With spring ball in the rearview mirror, Nebraska rolls into the summer having answered some questions over the course of its 15 spring practices and with some still remaining.
The Journal Star is looking at each position to recap what's been learned, what hasn't and who stood out this spring.
Today, we turn our attention to the secondary and Nebraska's cornerback group.
Monday: Defensive line
Tuesday: Outside linebacker
Wednesday: Inside linebacker
Saturday: Defensive depth chart projection
What we learned
Quinton Newsome is a strong contender for the starting job opposite Cam Taylor-Britt. Newsome, a Georgia native, pulled ahead of Braxton Clark and other candidates for the spot with a solid spring. He’s played a lot for Nebraska already in his career — 18 games played, including special teams work in all of them and defensive snaps in 12 over his first two seasons — but a starting assignment would be a big step forward for him.
What we didn’t
Instead of learning more about the two-deep, we might come out of spring ball knowing less. Clark is the No. 3 at this point, but youngsters Marques Buford and Tamon Lynum missed most (all, in Buford’s case) of spring ball with injuries, and Nadab Joseph didn’t play in the Red-White Spring Game due to an injury.
Easy. Taylor-Britt has ascended into a face-of-the-program type player and perhaps the best player on the roster. The second-team All-Big Ten cornerback in 2020 is NU’s best candidate for All-America-type honors in some time. Offensive coordinator Matt Lubick put it simply in a video detailing Taylor-Britt’s spring: “It’s a challenge to complete a pass on that guy.”
Newsome’s the easy pick here. It’s also good to see Clark back healthy after missing all of 2020 with a shoulder injury. At 6-foot-4 and 200-plus pounds with starting experience, he’s going to factor in some way, somehow for the Huskers this fall.
Summer to-do list
Cornerback might be the safest bet when it comes to where Nebraska will look this summer for help in the transfer portal. So that’s certainly something to keep an eye on. A young guy might be ideal, considering this is Taylor-Britt’s last season barring something unforeseen. Then, it’s about getting Lynum, Buford and Joseph healthy and adding Malik Williams to the group this summer.
— Parker Gabriel
What did we learn from the Huskers' spring? What about the things we still need to find out? Plus, a look at "stock-risers" and more.