Question marks are surrounding the Nebraska Cornhuskers on both sides of the ball, but one spot that could make a huge impact on their season will be if and how the incoming transfers and freshmen handle their roles on the field. Everyone knows the Huskers lost a playmaker on each level of the defense this off-season, but the Huskers have a lot of work to do.
The biggest question mark on this defense will be the linebacking position. Many will say it would be the secondary, but many Huskers saw time at the positions, and the Huskers have a few highly rated players coming in to the secondary. Much can be said about the linebacking core for the Huskers, but make no mistake, Lavonte David was the leader of this defense.
With David now gone, there are a few questions surrounding the central defense of the Huskers. Will Compton, Sean Fisher, and Alonzo Whaley have already been talking about how they are ready to step up and take on the leadership void left by David, but what about everyone else? The Huskers have a big group coming in to make an impact.
Michael Rose in the most heralded of this group. His combination of athletic ability, speed, skill, and knowing where he should be and getting there resulted in big plays for Rockhurst High School in Kansas City. Many are already billing him as the next Lavonte David before he has even stepped on campus. Time will tell, but don’t be surprised if Rose makes his way onto the field this season.
Zaire Anderson perhaps has the most likely chance to make the field. He is following in the footsteps of David by going through junior college before coming to Nebraska, but that also gives him an advantage on the other newcomers. He knows what it is like to play football at the next level, and should be able to pick up the defensive scheme quickly.
Jared Afalava is going to be a key contributor for the Huskers, but I don’t think it will be this season. However, don’t forget his name. Next fall, after a redshirt year, Afalava could be starting after Fisher, Compton, and Whaley all graduate. A new wave of Huskers will be starting next year, but many will be looking to make an impact now to be better prepared next season.