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10 Nebraska Cornhusker Freshmen Who Contributed in 2013

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10 Nebraska Cornhusker Freshmen Who Contributed in 2013

10 Nebraska Cornhusker Freshmen Who Contributed in 2013
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

As new Nebraska Cornhusker athletic director Shawn Eichorst eagerly awaited the 2013 football season, he was well aware he was replacing an iconic figure in the state of Nebraska as former head coach Tom Osborne had recently abdicated his position as athletic director to make way for the younger Eichorst. What Eichorst may not have been aware of was what was about to unfold in front of him. Luckily with the support of people like Osborne and school Canceler Harvey Pearlman Eichorst was able to weather the storm in his first season as athletic director. It seems as if for the time being Eichorst has passed that support onto the Head Coach of the premier athletic program at the University of Nebraska Bo Pelini.

The Husker program was tested in many ways throughout the 2013 football season. After an early season let-down loss at the hands of Jim Mora’s UCLA Bruins the Nebraska football program, its star football player, and its head football coach were thrust into the lime light.

Audio recordings of Coach Pelini from two years ago following a game against the Ohio State Buckeyes were released and the material on the recordings demonstrated some obvious disdain that Pelini had for some sports writers and even some Nebraska fans. The matter was resolved and fans choose to put their support behind their team and move forward.

In this same contest, the Huskers star quarterback, a fourth-year starter, Taylor Martinez began to show signs of a potentially season-ending injury. Fans would realize over the coming weeks that they may have seen the last of their one time Heisman hopeful quarterback under center. The injury to Martinez would not be the last one for the Huskers in 2013. The Huskers suffered numerous injuries to key contributors throughout the season, which forced underclassmen into action ahead of schedule. Here is a look at some of the standout freshmen on one of the Big 10's promising young teams.

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10. Jordan Westerkamp

Jordan Westerkamp
Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Westerkamp has already carved out a place in Husker history with his famous catch against Northwestern this season. It will be remembered alongside former Husker Matt Davidson’s amazing reception against Missouri years ago. Hopefully Westerkamp can go on to have as productive of a career as Davidson did in his time as a Husker.

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9. Terrell Newby

Terrell Newby
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Ameer Abdullah was a work horse for the Nebraska Cornhuskers offense at running back in 2013. He was arguably the best tailback in the Big 10 in 2013. Abdullah may be a high commodity when the NFL draft takes place. If he decides not to return to Lincoln, that would leave Imani Cross and the Freshman Newby left to carry the load for the Husker offense in 2013

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8. Tommy Armstrong

Tommy Armstrong
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It was a whirlwind year for the red shirt freshman from Texas. Armstrong most likely anticipated only seeing playing time in mop-up duty when senior Taylor Martinez was finished for the game. All of that changed early in the season when Martinez’s lingering injuries began to emerge as more serious than previously anticipated. Armstrong had a strong freshman campaign and the experience he received this year will be very helpful heading into 2014.

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7. Cethan Carter

Cethan Carter
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At 6-foot-4, 240-pounds, Carter has size to be an effective pass catcher and blocker from the tight end position. Husker offenses have effectively used the tight end in their passing game in recent history and Carter would be the type of playmaker whose hands Coach Pelini wants the ball in.

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6. Sam Foltz

Sam Foltz
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Sam Foltz is of course an unheralded football player, as he handles the Punting duties. Foltz does have a very important job with the Husker football team as their defense continues to develop it is always nice to be working with your opponents backs against the wall. Foltz will be looking to follow in the footsteps of great Huskers like Kyle Larson, Brett Maher and Sam Koch.

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5. Avery Moss

Avery Moss
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Avery Moss' skill set was made very apparent during 2013. Moss is big, fast and likes to get after the quarterback. Moss should have plenty of opportunities to chase down quarterbacks in coming years as a Blackshirt.

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4. Michael Rose

Michael Rose
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Rose is an athletic Linebacker who has an amazing future ahead of him. Rose may be a future leader for the Cornhuskers.

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3. Josh Banderas

Josh Banderas
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Like Rose, Banderas has a huge upside at the linebacker position. He was a key contributor as a freshman and even started in six games.

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2. Nathan Gerry

Nathan Gerry
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Gerry will be an interesting player to watch as he develops into his role as a Nebraska Cornhusker. Gerry was a standout high school all-around athlete from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Gerry won numerous state championships as a sprinter. Gerry is currently a linebacker for the Cornhuskers and seems to fit well in that role for now.

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1. Maliek Collins

Maliek Collins
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At 6-foot-2, 300-pounds, Collins has size to be a major run stuffer for the Blackshirt Defense. Time in the Huskers weight training program this offseason could turn him into a dominant force up front.