All year round, former Husker and NFL veteran Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In the "Carriker Chronicles" video series, he breaks down the latest NU news, upcoming opponents, player updates and recruiting information, and he offers his insight into the X's and O's and more.
On Monday's episode, Adam Carriker looks at Nebraska's 2020 signing class, and breaks down which players he thinks could make an immediate impact at positions of need for the Huskers.
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Here's a transcript of today's show:
Welcome to the Carriker Chronicles, the people's show, where we check the pulse of Husker nation, brought to you by the Nebraska Spine Hospital. I hope you're not waiting last minute to do your Christmas shopping, even though I am.
All right, ladies and gentlemen, here are the top three players from this class that I believe could potentially make an immediate impact. Now all these guys have the potential, but these are the three that I think at this moment in time, with the information I have currently at this moment in time, could make an immediate impact.
And we're not going to start with the quarterback, the pretty boy, we're going to start up front. Why? Because offense puts butts in the seats, defense wins games, and the trenches wins championships, so we're going to start along the defensive line. A lot of this has to do with, plain and simply, we have a need of some people to step up. We're going to lose all three starters from this past season. We're going to lose the Davis twins, Carlos and Khalil Davis, we're going to lose Darrion Daniels, who stepped in and was a year-one not only starter but a captain. Now we have guys with playing experience. You got Ben Stille, he's a good player, never started, got Deontre Thomas, who's played in the past, never started. You have Damion Daniels, Darrion's younger brother. All these guys have played and they have ability. None of them have that starting experience.
So Pheldarius Payne, a junior college defensive lineman who just signed with the Huskers is going to be in that mix. And I think we need some guys to step up, prove they can be every-down players, and I think Pheldarius Payne is going to be one of those guys that's in that mix. And he has the potential to make an immediate impact as far as playing time for the Huskers.
Now, the next two guys play the same position. And I've been saying it for a while. We got a lot of young, talented, fast, speedy wide receivers. But we really only have two that are proven in any way shape or form. And it's anyone's guess right now what's going on with JD Spielman, he doesn't talk a lot, he's pretty quiet. Maybe all this hoopla is for nothing. Maybe it's very, very real. But at the moment, we have two proven wide receivers on our roster. And one of them, Wan'Dale Robinson, plays running back half the time. You got JD Spielman and Wan'Dale Robinson. We need some guys to step up. So that's where the position these two guys that I'm going to mention next play.
Omar Manning, a junior college wide receiver. JD and Wan'Dale, they're studs. But we need a big guy. We need a big target that can help out Adrian Martinez, Luke McCaffrey, whoever our starting quarterback is. JD, a great player, 5-foot-9, 180 pounds. Wan'Dale, 5-foot-10, 190 pounds. So we've got some big tight ends. Austin Allen 6-foot-8, or Kurt Rafdal, 6-foot-7, and it's like a mini basketball team here, a mini NBA team. I mean, Jack Stoll is short at 6-foot-4, but we need these guys to step up and be big red zone targets, short yardage, third down, fourth down targets. All right, and I think Omar Manning, there's a reason he was highly recruited. I don't always pay attention to the stars, but I like this guy. He's listed as 6-foot-4, 225 pounds. That is a big target, something that we are missing at the moment. I think he could step in and make an immediate impact.
Next up is freshman-to-be wide receiver Alante Brown. Now he's physically talented, no doubt about that. But he's also got experience in this type of an offense. He has also played many positions, quarterback, running back and wide receiver. His knowledge and his experience in these different positions, and his knowledge in this type of an offense is going to give him a huge head start. And with Wan'Dale all over the place — he kind of actually reminds me of Wan'Dale, he could play different positions — he's going to have that mental head start, he's got the physical ability. So Alante Brown is a guy who could step in and make an immediate impact at a position where we need some people to step up. We got a lot of positions like this, let's be honest, but wide receiver's one of them.
Now here's something that's interesting. Since 2018, Nebraska has signed more junior college players than any other team in the entire Big Ten conference. In fact, since Frost took over they've signed 13 junior college guys. This year alone, they signed five. The reason is we need immediate impact players. We need immediate guys to immediately step up and make a difference, not only on the field but in practice, in the weight room, in meeting rooms, we need guys to become leaders. And whether it's a junior college guy, whether it's a true freshman. I look at a guy like Garrett Nelson, he was a true freshman, earned a Blackshirt last year — man, that just does not happen often. He's the guy who's going to step up and hopefully bring some pressure off the edge. Hopefully some of these other freshmen, some of these guys I haven't mentioned, some of the walk-ons, we need people to step up and be impact players and make a difference now.
All right. Merry Christmas. Get that Christmas shopping done, Adam, I'm talking to myself mostly. Go Big Red — I only got one person left — and always remember to throw the bones!
Thanks again to the Nebraska Spine Hospital. Ladies and gentlemen, when it’s your spine, you do not want to mess around. Experience matters. That’s why you can trust the experts at Nebraska Spine Hospital, the region's only spine specific hospital. They are the best at what they do.
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