HC Bo Pelini and company released a new depth chart last night, and there were a few interesting tidbits heading into the opener against Western Michigan this Saturday. At the beginning of fall practice Lydon Murtha was listed as the top LT and Javario Burkes at RT, but the two players have switched sides this fall, and Burkes is serving as #2 to sophmore Mike Smith. It must be noted that Burkes missed quite a bit if practice time due to a blood pressure issue. Good note on Smith from DE Zach Potter.
"After going against Smith in practice, defensive end Zach Potter seemed impressed, noting that Smith “has given us fits at times.”
Another item of interest is the emergence of two freshman linebackers, Will Compton in the middle and Sean Fisher at Buck as the top backups to Phil Dilliard and Tyler Wortman. Soph Anthony West appears to have the inital edge over fellow soph Prince Akamakura right corner, but it's likely Prince will have the nickel duties. Another frosh appearing on the depth chart was TE Ben Cotton, son of OL Coach Barney, although at #4. Meno Holt and Niles Paul appear to have the second spots wrapped up at WR behind the seniors Todd Peterson and Nate Swift, with Will Henry and Chris Brooks also listed.
On special teams, it looks like senior WR Nate Swift and sophomore WR Niles Paul will be doing the punt return duties, with Paul and safety Larry Asante returning kickoffs. Offensively, the depth chart has the running back position listed as Marlon Lucky OR Roy Helu OR Quentin Castille. Despite making quite a splash in practice, Offensive Guard Ricky Henry may wind up redshirting, and still no word on the status of DT Baker Steinkuhler either. Redshirt freshman Jared Crick is listed as backing up older brother Ty Steinkuhler at defensive tackle.
On the (much) less positive side, TE Hunter Teafatiller is suspended for the opener due to alcohol related issues, and former OL Andy Christiansen's trial for alleged sexual assault began this week.