Nebraska Football: 5 Underrated Cornhuskers for 2019

Don't be surprised if Collin Miller ends up being a key contributor on defense this fall

It seems as if big-time college football coaches would own membership cards to every local wholesale retailer they can find. While it's still unverified whether Nebraska's Scott Frost is a frequent Costco customer, he and his colleagues do love a good value. Several such gems reside on the Cornhuskers' roster.

 

These five Huskers may get more respect than Rodney Dangerfield ever did, but it's still not enough:

 

Noah Vedral, QB

Considering Vedral is competing for the backup spot behind Adrian Martinez, It's easy to look past Vedral to Luke McCaffrey considering his pedigree. The temptation to nudge Vedral out of the conversation is even greater if you're a fan of college football recruiting as the Huskers have one of this class' best committed in Logan Smothers. Try as you might to distance Vedral from the rest of the pack, Nebraska's coaching staff is having none of it.

 

While no one will immediately mistake Vedral for Martinez, both Frost and quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco have stood by Vedral despite his critics. The latter told the Lincoln Journal-Star that the word "smooth" was an apt descriptor for the sophomore. "That was exactly my impression of him when I saw Noah as a high school player and my impression of him when he first started getting into the groove with us at UCF. Things appear effortless for him."

 

Trent Hixson, OL

Nebraska fans know Brendan Jaimes, Matt Farniok and Boe Wilson well, but it's time to be introduced to Hixson. A sophomore walk-on from Omaha, he appears to have the inside track on claiming the right guard spot vacated by Wilson. The two offer a similar size and a mauling playing style that lineman aficionados will eat up.

 

AJ Forbes, OL

Depending on how the Cameron Jurgens experiment goes at center, Forbes may be a household name among Huskers fans by midseason. If the spring football star can't handle the load either mentally or physically, Forbes has the physicality and proper command to control the big men in front of Adrian Martinez. Keep in mind his body doesn't have to adjust to a great deal of weight like Jurgens' considering Forbes is 6-foot-4 and 290 pounds. He also has the edge on experience with offensive line coach Greg Austin.

 

Collin Miller, ILB

Miller's is a case not unlike Hixson and Forbes. He and Will Honas will battle to determine who starts next to Mohamed Barry and while Honas was extremely coveted as a recruit, he's struggled with injuries since making it to Lincoln. Meanwhile, Miller has kept his head down and put in work both on special teams and occasionally filling in at linebacker. Honas' career is not over, but Miller’s stock is trending far better.

 

Marquel Dismuke, S

A few years ago, Nebraska brought in several recruits from Calabasas, California, including Tristan Gebbia, Keyshawn Johnson Jr., Tyjon Lindsey, and Dismuke. Fans saw the "Calibraska" movement die off as all but Dismuke have left the team. Several fans have been waiting to find out how Dismuke's story as a Husker will end. Another transfer, perhaps?

 

Far from it. In fact, he's ready to take over one of the starting safety positions. Now a junior, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound defensive back likely teams with junior Deontai Williams, which provides coordinator Erik Chinander a reliable, physical tandem to assist in what will hopefully be a defensive rebound by the Big Red in 2019.

 

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

 

(Top photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications, courtesy of www.huskers.com)

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