April 22, 2011

5 players who raised their stock the most this spring

While most every player on Nebraska's roster improved over the previous four weeks of spring practice, some definitely saw bigger gains than others. Here is a list of the five players who helped their stock the most during spring ball.

Jamal Turner, WR, 6-1, 180, Fr.

It seemed like from the first day he even put on a Nebraska uniform, all people could do was rave about what an exciting and electric player true freshman Jamal Turner was. And that was while he was still playing quarterback. Since moving to wide receiver after the first week of the spring, Turner has already emerged as potentially one of the Huskers' most explosive playmakers and could very well earn himself a spot on the starting offense and one or both return units in his first collegiate season.
Eric Martin, DE, 6-2, 260, Jr.

Like Turner, all it took was a position change for Eric Martin to go from a decent player to a potential game changer at defensive end. After moving from linebacker late last season, Martin is well on his way to being Nebraska's next dominant pass rusher off the edge, as his blend of size (he's put on 20 pounds since last season) and speed caused nightmares for NU's offensive tackles this spring.
Brion Carnes, QB, 6-1, 200, RFr.

There had been talk about how well redshirt freshman quarterback Brion Carnes had been playing during spring practice, but no one outside the team knew quite exactly how good they meant. It wasn't until a breakout performance in the Red-White game that fans finally got to see just how far Carnes had come since his redshirt year last season. All of a sudden, Carnes will enter fall camp not only as arguably a favorite to win the No. 2 quarterback spot, but possibly even challenge Taylor Martinez for the starting job.
Josh Mitchell, DB, 5-11, 165, RFr.

After flying under the radar all of his redshirt season and even up until the Spring Game, Josh Mitchell certainly got his name out there in a big way during the annual spring scrimmage. Not only did he show solid cover skills, he also got a ton of work in the return game at both punt and kickoff returner. It's clear that Nebraska's coaches have liked what they've seen from Mitchell this spring, and he'll likely get plenty of chances to work himself into the mix on both defense and special teams this fall.
Brett Maher, K/P, 6-0, 185, Jr.

One could argue that no player on Nebraska's entire team has bigger shoes to fill this season than junior kicker/punter Brett Maher. Coming into the spring, Maher was handed the task of replacing the legendary Alex Henery at not one but two positions, as at the moment it looks like he will be counted on to handle both kicker and punter duties. It obviously won't be easy, but Maher did pretty well in his Spring Game debut, averaging 49.3 yards per punt and going 3-for-4 on field goals in high wind conditions. Also, his one miss came when he and holder Austin Cassidy were intentionally trying to sabotage the game for the White team.

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