LINCOLN — Nebraska began preparations for South Alabama on Wednesday, which means the offensive depth chart is close to final.

Running backs coach Ryan Held said he’s almost ready to name a top two, then went on to mention four running backs who have had good camps: Maurice Washington, Dedrick Mills, Wyatt Mazour and Rahmir Johnson.

At tight end, coach Sean Beckton said Jack Stoll is still the likely starter, though sophomore Austin Allen has “closed the gap.”

On the outside, it’s a no-brainer JD Spielman will start, but the other few positions are still open. Among those making the decision difficult are Jaevon McQuitty and Mike Williams.

McQuitty is a former four-star recruit from Missouri but has played in only six games over two seasons due to injuries. Walters said the key for him has been getting his confidence back, which appears to have happened, he said Wednesday. Walters called McQuitty a pleasant surprise in camp, making “splash” plays the past month.

Williams is a former junior college transfer who admits he didn’t play his best last year. After starting the first two games, walk-on Kade Warner took Williams’ spot. Walters said he considers Williams to be a brand new player who is blocking hard and starting to win 50-50 balls.

“I joke with him, I tell him we need the new Mike Williams,” Walters said.

Walters expects to play as many as six wideouts per game.

Some other notes from practice:

» Held said freshman Ronald Thompkins is practicing in pads but with no contact. He didn’t rule out using him this season. Held said his decision on who will take the first snap at running back will be difficult.

» Stoll said the narrative that the offense will be behind the defense to start the season is media-driven and untrue.

“That’s kinda something I think the media stirred up in their head," Stoll said. "We’re confident as an offense we’re gonna go out there and ball out. So whatever everyone else is saying, that’s fine, we know we’re walking around with confidence and swagger like we’re gonna go out there and put out 50, 60 points every single game and I know that’s something we are definitely capable of doing.”

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Chris Heady covers Husker football and is the Nebraska men's basketball beat writer. He started at The World-Herald in 2017. Follow him on Twitter @heady_chris. Email:

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