August 1, 2011

Five newcomers to watch during fall camp

One of the most exciting parts about the start of fall camp is the official debut of Nebraska's latest class of newcomers. With several heralded freshman and some junior college players expected to make immediate impacts, the Huskers have plenty of new faces to keep an eye over the next few weeks.

Here's an early look at five newcomers to watch when the Huskers open up fall camp this weekend.

Joseph Carter, DE, 6-5, 250, Jr.

Juco All-American Joseph Carter is definitely one newcomer expected to make a push for playing time from the day he first steps onto the practice field. One of only two juco recruits in the 2011 class, Carter was ranked the No. 29 overall junior college players by and was widely regarded as one of the best juco pass rushers in the country. At 6-5, 250, the Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., native is already built to compete at the D-I level, but what could set him apart is his impressive quickness off the line and ability to get to the quarterback and chase down ball carriers in pursuit.

Aaron Green, RB, 5-11, 190, Fr.

Considered one of the gems of Nebraska's 2011 class, running back Aaron Green is one freshman who has a great chance of seeing some playing time in his first season. In fact, head coach Bo Pelini went on record over the weekend to say all he has no immediate plans to redshirt any of his three talented freshmen backs. What gives him such a good chance is his versatility as both a runner and a receiver, which could allow offensive coordinator Tim Beck to use Green in a number of ways. Of the three freshman running backs, Green has as good of a chance as any to see the field this year.

Braylon Heard, RB, 5-11, 180, Fr.

Like Green, freshman running back Braylon Heard brings a versatile skill set to the table as both in the backfield and as a receiver. Heard comes in a year older than Green and fellow freshman back Ameer Abdullah, as he had to sit out last season while working towards a qualifying ACT score. How much a year away from football will set Heard back remains to be seen, but there's no doubt he was one of the best backs in the country coming out of high school.

Daimion Stafford, S, 6-1, 210, Jr.

Ranked the No. 14 overall junior college prospect in the country and one of the top-three juco defensive backs by, Stafford is another newcomer many expect to contribute right away for Nebraska this season. In a lot of ways, Stafford has been likened to for Husker juco safety DeJon Gomes because of his ability to excel both in coverage and up against the run. Against more of the spread offenses, Stafford could end up filling Eric Hagg's shoes as that hybrid defensive back/linebacker position.
Bubba Starling, QB, 6-5, 195, Fr.

Until at least August 15, few players on Nebraska's entire roster will be watch more closely during fall camp than freshman quarterback Bubba Starling. After getting more hype than any Husker freshman in recent memory because of his highly publicized decision between playing college football or Major League Baseball. The deadline for Starling to make his decision is August 15, and as of now it looks like he plans to stay in Lincoln and practice with the Huskers at least up until then. The millions Starling has waiting for him with the Kansas City Royals will be hard for Nebraska to beat, but the hope is he enjoys his time as a Husker enough to stick around.

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