and played in every single game. That is a good amount of experience coming back. We always say that he could lift a bunch of weight in the weight room but that didn’t start translating to the football field until last season.

Wynn Jr. had 22 total tackles last season, which was more than Hutmacher’s 15, so it is a good place to start.

What about the other guys? It is a lot of unproven talent as we look at Elijah Jeudy who is the transfer from Texas A&M. Ru’Quan Buckely’s name has been making the round but we haven’t seen him on the field yet. Kai Wallin comes to Nebraska through American River Community College. He was one of the top 40 junior college prospects in the country so maybe he can help hold the fort down as well.

With Robinson and Gunnerson out for the spring there will be ample opportunities for some of these kids to get some experience.