They were all heralded recruits. Now it might be their last chance to make good.
These Huskers are entering their third, fourth or fifth years in the football program. Where the word "potential" meant they had time to develop earlier in their careers, it could end up going unrealized unless they make a jump in the near future.
Here are five players for whom this spring is that chance. If Nebraska is about to take off, they have work to do to keep pace.
Offensive guard John Raridon The West Des Moines Valley grad came to Lincoln as a legacy — dad Scott was a Husker in the early 1980s — and one of the top-ranked recruits in the 2016 class. But he has yet to start a game and appeared in four career contests (three last year). Now in his fourth year in the program, opportunity awaits after the graduation of three interior linemen.
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Outside linebacker Alex Davis Nebraska needs a pass rusher. It lost its biggest tackle-for-loss producer at the position in Luke Gifford (13). Presumed 2019 starting candidates Tyrin Ferguson and Caleb Tannor are unproven. This is it for Davis, a senior, to show he can do more than the five tackles he made as a reserve last season.
Rb Jaylin Bradley (pictured) The Bellevue West grad is a sophomore but could get lost in the shuffle as Nebraska continues to load up on elite athletes who are speedy and versatile. Bradley rose from the fourth string in 2017 to play in five games but didn’t see the field in Scott Frost’s first season as coach.
Defensive end Deontre Thomas The 6-foot-3, 290-pound sophomore was recruited for a 4-3 system but played out of position as a nose tackle in Bob Diaco’s three-man front in 2017. He was an end last year and played four games before a hand injury ended his season.
Wide receiver Jaevon McQuitty Injuries have hampered the Missouri native throughout his NU career. But this is his third spring in Lincoln, and the depth chart behind JD Spielman is wide open. With coaches continuing to bring in playmakers who fit their system, this is perhaps McQuitty’s best shot at making an impact.