While Ameer Abdullah is obviously the face of Nebraska's backfield, he's got plenty of talent behind him at the running back position, and it starts with Cross. The bruising junior has continued to develop his game and show he's more than just a short-yardage power back, and his MVP performance in the spring game was just the latest example of what all Cross can bring to the table. He'll need to continue to progress to hold off some of the young backs pushing for time behind him, but so far Cross has done everything necessary to remain the top No. 2 option behind Abdullah.
Sean Callahan: 16 / Dan Hoppen: 20 / Robin Washut: 21 / Nate Clouse: 15 / Gregg Peterson: 14
Rose and Josh Banderas had one of the most competitive position battles of the spring, as the two essentially traded reps with the first-team defense as the top MIKE linebacker with neither able to clinch the starting job for good heading into the summer. Though he's only a sophomore, Rose has emerged as one of the vocal leaders of the defense, and while Banderas should continue to push him every day for the next couple of years, it looks as if Rose will be in position to establish himself as the starter come the season opener on Aug. 30.
Sean Callahan: 18 / Dan Hoppen: 9 / Robin Washut: 12 / Nate Clouse: 29 / Gregg Peterson: 18
When talking about indispensable players on Nebraska's roster going into the 2014 season, McMullen should rank right up towards the top given the Huskers' dearth of depth at the defensive position at the moment. He may not get the same acclaim as Randy Gregory, but McMullen will be counted on to be the anchor on the strong side of the defensive line while also playing more snaps than ever before in his college career. By all accounts the sophomore had a great spring, and NU is hoping that springboards him into a breakout season come the fall.
Sean Callahan: 14 / Dan Hoppen: 14 / Robin Washut: 23 / Nate Clouse: 17 / Gregg Peterson: 9
Sterup was thrown into the fire last season when his first meaningful snaps of the season came on the road at Michigan with Nebraska's offense pinned at its own 1-yard line. It obviously wasn't an ideal setting for his audition at right tackle, but Sterup more than held his own and hasn't looked back since. Projected to take over as the starting right tackle this season, Sterup has steadily refined his skills to match his impressive size and should be a fixture on NU's offensive line for the next two years.
Sean Callahan: 12 / Dan Hoppen: 12 / Robin Washut: 14 / Nate Clouse: 18 / Gregg Peterson: 12
Few players on Nebraska's defense have generated the kind of buzz and excitement from the end of last season to now than Collins, who based on the praise from nearly all of his coaches and teammates has the makings to potentially be the Huskers' next great defensive tackle. Blessed with superior strength and always playing with excellent leverage, Collins is quickly picking up on the same techniques that have produced a long line of successful d-tackles under head coach Bo Pelini. Seeing how he's only going to be a true sophomore, there's no telling just how good Collins could be when all is said and done.
Sean Callahan: 10 / Dan Hoppen: 10 / Robin Washut: 11 / Nate Clouse: 9 / Gregg Peterson: 11