Nebraska Football: 5 Cornhuskers to Buy Stock in This Offseason

These Huskers are trending upward as the team enters the next phase of its offseason program

Unlike the raucous epicenter of Wall Street, buying stock in athletes is far less hectic and easier on the wallet. In the case of Scott Frost's second Nebraska team, there are plenty of bandwagons to jump on. If you haven't squeezed into the Adrian Martinez fan club yet, there's barely any room left. Wan'Dale Robinson already has some touting him as Frost's next most exhilarating offensive weapon. The Davis twins (Carlos and Khalil) and Darrion Daniels are making their marks as defensive bullies. However, none of them will be part of today's discussion.

 

Instead, we're looking at some players to back early so you might pat yourself on the back for being so talent-savvy later in the year. Here are five players to tout as summer conditioning gets underway and we begin the longest march of the year: the summer offseason trudge to fall camp.

 

Trent Hixson, OG

Identified as a sleeper to claim an interior spot along the offensive line coming into spring football, it appears Hixson is ready to do just that. Current projections have Matt Farniok remaining at his right tackle spot which means the right guard starting spot is wide open. Boe Wilson broke out as one of the most efficient offensive linemen of 2018. Now, he'll assist Brendan Jaimes in protecting Adrian Martinez's blind side. Hixson is the classic walk-on story that many a Nebraska fan loves and the scrappy sophomore looks to blossom much in the same fashion that Wilson did last year.

 

Austin Allen, TE

There's been a logjam behind Jack Stoll for a go-to secondary tight end with Allen and Kurt Rafdal battling for supremacy. Allen appears to be gaining separation both from linebackers and those gunning for Stoll's job. While Stoll is a more traditional Big Ten tight end, No. 11 could grow into one of the conference's easiest targets to connect with, if not a premiere red zone threat. Standing 6-foot-8, the lanky Nebraska native should be angling to be the most common tight ends thrown to this fall once August comes around.

 

Garrett Nelson, LB

The Huskers face a fair amount of uncertainty at the outside linebacker position head into next season. Fortunately, Nelson may prompt more playing time than a four-game redshirt season would allow. The official roster claims him to be 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds. Once you get a look at him, it's easy to believe the scale doesn't lie. A workout warrior and fierce tackler, Nelson is a linebacker born to play in the Big Ten. The rough and tumble kid from Scottsbluff, Nebraska will get his initiation to big-time college football in 2019, but don't be surprised if he dishes out just as much punishment as he takes.

 

Jackson Hannah, LB

Hannah gives linebackers coach Barrett Ruud the best kind of problem to have. While he projects as an interior linebacker in Erik Chinander's 3-4 defense, he has the talent to slip outside if need be. Unfortunately, depth is at a premium right now at every spot in the corps with Mohamed Barry being the only member whose starting role is written in Sharpie. There are other players who could assist Barry such as Collin Miller or Will Honas. However, with incoming freshman Nick Henrich on the shelf until at least later in the season due to injury, Hannah may be rushed into action. That said, he likely sees the field all the same.

 

Marquel Dismuke, S

The junior out of Calabasas, California, is hard to project as an underdog by any means. A likely starter opposite Deontai Williams as a safety, doubts about Dismuke's ability to be an enforcer are starting to vanish as quickly as a snap from Marvel's Infinity Gauntlet could provide. Williams carried the label of hard-hitting assassin into the offseason as he showed off his ability to pack a punch with his hits throughout 2018. Dismuke, on the other hand, has been honing his craft and appears ready to start adding his own licks right alongside Williams in 2019.

 

Bonus: Cameron Jurgens, C

If you're looking to finally hop on the Jurgens bandwagon, this appears to be the time. Despite being not only somewhat undersized but never having played an offensive line position before, Frost appears to be sticking with him at the starting center spot coming out of spring. The only thing that may stand in the way of his snapping to Adrian Martinez versus South Alabama is an injury. Specifically, Jurgens suffered some foot issues last season and has now put on a great deal of extra weight in order to throw down with Big Ten defensive linemen. Those are some heavy odds for any football player to overcome, let alone a redshirt freshman. However, he is a tremendous athlete, so feel free to go all in.

 

— Written by Brandon Cavanaugh, FWAA member and part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Be sure to follow him on Twitter (@eightlaces), and enjoy the Eight Laces podcast. To contact him, click here.

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