The World-Herald is counting down the top 50 Nebraska football players you need to know heading into the 2020 season.
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5-10, 195 • Senior • Cornerback
New jersey number — from 23 to 7 — but Bootle’s high standards and character won’t change.
One of the most consistent, smartest and toughest players on the team, Bootle has been a starter for three seasons and a real leader for the last two. He’s almost a lock to be a captain in 2020 — coaches have been impressed with his leadership during the coronavirus pandemic — as he tries to become a lockdown corner.
Statiscally, 2018 — when he had 15 pass breakups — was a stronger year than 2019 (six PBUs) but Bootle’s versatility to play safety, where he started four games last season, helped the Husker secondary immensely. If NU’s safeties sustain even one injury, Bootle may be headed back to the position because he knows the defense so well.
If he can stay at corner, he can play either the boundary or the field, and tackles well in the run game.
Will this be the year Bootle grabs his elusive first career interception?