In a press release from the Nebraska Cornhuskers, head coach Bo Pelini made public the season-long suspension of safety LeRoy Alexander, who was the leading candidate to play alongside Corey Cooper in the secondary. Alexander’s suspension hurts a defense that already featured one of the more questionable secondaries in the Big 10. Now the Cornhuskers have to look elsewhere to continue patching things up.
Alexander wasn’t a standout contributor last season as a redshirt freshman; he made one start on the year and tallied 34 tackles and an interception. He especially came on strong down the stretch of last season and had an impressive spring. He launched himself into what looked like a starting role in place of Andrew Green, who expired his eligibility after last year.
It looked like the hole at safety will be filled by Nathan Gerry, who converted from linebacker this offseason when Cooper went down with an injury. Naturally, depth becomes a serious issue for Nebraska’s secondary. It was actually an issue before Alexander’s suspension, but now it’s begging for attention.
Redshirt freshman D.J. Singleton and true freshman Kieron Williams look to be backups at safety. They have both put together a solid first week of fall practice, but it’s difficult to trust unproven youth in these scenarios. Drake Martinez, who would be coming in as a redshirt freshman, opted to transfer this offseason.
Alexander probably wasn’t going to be a special play-maker for Nebraska in the secondary, but he was a sure fit, and that’s something the Cornhuskers really need right now. Uncertainty in the defense is making this season more of a questionable campaign as Nebraska tries taking advantage of an overall weak Big 10 West Division.
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