LINCOLN — Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong will have some familiar passing targets available to him Saturday as he leads the Red offense in the Husker spring game.
The returning starter was paired with receivers Jordan Westerkamp and De’Mornay Pierson-El when NU released its rosters Friday for the Red-White scrimmage, which will kick off at 1 p.m. at Memorial Stadium and be televised by the Big Ten Network.
Westerkamp is the Huskers’ top returning receiver, with 44 of his 64 career catches coming as a sophomore last season. Pierson-El had 23 receptions in 2014, including a career-high eight in the Holiday Bowl to cap his freshman year.
The Red receiving corps also includes Jamal Turner, a senior with 64 career catches who is coming back from Achilles’ and knee injuries.
NU head coach Mike Riley said this week that the spring game would consist of four 20-minute quarters with a running clock, except for on changes of possession. For the most part, the Red team appears to include the players considered No. 1s at their positions heading into spring practice, with the No. 2s going to the White.
Armstrong is trying to master a new system under Riley and offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf — and fight off challenges from a handful of other quarterbacks — but the junior already has started 21 career games and thrown for 3,661 yards and 31 touchdowns.
The Red line protecting Armstrong — and Johnny Stanton and Zack Darlington — will include Alex Lewis, Givens Price, Ryne Reeves, Chongo Kondolo, Paul Thurston and Dylan Utter. The I-backs for the Reds will be Terrell Newby, Adam Taylor and walk-on Graham Nabity.
The White offense will have to go against a Red defense featuring a host of returning starters from last year’s unit, including tackles Vincent Valentine and Maliek Collins, defensive end Greg McMullen, safety Nathan Gerry, linebacker Josh Banderas and cornerback Daniel Davie.
Ryker Fyfe, AJ Bush and Tyson Broekemeier are set to quarterback the White. The White will have career 1,000-yard rusher Imani Cross in its backfield, along with redshirt freshman Mikale Wilbon.
Among the most experienced players on the White defense are tackle Kevin Williams and safety LeRoy Alexander, who played regularly in 2013 before sitting out last season because of a suspension.
Nine players on the White roster are scholarship signees from the 2014 recruiting class who redshirted last season, as well as cornerback Avery Anderson and linebacker Dedrick Young from the 2015 class who enrolled in January.
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