AP, Nebraska vs. Illinois, 9.21

Illinois running back Reggie Corbin (2) fends off Nebraska defender Caleb Tannor (2) in the first half of a 2019 contest.

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The cast

No. 13, JoJo Domann, 6-1, 230, sr.; No. 2, Caleb Tannor, 6-2, 230, jr.; No. 49, Pheldarius Payne, 6-3, 260, jr.; No. 32, Niko Cooper, 6-5, 225, so.; No. 44, Garrett Nelson, 6-3, 240, so.; No. 45, David Alston, 6-4, 235, so.; No. 33, Javin Wright, 6-3, 205, rfr.; rfr.; No. 24, Blaise Gunnerson, 6-6, 245, fr.; No. 35, Jimari Butler, 6-5, 230, fr.; No. 38, Damian Jackson, 6-2, 275, jr.; No. 34, Simon Otte, 6-1, 205, so.; No. 54, Ryan Schommer, 6-4, 260, so.; No. 81, Nick Leader, 6-1, 205, rfr.; No. 83, Sam Shurtleff, 6-3, 220, rfr.; No. 84, Eli Richter, 6-4, 240, rfr.; No. 85, John Bullock, 6-1, 215, rfr.

2019 cliffhanger

Nebraska got some big plays from Domann in 2019, but overall lacked consistency and explosiveness from the edge of the defense. Domann finished with nine tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks, and the rest of NU’s returners combined for 4.5 and 2.5.

The new cast

Cooper and Payne join from the junior college ranks, and Gunnerson and Butler are a pair of promising players in the future.

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Season preview

There are more questions than answers in Mike Dawson’s group, but that doesn’t mean the Huskers are devoid of options. The Huskers need a big jump from Tannor and continued playmaking — perhaps with an uptick in consistency — from Domann. At the same time, protecting the edge and playing the run has to remain a focus.

The star

Tannor, now a junior, will draw a lot of attention right from the start. He’s already halfway through his college career and has the physical tools to be an exciting player, but hasn’t quite put it all together yet.

Dawson, who returned to the staff this winter after coaching in the NFL last year, made a point this spring of saying that he was going to challenge Tannor to be more consistent. If that comes through this year, he could be an every down-type player.

 

This article originally ran on journalstar.com.

Locations

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