BIG TEN RANK
Three starters return from a physical group that helped Nebraska rank second in Big Ten rushing efficiency last season. Center Cam Jurgens could be All-Big Ten if he can eradicate the occasional wonky snap while 6-foot-9 right tackle Bryce Benhart added 35 pounds during the offseason after feeling he didn’t finish enough blocks last year. Ethan Piper returns at left guard but needs to play cleaner after ranking second on the team in penalties a season ago. Turner Corcoran, who has big shoes to fill after Brenden Jaimes was drafted by the Chargers, showed impressive flashes against Rutgers last season and should man the left tackle spot against Illinois if he’s healthy. If. Brant Banks has taken first-team reps this fall while Corcoran nursed an injury. That leaves right guard, where Matt Sichterman is the sensible if not sexy favorite to start. Sichterman doesn’t move as fast as Jurgens or generate as much power as Benhart, but his IQ and technique provide stability the Huskers could use.
WHO ELSE CAN HELP
From guard to guard, Nebraska has options. Veterans Trent Hixson, Broc Bando or Nouredin Nouili can step in if Piper or Sichterman miss time. Hixson has filled in for Jurgens in the past, as well. Ezra Miller and Henry Lutovsky are promising young players. The tackle depth is less proven. Banks, who has filled in for Corcoran in fall camp, has played few high-leverage snaps. Nouili has put on weight since arriving in Lincoln but is better suited for guard than tackle. And the youth movement, which includes Lutovsky, Teddy Prochazka, Micheal Lynn, Jimmy Fritzche and Alex Conn, is probably not ready for that task yet.
50 Sam Hoskinson
Fr., 6-0, 245
Former center and linebacker at Elkhorn South whose father, Matt, was a member of three Nebraska national championship teams.
51 Cam Jurgens
So., 6-3, 290
Two-year starting center who pancakes defenders and has developed into a leader but must sure up his snaps.
53 Riley Moses
Fr., 6-2, 305 Third-year walk-on who recorded 67 pancake blocks and 67 tackles as a senior at Fillmore Central.
54 Bryce Benhart
Fr., 6-9, 330
Returning starter at right tackle who should be able to inflict more punishment on defenses after adding 35 pounds during the offseason.
57 Ethan Piper
Fr., 6-3, 305
Took hold of the starting left guard position last season but was the second-most penalized Husker (five for 29 yards).
58 Ian Boerkircher
So., 6-6, 280
Former UNK tight end whose brother Nate is a tight end on Nebraska’s roster.
59 Henry Lutovsky
Fr., 6-6, 330
Iowa native who is already big enough to brave the Big Ten but must improve his pass blocking and agility.
62 Noah Stafursky
Fr., 6-4, 330
Walk-on who blocked for Nebraska linebacker (and former high school quarterback) Garrett Snodgrass at York.
63 Nouredin Nouili
So., 6-4, 315
Colorado State transfer who has improved his conditioning and could help the Huskers at tackle or guard.
65 Teddy Prochazka
Fr., 6-9, 305
Towering tackle who overpowered his high school competition but is still learning the more intricate parts of his position.
66 Ezra Miller
Fr., 6-6, 315
Former four-star recruit who, after a year of no playing time, left a scholarship at Iowa to walk on at Nebraska.
67 Joey Mancino
Fr., 6-3, 300
Walk-on who cleared the path for his New Jersey high school to average 200 rushing yards per game.
69 Turner Corcoran
Fr., 6-6, 300
Highest-rated signee from the Huskers’ 2020 recruiting class who impressed while starting at left tackle against Rutgers but has been dinged up this fall.
70 Matt Sichterman
Jr., 6-4, 310
Fifth-year junior whose technique and football IQ may vault him into the starting lineup at right guard.
71 Keegan Menning
Fr., 6-5, 335
Walk-on who started for two seasons at Fremont, helping the Tigers average 204 passing yards per game.
72 Weston Reiman
Fr., 6-2, 290
Played offensive and defensive line at Weeping Water, where he recorded 24 tackles, three sacks and a defensive touchdown as a senior.
73 Broc Bando
Jr., 6-5, 315
Experienced reserve who can play multiple positions.
74 Brant Banks
Fr., 6-7, 305
Former basketball player who filled in for Corcoran at left tackle this fall and can plug gaps across the offensive line.
75 Trent Hixson
Jr., 6-4, 320
Former starting left guard who can rotate in at either guard position or spot Jurgens if the center is struggling with snaps.
76 Beau Schaller
Fr., 6-2, 265
Two-year starter at Waukee (Iowa), where he helped the Warriors rank fifth in total yards and served as the long snapper.
77 Michael Lynn
Fr., 6-6, 295
Former top-75 tackle recruit still waiting to make his mark in Lincoln.
79 Alex Conn
Fr., 6-6, 300
2019 recruit who is strong beyond his years and will figure into the Huskers’ plans at guard or tackle.