Just days away from National Signing Day, all eyes are focused on the Huskers 2016 recruiting class. But let's take time to look back at 2015 to take stock of where each member of that class now stands at Nebraska.
Fans always have high expectations for top signees each year, but it's wise to temper those. Only eight of the 21 signees played for the Huskers in 2015, one of whom is no longer on the team. We did a similar breakdown for the 2014 class last year, and 14 of those signees redshirted while three more never made it to Nebraska.
Though the 2015 class produced some early difference-makers like Stanley Morgan and Dedrick Young, most of the class is still waiting to make an impact.
Here's a breakdown of that 2015 class — all 21 members — and where each player stands heading into next season:
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Lavan Alston, WR — Alston had to redshirt after suffering a season-ending knee injury in preseason practice. He’ll have to work his way through a crowded depth chart in 2016 to have an impact. The Huskers return their top six wide receivers in yardage from last season.
Avery Anderson, DB — A four-star recruit out of high school, Anderson redshirted in 2015 after enrolling early. The Huskers return five scholarship corners from last year’s team, with Jonathan Rose (dismissal), Trai Mosley (transfer) and Daniel Davie (graduation) all gone. That leaves the nickel job wide-open, and Anderson will compete for it.
Jalin Barnett, OG — One of the highest rated recruits in NU’s 2015 class, Barnett redshirted behind a deep crop of older guards. He’ll be in the mix to step into a starting role in 2016. Barnett was one of the scout team’s offensive MVPs last season.
Mohamed Barry, LB — Barry was the only one from the three-man 2015 class of linebackers to redshirt. He had to undergo shoulder surgery that left him sidelined for most of the season.
Alex Davis, DE — Davis packed on about 30 pounds to a 6-foot-5 frame during his redshirt season. He’ll be looked at for an impact in 2016. He caught the coaches’ eyes while serving on the scout team last season: “He’s a guy we’ve had a hard time blocking at times in practice,” said offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf in November.
Carlos Davis, DT — NU considered pulling the redshirt on Carlos Davis, but they ultimately opted to hold him for another year behind an established two-deep at both tackle spots. But with Maleik Collins and Vincent Valentine both leaving for the NFL, Carlos should have an opportunity to compete for playing time in 2016.
Khalil Davis, DT — Khalil Davis is in the same boat as his brother after redshirting in 2015. He too will get a serious look this spring with a chance to play significantly next season.
Michael Decker, OG — Decker redshirted in 2015, but Sam McKewon said rumblings suggest he may have had the strongest fall of any of the true freshmen offensive linemen. Departing senior Ryne Reeves said he expects Decker will get evaluated this spring to replace him at center.
Tyrin Ferguson, LB — Ferguson got moved inside after playing only outside linebacker in high school. He mostly saw action on special teams but did supply depth at linebacker. Ferguson played in 10 games in 2015 and made five tackles — three solo, two assisted.
Christian Gaylord, OT — Gaylord redshirted in 2015. NU needs to replace right tackle Alex Lewis, and with only a handful of true tackles on the roster — all of them inexperienced — Gaylord will have his chance to claim that spot this spring.
Eric Lee, CB — Like Avery Anderson, Eric Lee redshirted in 2015 after early enrollment but is in line for a bigger role next season. He’ll compete with Anderson and Boaz Joseph for the open nickel corner spot.
Stanley Morgan, WR — Morgan enjoyed the most productive season of any of the Huskers’ offensive freshmen. He played in all 13 games and made three starts. Morgan finished with 25 catches for 304 yards and three touchdowns. He also handled kickoff returns and averaged 23.1 yards-per-attempt with 14 opportunities.
DaiShon Neal, DE — The Omaha Central standout struggled through injuries his first season in Lincoln and redshirted after undergoing knee surgery in August. He’ll have a chance to compete for playing time in 2016, but this spring will be vital for Neal, and all the other young defensive ends, to develop into contributors.
Jordan Ober, LS — A late addition to the 2015 class, Ober came to Nebraska and snapped in all 13 games for the Huskers as a true freshman.
Devine Ozigbo, RB — Ozigbo carved out a role in 2015 as NU’s third I-back behind Terrell Newby and Imani Cross. He played in 11 games and racked up 209 yards rushing on 38 attempts with one touchdown. He also had 62 yards receiving. With Cross graduating, Ozigbo should see an even bigger role in the Huskers’ backfield next season.
Antonio Reed, DB — Reed saw most of his action on special teams in 2015, but he got moved to the dime during bowl prep for UCLA. He was one of the bright spots against the Bruins, forcing a fumble and making four tackles in the Foster Farms Bowl. Reed finished the season having played in all 13 games with 10 tackles (nine solo) and two forced fumbles.
Matt Snyder, TE — Snyder redshirted after an infected bursa sack in his elbow kept him out for about a month during the season. The Huskers will return Cethan Carter, Sam Cotton and Trey Foster at tight end, but Snyder should compete for time on the field in 2016.
Jordan Stevenson, RB — Stevenson came to NU late after being denied admission to Wisconsin, the school with which he initially signed. He showed up to preseason camp overweight and out of shape, but the coaches eventually burned his redshirt so he could return kicks. He got six attempts and averaged 14.2 yards-per-return, but on Nov. 6, he decided to leave the program.
Adrienne Talan, LB — Before the season started, it was announced that Talan was not participating in football activities, though the school said at the time he was still on the team and on scholarship. His status entering the spring is very much uncertain, and it’s possible he’s not on the roster in 2016.
Aaron Williams, DB — Williams started games at strong safety and nickel as a true freshman. He played in all 13 games and finished with 24 tackles (17 solo), including three for a loss. With Byerson Cockrell graduating, Williams could step into a regular starting role in 2016.
Dedrick Young, LB — Young had the brightest season of any freshman on the defensive side. He enrolled early and parlayed that into early playing time, starting the season opener and 10 other games at outside linebacker. He finished the season tied for fourth on the team with 61 tackles, including five for a loss and two quarterback hurries. He also had three pass breakups.