It was somewhat of a surprise to some to see Mississippi transfer Breon Dixon left off the depth chart released on Sunday.
Scott Frost said Monday that Dixon is among a group of players who have a redshirt available, and might just play four games and take that redshirt season.
“Breon is a guy, and several guys, that I think are good enough to play for us, but have a redshirt year to use and if we don’t think they’re going to be on the field enough then we’re going to be smart about it,” Frost said.
Dixon, an outside linebacker, was one of six transfers from Ole Miss who were granted immediate eligibility this summer. He’s been battling for playing time and may still see the field, Frost said, but how much this season is a question.
“We won’t have to make that decision now, we can make it down the road depending on how much they play and whether or not we need them at a position. There’s a few guys that I think are capable of playing for us, but they’re a little bit down on the depth chart right now. If we have that situation where they aren’t going to play a lot, we are going to try and save a year for them if we can.”
Carries at running back will be game-by-game decision
Nebraska listed four running backs on its two-deep depth chart. Junior college transfer Greg Bell will be the starter against Akron. Behind him, it’ll be senior Devine Ozigbo or true freshmen Maurice Washington and Miles Jones.
That position will be a rotation, Frost said. And it’ll depend on who Nebraska plays week to week as to who will get the most carries.
“I think it’ll be a game-by-game and situation-by-situation thing,” Frost said. “We have several guys that I think are capable of going in there and making plays for us. I imagine early on there will be a rotation.”
Frost said before a series they’ll decide who is going in and may substitute mid-series if things go awry.
“All those guys are going to get touches and get playing time and if somebody’s playing better than somebody else they’ll get more work,” Frost said.
Frost feels confident in cornerbacks
Lamar Jackson and DiCaprio Bootle are Nebraska’s starting corners.
That spot has been a question mark the past few years. In 2017, zero corners had interceptions.
But Frost said on Monday he’s been pleased with the production of the defensive backs, and feels confident enough in his corners to play the type of defense they plan on playing.
“I give those guys credit because that was a position that I was worried about coming into fall camp. I think there’s been increased competition at some of those spots because some of the new guys that have come in, some of those new guys are going to play and a lot of the guys that had been here did a good job stepping up and holding onto their jobs and improving their play,” Frost said.
Behind Jackson and Bootle are true freshmen Braxton Clark and Cam Taylor. Seven total true freshman are listed on the two-deep roster for Nebraska.
Jaimes has experience starting as a freshman
Sophomore Brenden Jaimes knows a thing or two about starting as a freshman. The left tackle started a school-record nine games at right tackle in 2017.
So his advice to Martinez?
“Do your part, do your role and don’t try and overdue it,” Jaimes said. “Just do your job and everything will go well.”
Jaimes said he’s improved over the past few months technique-wise, but more so in building up his confidence. Confidence is a key element that comes with being the left tackle, he said.
“From year to year, you get better technique-wise, but definitely been working on my confidence. I’m not that freshman anymore. There’s no excuse to have any excuses about age here, so that’s what I’ve been working on.”
Knowing he’s guarding Martinez’s blind side is a big deal for Jaimes.
“I take it personally,” he said. “And I’m just gonna do the best that I can.”
Roberts heads to Oregon State
Former Nebraska linebacker Avery Roberts is reuniting with Trent Bray, the man who recruited him to NU.
Roberts is transferring to Oregon State, where Bray returned after being fired along with the rest of Mike Riley’s coaching staff. Roberts left NU last week. He tweeted “GoBeavs” on Twitter, indicating he confirmed reports he was headed to Corvallis.
» Nebraska’s roster for Week One is at 136 players, and 90 of them are either freshmen or sophomores. All of NU’s quarterbacks and tight ends are underclassmen. The position groups with the lowest percentage of underclassmen are defensive line (53 percent) and running back (42 percent).
» NU has won 31 of its last 32 home openers. Its lone loss was in 2015 in a 33-28 defeat to BYU. The Cougars won by Hail Mary.
Akron at Nebraska
When: 7 p.m. Saturday (2 p.m. Pregame)
Where: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln
Radio: 103.1 FM