Star power versus depth. Which would you rather have on your team? Last year, the Nebraska Cornhuskers had star power on their team, but had little experience in B1G 10 football. This year, they have lost that star-power in favor of depth and experience.
The Huskers lose Jared Crick, Lavonte David, and Alfonzo Dennard from a talented but inexperienced group. This year, they replace those three with not just three individuals, but rather a collection of players who have spent another year learning the system and will compete fiercely for the starting role.
To be fair, the only one of those stars last year who played consistently and anywhere near their potential was David. Crick was injured for most of the season, and Dennard was hurt for the first few games and played somewhat inconsistently when he came back.
Starting on the defensive line, Cameron Meredith, Chase Rome, Baker Steinkuhler, Jason Ankrah, and others who had a lot of playing time last season will be much improved over last year. At times they were thinking too much instead of reacting and going.
At the linebacker position, this unit may be better overall but will lack a player of David’s caliber. Will Compton and Sean Fisher, plus whoever starts at the other position (Michael Rose? Alonzo Whaley?) will all be better than last year. Inconsistency and injuries plagued this unit outside of David. While the Huskers will miss David, they should be better.
At cornerback, Andrew Green started to play really well as the season wore on. The Huskers secondary could become very physical this year with Green teamed with Mohammed Seisay. While Seisay lacks knowledge of the playbook, his instincts and skill will be something that will remind fans of the great cornerbacks to come through Nebraska the past few years.
So while this team may not have nationwide recognition, this should be better than last year. Their tackling should be better; the big play should be limited because they understand the defense better; basically, all the little miscues that added up last year should be taken care of.
So as we close in on the season, which would you rather have? National recognition of a few players, or under the radar guys that overall are better?