The Nebraska Cornhuskers coaching staff has not been spending that valuable time home with their families during this holiday season. Sure, they were able to see their families, whom surely appreciated the time they got to be at home, and likewise the coaching staff surely appreciated the amazing food and warm beds their families provided for them. But the stay at home was short, as coaches needed to continue recruiting, as well as preparing for the Cornhuskers’ looming New Year’s Day matchup against the Georgia Bulldogs in the Florida at the Gator Bowl.
As the staff was out on the road, the task at hand must have been extremely daunting as they pondered all of the pieces their offense could be missing next season. Also following an injury- laden season like the 2013 football season, the Husker coaching staff most likely had a very difficult time putting the thought of immediate impact out of their heads. Injuries make the value of a depth chart substantially more significant.
As the recruiting cycle is put to rest for a week or two before once again being amped back up, a perfect opportunity to assess what the youngest Husker offensive skill positions could look like presents itself.
At quarterback, it looks like offensive coordinator Tim Beck and coach Joe Ganz will be working with a prospect from the state of Florida. The Huskers have had success with that position from the sunshine state. Legendary quarterback Tommy Frazier was a product of Florida. The new young man is Zack Darlington, is a 6-foot-3, 200 pounder who has proven that he can get it done on the ground or through the air. Of course, with each bright spot, one can often find a chink in the armor, and with Darlington, it is his struggles with concussions. However, this is something that Darlington and his family say is behind them and is no longer an issue.
Lining up behind Darlington could potentially be another running back from the state of Texas. Both current running back Adam Taylor and a predecessor Rex Burkhead were products of the Lone star State. The new prospect at running back is Larenzo Stewart. He may be small of stature, standing only 5-foot-6 and weighing in at 170 pounds, but his physical limitations did not prove to be limiting factors on his production as a running back in high school. Even if size was a limitation, speed more than makes up for it. Stewart blazed his way to a fifth place finish in the 100 meter dash in the state meet in the largest class in Texas.
Finally, if Darlington is given the opportunity to be the gunslinger for the Huskers, his targets seem to be a very promising bunch; they include Monte Harrison, who may be the best all round prospect. Harrison stands at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, and has excellent hands. If Harrison is not the top receiver of the bunch, then without a doubt it is Robert Lockhart, who had originally been a University of Miami recruit. Lockhart has recovered from an ACL injury and claims to have always been a fan of the Huskers; he is very eager to begin his career in Lincoln. The Huskers also have two more pass catchers in their recruiting class this season in Demornay Pierson-El and large tight end Freedom Akinmoladun.
Overall, the future looks bright for the skill positions at Nebraska. One thing seems to be a theme, the Huskers are looking for speed on offense.