After Mike Riley announced the news of suspending Michael Rose-Ivey, Jonathan Rose, Cethan Carter, Robby Painter and Joe Keels, here are five immediate thoughts about the impact:
Rose-Ivey's absence will hurt a defense in need of strong, instinctive players: BYU quarterback Taysom Hill is a handful, and Rose-Ivey is one of those guys who can body up the Cougar. Now, he'll have to watch. It'll be tough for a guy who missed all of last season.
Dedrick Young is an elite athlete who played big in big high school games and that's a good thing: Don't let the quiet demeanor throw you off. Young is a playmaker with a knack for the big moments. In the Arizona Division II state title game last year, Young ran for 180 yards and two touchdowns in a 26-14 win for Peoria Centennial. Young iced the game with a 75-yard touchdown run. Young was in the Top 100 of the 2014 Nike SPARQ ratings. While it's accurate that Young is being thrust into so much playing time because of depth issues at linebacker, this is a guy who fits into any college football roster. Forget that he was a three-star recruit — he's one of NU's top freshmen, regardless of depth.
When Nebraska is in nickel, who plays corner opposite Daniel Davie? Riley indicated that Josh Kalu could move to the nickel spot when Nebraska goes to a nickel defense, which would mean Trai Mosley or Chris Jones gets the nod at the other corner. It seems unlikely that Jones could be ready after just starting practice again this week, which means Mosley could be guy. Mosley's a football junkie who plays aggressively for his size. But BYU also has some giant receivers to match up against NU's corners. If Kalu stays outside, freshman safety Aaron Williams could slide down to nickel. Williams has good instincts, but isn't much taller than Mosley.
Note Riley's words, "For today:" Riley did not close the door to future suspensions in his Thursday comments. Nebraska can't afford these players to be out for too long, especially that Miami game, where the travel roster will be limited and Miami will have good athletes to test the Huskers in a tough road environment.
Lincoln Southeast to the rescue: Four former Lincoln Southeast Knights — all of whom are now on scholarship — will help the Huskers' depth in the wake of the suspensions. All three of the Husker tight ends who will play major snaps on Saturday — David Sutton, Trey Foster and Sam Cotton — played together at Southeast, while Rose-Ivey's replacement, Luke Gifford, was a quarterback and safety at Southeast before moving to linebacker after his redshirt year at Nebraska.