Nebraska's opener against South Alabama is still a month away but we've reached an important milestone during the offseason trek as fall camp begins for the Cornhuskers on Friday. Before the pads pop and we determine who carries the Huskers' 2019 hopes onto the field, here are a handful of things you should watch for over the next few weeks:
1. Maurice Washington's carries
At Big Ten Media Days, Frost addressed one of the biggest questions for Nebraska this offseason in Washington's status.
"I don't think camp's going to be an issue," Frost said. "He's already been doing some with spring ball and working out with our team. So I don't think any decision would have to be made because of his legal issues being unresolved until the first game."
The sophomore's next court date is Sept. 3 while Nebraska begins their season on Aug.31.
Regardless of what happens with No. 28, the Huskers don't have a definitive second back to spell him as they did with Devine Ozigbo last year. The prevailing thought is junior college transfer Dedrick Mills picks up that role. If Mills is close to his reported 5-foot-11, 220-pound frame, he gives Nebraska the steak that Ozigbo provided along with some of Washington's sizzle.
Also, keep an eye out for true freshman Rahmir Johnson getting snaps at the position. There'll be a Wan'Dale Robinson sighting or two, of course.
2. Adrian Martinez's targets
There's a guessing game as to who will step up alongside JD Spielman now that Stanley Morgan Jr. is gone. California transfer Kanawai Noa has been impressing early on since his arrival in Lincoln.
Andre Hunt looked like a possible breakout player in 2018, but he never made the leap. However, he appears poised to take the next step in 2019 with a notable spring according to offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Troy Walters.
If any Nebraska fans are still looking at Kade Warner as a novelty because of his lineage, it's time to acknowledge he's a steal as a walk-on. While he wasn't a frequent target last season, he made clutch catches and is a superb blocker, a trait Walters holds in high regard.
Other names such as Jaevon McQuitty and Miles Jones will work to get touches while true freshmen Jamie Nance, Demaryion Houston, and Darien Chase all scramble for a place at the table. The aforementioned Robinson gets an obvious mention as he'll be utilized all over the field including at the slot receiver spot.
3. Movement along the offensive line
Brendan Jaimes and Matt Farniok have the left and right tackle spots locked down, respectively. Aside from those two, several names have been shuffled to the front, but it appears no one's place has been written in sharpie elsewhere, especially at center.
There's no reason to think Boe Wilson loses a starting guard spot after being so productive last year. That said, Frost and offensive line coach Greg Austin have a greater need to move offensive linemen around than most staffs considering the offense's tempo. Trent Hixson still looks to offer a swing guard option along with Wilson.
Finding a center to gel with Martinez likely isn't a problem that can be solved in fall camp or even one game. Look for this to be a several game project. Cameron Jurgens' name is still prominent for that role, though Austin has brought up his health as a potential sticking point. Will Farniok and AJ Forbes appear to be gunning for the starting gig as well.
Don't make hasty decisions about which lineup looks to protect Martinez and pave the way once fall camp concludes. It took a while to figure that out in 2018. A similar timetable in 2019 again wouldn't surprise.
4. Alex Davis' development
Davis reaching his true potential has been an "any day now" scenario. Fans have waited but nothing's materialized. At his reported size (6-5, 250), if he can lock down gaps and pursue like a proper 3-4 outside linebacker, he has the size to be dominant.
However, frequent talk of mental lapses and appearing on roller skates at times has several questioning if he'll see much time during his final year as a Husker. Fortunately, he'll finally have the same defensive coordinator for the second year in a row during his career.
5. Cam Taylor's whereabouts
Taylor's defensive versatility may be unmatched by any other potential Blackshirt. An athlete with the ability to play cornerback, safety or nickel, defensive coordinator Erik Chinander may create a new household name in Taylor's by the end of the season.
On a July 16 Husker Sports radio program broadcast, defensive backs coach Travis Fisher said of Taylor, "You don't know where you're going to put him. He's making plays all over the field. His leadership in the [defensive backs] room, is a standout leadership. He's a born leader. He's an alpha male. He's tough, he'll strike you, he's a 'yes, sir', 'no, sir' guy. He's everything you want in the room."