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NCAA Football Big 10 FootballNebraska Cornhuskers

Nebraska Football: Key Players and Newcomers for 2013

Bo Pelini Nebraska Cornhuskers

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

The Nebraska Cornhuskers finished 2012 at 10-4, which most teams would be considered a good season; but when you look at what could have been for the Nebraska football team, it is somewhat disappointing.

A loss in the conference championship game followed by a bowl loss wasn’t in the plans for the Nebraska football team, but they will look to redeem their season as they return a load of experience on offense and a bunch of young, talented players on defense looking to make a name for themselves.

In order for the Cornhuskers to make the jump and win the Big Ten conference, there are some players that will be crucial to their success on both sides of the ball.

On offense, one major key player will be quarterback Taylor Martinez. As obvious as that may sound, the entire season rests on his shoulders. He has shown great athleticism throughout his career and the ability to step up, but can he do it consistently? If he does, there aren’t many games that Nebraska will lose.

Another key player on offense to watch for will be wide receiver Quincy Enunwa. Kenny Bell is one of the top receivers in the conference and teams know that, so they are going to focus a lot of attention to Bell’s side of the field. This will give Enunwa many one-on-one match-ups and he needs to be prepared to exploit the defense and make big plays.

A key player on defense will be middle linebacker David Santos. The Cornhuskers’ defense returns very few starters, and although Santos wasn’t a starter in 2012, he was a key contributor in every single game. He needs to become the voice of the defense and make sure the team is in position on every play.

There are many key newcomers to watch for the Cornhuskers in 2013 as well. One to watch will be four-star junior college defensive end Randy Gregory, who has a chance to step in immediately and looks like he is capable of doing so. Another player to watch is freshman safety D.J. Singleton, who also has the chance to contribute early to a very inexperienced Cornhuskers secondary.

Erik Sargent is a college football writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Erik_Sargent, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.