Even with no spring practice there are still some Huskers whose stock appears to be on the rise
While financial stock markets can be unstable in general, there are several factors that determine success or failure over the short term. Not unlike this, we see numerous members of the Nebraska Cornhuskers' 2020 roster that might help make or break the team's third season under Scott Frost.
If you're looking to jump on a bandwagon â — or at least try to shove your way to the front of one â — you could do far worse than snagging a seat on any of the following.
Luke McCaffrey, QB
This would be a quality selection, as McCaffrey could potentially see time at multiple positions. Quarterback Adrian Martinez hasn't played an entire season yet and was significantly hampered during the 2019 campaign with numerous injuries.
While McCaffrey might find himself as the starting signal-caller for one reason or another, he's versatile enough to contribute in another role such as a member of the wide receiver corps. Frost clearly wants him on the field in some capacity.
Dedrick Mills, RB
Mills came on hot towards the end of '19 and looks to continue that momentum heading into 2020. He'll get an intriguing test right out of the gate as Nebraska faces former Huskers defensive coordinator Bob Diaco, now with the Purdue Boilermakers.
It's encouraging that Mills was able to have his most productive day last season against Wisconsin. The Badgers are known for fielding a physical, unyielding defense, yet Mills averaged more than 11 yards per carry. He finished with 745 rushing yards in '19, and with what looks to be an improved offensive line supporting him, he probably bests that mark.
Sevion Morrison, RB
While Mills is no doubt the bell cow for Nebraska’s rushing attack, he can’t handle every carry. The running back room has an intriguing mix. But it’s hard to argue that Morrison doesn’t have the skills necessary to provide Frost with a change-up to Mills’s powerful style.
Mills walks a fine line between power back and speedster, but Morrison can burn up the turf at an incredible rate. Having the returning starter punish defensive fronts before the true freshman finds lanes of his own only sets the table for further success on the ground and opens up the Big Red’s passing attack.
Travis Vokolek, TE
It's been a minute since Vokolek has actually seen live game action after starting his college career at Rutgers. But he does provide an alternative to Jack Stoll, who hasn't set the world on fire in two seasons under Frost.
Considering this offense functions best with an effective tight end, Stoll might get the initial nod, but Vokolek offers similar size (6-6, 250 vs. 6-4, 260) and isn't a stranger to Big Ten physicality.
Frost may opt for a try out of the Missouri native during Nebraska's non-conference slate, especially depending on Stoll's performance versus Purdue, Central Michigan, and South Dakota State.
Bryce Benhart, OT
The probable new starter at right tackle has all the tools necessary to be effective, if not dominant. He can also be properly groomed to take over for left tackle Brenden Jaimes following his departure following this season.
Don't be surprised if Nebraska sees a substantial uptick in protection from Benhart's side due to his work, in addition to Matt Farniok moving to guard. This forces defensive coordinators to challenge the redshirt freshman straight up and he appears up to the task.
Damion Daniels, DL
A year removed from backing up his big brother Darrion, Damion Daniels is prepared to make his own mark by anchoring the middle of Nebraska's defensive line. Keep in mind he does have some substantially-sized shoes to fill.
Not only will he be relied upon to gobble up double teams, but he'll also have to provide ample time for brand-new edge rushers to break down the pocket and give a revamped linebacking corps the opportunity to finish the job. Daniels certainly has the size (6-3, 340) to do an admirable job.
Ty Robinson, DL
Robinson is a crown jewel of Frost's 2019 recruiting class and one of the aforementioned potential edge rushers. This is a player so coveted by Nebraska's head man that the entire coaching staff visited him during his recruitment.
Even though he's only a redshirt freshman, Robinson has the stature (6-6, 315) to be effective across the entire schedule Nebraska faces. While he will no doubt struggle at times due to his lack of experience, no one can argue his upside.
Husker fans are understandably wary of hype, but Robinson has the tools to become a major factor for defensive coordinator Erik Chinander.
Garrett Nelson, LB
The sophomore from Scottsbluff, Nebraska, is arguably one of the most physical defenders the Huskers have not named JoJo Domann. That's considerably impressive when you take into account that Domann will be playing his final season in Lincoln.
Even if Nelson is not named a starter opposite Domann at outside linebacker, Big Red backers can expect to see a great deal of him this season after contributing in 11 games as a true freshman.
Eteva Mauga-Clements, LB
Right now, the only interior linebacker who probably has a starting role locked down is Collin Miller. Will Honas and Luke Reimer both have valid claims to line up next to him. However, Mauga-Clements matches their size and isn't light on experience, having moved up from the junior college ranks.
Much like the tight end battle between Jack Stoll and Travis Vokolek, we may see one of the more established names begin the season opposite Miller. Mauga-Clements should get plenty of chances to make his impact felt early on, especially if someone ahead of him on the depth chart makes numerous errors early.
Myles Farmer, S
Farmer has athleticism that suggests the need for his presence on the field even if Marquel Dismuke and Deontai Williams are healthy and getting the job done. It doesn't hurt that the secondary boasts the most experience across the defensive board and will be instrumental in aiding Chinander from the get-go.
Nebraska also doesn't have the luxury of easing any Blackshirts into the season, considering a potentially troublesome first few games. Seeing Chinander take advantage of a stacked secondary room probably sticks Farmer front and center early during the Big Red's opener versus whatever weaponry the Boilermakers offer and beyond.