All year round, former Husker and NFL veteran Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In the "Carriker Chronicles" video series, he breaks down the latest NU news, upcoming opponents, player updates and recruiting information, and he offers his insight into the X's and O's and more.
On Monday's episode, Adam Carriker breaks down the Nebraska defensive line, and previews who's returning and who's new to the team.
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Check out a full transcript below:
Welcome to the Carriker Chronicles, the people's show, where we check the pulse of Husker Nation, brought to you by Nebraska Spine Hospital.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Super Bowl just happened. National signing day is this Wednesday. It ain't quite what it used to be. But here's the thing. I feel there's still a lot of Husker football to talk about.
All right, so what's the biggest thing that the Nebraska defense needs to address? The pass rush. I've been saying it for years — feels like decades, borderline centuries. The freaking pass rush — for the sake of just talking about something different when I talked about the biggest thing that Nebraska defense needs to address — I'm going to briefly say I think the pass rush will be better next year. We've got Caleb Tannor, Garrett Nelson, JoJo Domann (he had a freaking position named after him — the sinko back in certain nickel type situations — he can get after the quarterback) and a freshman Blaise Gunnerson, and whether he ends up contributing this year as a young guy or not. I just think Blaise is a great name.
But for the sake of doing something different, I'm going to talk more in depth about the pass rush and the pass rushers at a later date. Today, I'm going to talk about the most important position on the entire football team, the most important position under God's hot sun. The defensive line, in my very humble and unbiased opinion.
Now we've got a lot of guys who left last year. Some major experience left this defensive line. So we need some new guys, some fresh faces, some young guys, some guys who have some experience, but now it's their turn to step up and be a starter on the defensive line. So I'm going to go through a bunch of names here in no particular order, and then I'll come back and name some of the guys that I think need to step up. But any of these guys have the potential to step up, and we need some people to surprise us this year on the D line, especially in this 3-4 defense you got to have beasts on that defensive line, all right.
Keem Green, six foot five, 215 pounds junior. Now he redshirted last year. He's one of the top juco defensive lineman in the country when he signed with the Huskers year ago.
Damian Jackson, Navy SEAL, bad-a mofo right there. All right, six-two, 275 pounds junior. Now he never played football before, but I've been to a couple of practices. And at the end of the practice when Scott Frost is done talking to team, he always goes, "Hey Damian, you got anything else you want to add?" I've never seen him ask anyone else. That has to mean something.
All right, Mosai Newsom. Now he's just a redshirt freshman, but young guys can make a difference, too. Six foot four, 285 pounds, a young guy with potential. Let's see how he develops and how quickly he does or does not develop.
Tate Wildeman, Six foot five, 290 pounds, a sophomore. Coming out of high school: four star, number two rated recruit in the entire state of Colorado. Still a young guy, but he's got some potential as well. We got some of these guys that just need to develop and get there. How quickly can they do it?
Damion Daniels. Got experience. All right, six foot three, 340 pounds junior. Now I'm gonna be honest with you. His freshman year, he was a little bit out of shape. Last year, he looked much more in shape. He helped. He contributed. He got playing time and experience. And this year, I think he can be a major contributor potentially on the defensive line.
Ben Stille, he's six foot five, 295 pounds, going to be a senior. This is his time. I mean, he was the freshman All-Big Ten team. He was on that freshman All-Big Ten team. He has the potential. It is his time now to shine. I'm a big fan of Ben Stille. I always have been. This is his year in my very humble opinion.
Deontre Thomas, six foot three, 295 pounds. Now as a freshman, he played a lot as a nose guard, which was a surprise. And then the next year (Scott Frost's first year) he kind of disappeared. And last year, he got put in the fold a little bit more. Now this is the time where he could really start to emerge.
All right, next up, we've got Ty Robinson. Now this guy is going to be redshirting. He's going to be a freshman, six foot five, 315 pounds. A young guy but very highly recruited. highly touted big upside.
All right now, guys coming in in this recruiting class. You got Marquis Black, six foot four, 290 pounds. These are obviously going to be freshmen. Nash Hutmacher, six foot five, 300 pounds. The guy's freaking nickname is polar bear that's just cool right there. Now here's something else I thought was interesting. He was the nation's No. 1 high school heavyweight wrestler. No. 1 rated in the entire freaking country in wrestling at the heavyweight division, three time state champion. He won 124 consecutive matches think about that and had a winning streak of 124 consecutive matches. He had 32 straight pins. He was a four-time All-American as well. Hopefully, that translates to the football field.
Last but certainly not least, we got the junior college ranks. All right guys coming in this year. You don't bring in junior college guys unless you need immediate contributors. So you got Pheldarius Payne, six foot three, 275 pounds and Jordon Riley, six foot six, 290 pounds coming in this year.
Now here's the deal. Here's some of the guys that stick out to me. All right, you look at Damien Daniels. I spoke about his experience. You look at Ben Stille. This should be his year. Deontre Thomas. To me, he's back in the fold. All right, you look at some of these other guys who could potentially step up. Junior college guys, older guys. That's why you bring them in. Keem Green who I spoke about earlier. Pheldarius Payne, Jordon Riley and Ty Robinson, who is a freshman.
Now let's not forget about the walk-ons. If we want the walk-ons to be the backbone of this program, we need guys to surprise us. All right, there's going to be guys who get banged up. There's going to be guys — I'm just going to be honest with you — who disappoint. All right, that's just the way it is. A lot of guys who came into my class. One guys said, "I make the weight room bleed." Never played a freaking down. I won't say his name. But here's the deal. We need guys to step up. We need guys to surprise us. All right, and I believe that's going to happen. A lot of talent, just got to see that potential come to fruition.
Go Big Red, and always remember to throw the bones!
Thanks again to the Nebraska Spine Hospital. Ladies and gentlemen, when it’s your spine, you do not want to mess around. Experience matters. That’s why you can trust the experts at Nebraska Spine Hospital, the region's only spine specific hospital. They are the best at what they do.