Scott Frost may look to the portal to help fill out his roster
Scott Frost is no stranger to the ever-hyped transfer portal. Yes, he's seen a number of players use it to depart Lincoln for potentially greener pastures. However, while acknowledging that the portal isn't the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, the third-year Nebraska Huskers head man clearly appreciates its merits.
While Kanawai Noa didn't light the world on fire after transferring from California (17 catches for 245 yards and two touchdowns in 10 games), it's hard to argue the addition of former Oklahoma State Cowboy Darrion Daniels didn't bear fruit.
After being reunited with his younger brother Damion, the elder Daniels was a steady force in the middle of Nebraska's defensive line. Both Khalil and Carlos Davis were drafted on their own merits, but one could argue that Daniels provided some assistance.
We'll get an even better idea of how the Huskers' 2019 transfer crop pans out next season, as former Rutgers tight end Travis Vokolek has the opportunity to push for Jack Stoll's starting spot. In the meantime, we run down positions the Huskers may very well address by awarding scholarships to those looking for a fresh start.
Areas of Need
Nebraska fans may not be too supportive of this suggestion after Noa didn't pan out. However, there's no sense in cutting ties with the idea after one swing and miss. Keep in mind that technically two of the Huskers' possible 2020 starters still need to shore up their academics (Zavier Betts and Omar Manning) while another may be done with Lincoln altogether (JD Spielman).
In a worst-case scenario, that leaves Frost scrambling to find players to compliment Wan'Dale Robinson and Kade Warner. He obviously can't afford to leave such an important piece of his offense up to chance, especially during a season that badly needs to see the Big Red have enough success to snag a bowl bid.
Defensive coordinator Erik Chinander finds himself with the unenviable task of replacing not only an entire starting defensive front but solidifying a second level that was far too porous at times during 2019. The Huskers are thick with potential in the trenches, but a number of question marks remain.
Nebraska did target the position well during the past recruiting cycle. That said, the likes of Ben Stille, Ty Robinson, and Deontre Thomas could use some insurance while they find footing against a not-so-soft early schedule.
While Frost addressed issues on the defensive line well, there was an even better effort to tackle a greater problem among linebackers. JoJo Domann and Garrett Nelson are two of the most physical members of the roster. But they can't handle the load across the board nor should they be expected to.
For as good as newcomers Jimari Butler and Blaise Gunnerson may turn out to be, they'll still make rookie mistakes. Investing in a little security for sanity's sake at this spot wouldn’t hurt anyone.
DE Isaiah Chambers (Houston)
A former four-star prospect, Chambers participated in 10 games for the Cougars in '19 and racked up five tackles for a loss, four sacks, and a forced fumble. While he doesn't have the heft of either departed Davis twin (6-5, 265), he could provide both pressure off the edge and a change of pace versus what teams face in larger Blackshirt linemen.
OLB Mark Jackson Jr. (Oklahoma)
The Huskers could do far worse than bringing in the former four-star Texas native. Jackson's primary role with the Sooners was as a pass-rush specialist. Generating consistency in that area has been as much of a problem as anything the Big Red has faced on the field for some time.
His current size (6-1, 235) lends well to a unit that badly needs both power and speed to take down some of the nation's toughest running backs and prevent signal-callers from being comfortable in the pocket.