Scott Frost's third season with the Nebraska Cornhuskers features a roster now largely comprised of hand-picked players. They have bought into his philosophies and can execute his on-field visions. Not only that, but Frost has some quality athletes occasionally being overshadowed. There's a handful worth noting that fit these criteria and demand attention, though they may find themselves fighting for it.
Rahmir Johnson, RB
Between Dedrick Mills and a promising crop of new recruits, it's easy for Johnson to get lost in the shuffle. To write him off completely wouldn't be wise, though.
He didn't see extensive time in 2019 with only 21 carries for 64 yards and a score, most of which came versus Maryland. However, he did show a quickness that compliments Mills' bruising style.
There's valid excitement surrounding Ronald Thompkins, Sevion Morrison, Marvin Scott III, and John Bivens. But don't sleep on the prospect of Johnson both providing relief for Mills and helping his newest teammates acclimate to Frost's scheme.
Demaryion Houston, WR
Another player eclipsed by both a current playmaker and the fruits of this past recruiting class, Houston has the potential to be a weapon sneaking under the radar for Frost's ever-evolving wideout corps.
Houston has a build (6-0, 180) similar to Wan'Dale Robinson, who looks to do most of his damage at Frost's hybrid Duck position. However, the idea of seeing Houston streak down the sidelines to aid Robinson, Omar Manning, and Zavier Betts isn't far-fetched.
The Oklahoma City native won three state 3A track titles as a senior in high school. Houston dominated both the 100- and 200-meter events with times of 10.72 and 21.67, respectively while also a member of the state champion 4x200-meter relay team. In a four- or five-wide set, he could easily catch the opposition by surprise. But with his athleticism, he won't be a secret to defensive coordinators for long.
Ethan Piper, OL
An in-state prospect from Norfolk, Nebraska, Piper is a dark horse to take over the starting left guard spot and settle in between Brenden Jaimes and Cameron Jurgens. With the other side of the offensive line seemingly already penciled in, Piper has the size and strength to hold his own. He also has the versatility to work as an effective swing player if the injury bug hits Nebraska's starting right guard or tackle.
Jimari Butler, OLB
JoJo Domann, Garrett Nelson, and Blaise Gunnerson already get loads of love. But there's a pressing need for position coach Mike Dawson to refit a group of outside linebackers that have been struggling for some time now. Butler's opportunity to shine should be as significant as anyone's.
The removal of non-conference games might handicap Butler in terms of getting early experience. Just the same, he has the talent to hold his own as a substitute or step up to the plate as a starter should the need arise.
Eli Sullivan, S
Big names surround Sullivan in the Huskers' secondary but his play speaks for itself. The hard-hitting senior from Longmont, Colorado, doesn't put up flashy stats. But he brings a physical presence that penalizes offensive coordinators who think he can't hang with the big boys. Look for position coach Travis Fisher to rely on a player whose patience might be rewarded with a scholarship during his final season in Lincoln.
(Top photo by Nebraska Communications, courtesy of huskers.com)