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As we have started this journey here at College GameTime, one team, in particular, has won me over as a fan.
The Nebraska Cornhuskers.
With a national brand, strong alumni base, and some of the most loyal but respectable fans, you can’t help but want to root for the red and white.
Unfortunately, the Scott Frost experiment hasn’t garnered satisfying results, and after a 3-9 season, everyone has to be wondering if it’s time to move on from the prodigal son.
One could wonder whether this will be the most defining season of Frost’s career.
If he falls short of expectations, he may never get another Power 5 head coaching gig again.
With Spring Ball officially over, the Huskers are heading into summer.
Here are three headlines we should follow as we prepare for next season.
Mark Whipple Effect
There’s no doubt that this might be the most critical offseason hire.
After turning the former University of Pittsburgh QB Kenny Pickett from a late-round draft selection to possibly the first QB drafted in this month’s NFL Draft, everyone lauded Whipple.
His offense is electric, but most importantly, his ability to put his quarterbacks in significant positions to succeed makes him so valuable.
We saw a little bit of what he was trying to implement in the spring game but can his offensive players, primarily QB transfer Casey Thompson, entrench themselves in the playbook to be ready come fall camp?
If the offense is ready for the training wheels to come off in the fall, I’m willing to put the Big Ten on notice.
With Thompson’s skillset and Whipple’s genius, this could be a duo that will give defensive coordinators fits as they potentially could find themselves competing for the B1G West crown.
Which Transfer Stands Out?
I received a lot of hate from Husker Nation when I reported Texas A&M running back transfer Deondre Jackson wasn’t going to make it to Lincoln, but instead, another running back would.
You can check my video on it below.
That other running back is JUCO transfer Anthony Grant who has everyone in Lincoln excited for the year he could have.
After producing 1,730 yards and 18 touchdowns at New Mexico Military Institute, Grant has wowed in practice with his quick burst, shiftiness, and aggressive running style.
If he can carry the momentum from spring throughout the summer, we should expect him to be a big part of the offense in this upcoming season.
There are a lot of question marks on the offensive side of the ball, but defensive continuity should be a strength for the Cornhuskers this fall.
There are three names to watch: Garret Nelson, Jimari Butler, and Eteva Mauga-Clements.
Nelson is an athletic nightmare at 6’3 240lbs and can do everything from the outside linebacker spot.
Jimari Butler, though a freshman, flashed enormous potential in the Red & White game that showed everyone that he would be getting playing time this season.
If he continues to learn how to diversify his pass rush moves, he will have a great year coming off the edge.
Eteva Mauga-Clements is my dark horse for 2022.
A former safety until he switched to linebacker in Juco has a nose for getting to the quarterback.
The one thing preventing him from seeing extensive playing time was learning the defense in its entirety and not just being a one-trick pony.
After waiting his turn, it’s finally looking like everything is clicking.
After an impressive spring game that showed him wreaking havoc, this might finally be the year he puts it all together.
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