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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Nebraska
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  04/28/21 - Noa Pola-GatesrFr/2024, Nebraska, 5-11, 175 (DS#47 CB) + More +

  Nebraska assistant coach Travis Fisher says he wants to build the best secondary in the country. Think about that for a second. He's not messing around here. Nobody's saying his secondary is there, yet, or even close. But the group he has now is impressive - arguably the best overall position group on the team. It's striking when Fisher's second-string defensive backs take the field. It's a group many teams would welcome as starters. We're talking about sophomores Braxton Clark and Nadab Joseph at corner, and redshirt freshmen Myles Farmer and Noa Pola-Gates at safety. There's serious size, speed and athleticism in that group. Redshirt freshman Javin Wright and freshman Isaac Gifford will play important hybrid roles in the future. In fact, the future may well be this season. Pola-Gates (5-11, 190) has made "a big-time jump" this spring, Fisher said. Pola-Gates has ample experience on special teams, while Joseph (6-2, 190) has a smidgen of experience on special teams. Bottom line, they're largely unproven defensively. But their talent is evident. - Lincoln Journal Star

(DS#47 CB) rFr/2024 CB Noa Pola-GatesNebraska
News Source: Lincoln Journal Star
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  04/23/21 - Pheldarius PayneJr/2022, Nebraska, 6-3, 275 (DS#120 DE) + More +

  The 2020 football season didn't proceed normally for anybody, but when Nebraska defensive coordinator Erik Chinander fielded a question last week about players who might have particularly needed this spring, his mind went first to Pheldarius Payne. The junior college transfer built a good reputation as a pass-rusher at that level, verbally committed to North Carolina State and played with Lackawanna (Pennsylvania) Community College all the way to the juco national title game on Dec. 5, 2019. He flipped his commitment to Nebraska and signed his national letter of intent two weeks later, but wasn't set to arrive on campus until May 2020. Midway through that period, of course, the coronavirus pandemic arrived in the United States and threw pretty much everything off-kilter. Payne did arrive at NU on schedule, but he dealt with more than just the pandemic.

"At first when I came in, I had shoulder surgery, so as soon as I came in, I rehabbed for about two months," he told reporters Monday. "And I had to hurry up and lift weights and bench (press) and I was benching, I don't think 135 (pounds). I was benching like 25 on each side." The original plan was for Payne to play on the defensive line for Tony Tuioti. Listed at 6-foot-3 and 270 pounds, he was built a little bit more like, say, Deontre Thomas than some of the behemoths in the room such as Ty Robinson, Jordon Riley, Damion Daniels and other 300-plus pounders. Tuioti thought Payne could provide some pass-rush punch with a quick get-off and different repertoire of moves. "Then I got COVID and I had to sit out and I lost weight," Payne said. - Lincoln Journal Star


(DS#120 DE) Jr/2022 DE Pheldarius PayneNebraska
News Source: Lincoln Journal Star
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  04/21/21 - Chris KolarevicrJr/2022, Nebraska, 5-11, 230 (DS#999 ILB) + More +

  Like a lot of Nebraska football fans, Chris Kolarevic watched the Huskers' 2020 season on television from his couch. The main difference, of course, is that the graduate transfer linebacker from Northern Iowa kept closest watch of Barrett Ruud's inside linebackers group, knowing that he'd be joining them in a few short months. When Kolarevic verbally committed in late October, he did not know that Will Honas would opt to return for a sixth season after a solid 2020. He had not yet seen Luke Reimer make the jump into being an impact player or Nick Henrich finish strong down the stretch by tallying 21 tackles over the season's final two weeks. "I wasn't able to take a visit, which was tough because of COVID, but I was glad I got to watch them on TV. It was cool watching those guys play," Kolarevic said Monday.

"They do a lot of different things than I did at UNI, so it was good to just kind of see how their defense worked and how they run around. They were flying around last year and did a good job, so it was fun to watch those guys play. Since arriving on campus, though, Kolarevic said he's blended in well with the group and that he's excited about the unit's potential going forward. Oh, and those guys he watched on television have pretty darned good things to say about him, too. "He's a freak of nature, I'll tell you that," Henrich said Monday. "Super athletic, fast, physical. … He's also been just outstanding learning the defense and asking us questions. He's been a great addition to the room." - Lincoln Journal Star


(DS#999 ILB) rJr/2022 ILB Chris KolarevicNebraska
News Source: Lincoln Journal Star
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  04/21/21 - Quinton NewsomeSo/2023, Nebraska, 6-1, 180 (DS#999 CB) + More +

  There's a lot of competition in practice that remains before Nebraska opens the 2021 season this coming fall. That said, Nebraska sophomore Quinton Newsome has moved in front in the battle for one of the starting cornerback jobs. That was the word Monday from Husker secondary coach Travis Fisher after the team pushed through another spring practice. "A lot of guys are doing a good job, but Quinton Newsome is doing a great job at that spot," the coach said. Asked what has been the key to the 6-foot-2, 180-pound Newsome moving to the front of the pack, Fisher said, "It's all about just being able to take the coaching and being able to go out and take the classroom teaching to the field, and then being able to make mistakes in practice and come back and correct the mistake." Sophomores Nadab Joseph and Braxton Clark are among those battling for the spot. The 6-2, 210-pound Clark missed all of last season with a shoulder injury and has been limited this spring. "I'm keeping him out of all of the live periods right now because I don't want any setbacks," Fisher said. "So right now you don't get a chance to see him really go 'live.' But I do see some great things out of him." - Lincoln Journal Star

(DS#999 CB) So/2023 CB Quinton NewsomeNebraska
News Source: Lincoln Journal Star
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  04/19/21 - Oliver MartinrJr/2022, Nebraska, 6-0, 200 (DS#999 WR) + More +

  It's been a spring of positive reinforcement for Nebraska wide receiver Oliver Martin. Not that he's sought it out so much as that it's found him in myriad ways as he and his teammates progress through the midpoint of spring ball and toward May 1's Red-White Spring Game at Memorial Stadium. Martin, a transfer from Iowa and an Iowa City native, impressed coaches with the way he dove in over the second half of the 2020 season once he was ruled eligible. Even with modest numbers (five catches for 63 yards), he earned four starts and essentially played without having much time to learn the offense. Over the past couple of months, though, Martin has started to settle in and, by most accounts, stand out in what is shaping up to be a competitive wide receiver room. "We do one-on-ones just about every day and I don't think he's lost a rep of that," walk-on receiver Wyatt Liewer said of his teammate on Wednesday. "He looks really good." - Lincoln Journal Star

(DS#999 WR) rJr/2022 WR Oliver MartinNebraska
News Source: Lincoln Journal Star
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  04/16/21 - Adrian MartinezJr/2022, Nebraska, 6-1, 225 (DS#54 QB) + More +

  This spring, coaches and players alike have said Martinez looks like he's got some pep in his step and in his arm. What does that mean in the grand scheme of things? Yeah, it's spring ball and Week 1 is a long way off, but it can't hurt that the general consensus is that Martinez has looked good. Lubick added his thoughts on Wednesday. "I thought he had a good last year, especially with his completion percentage and really toward the end of the year," Lubick said. "He's taken it to another level from a leadership standpoint and an accuracy standpoint. I even think from a fitness standpoint. I already knew he was a good athlete and he was fast, but he looks even a step faster. "He's throwing balls on time and he's really making the receivers and tight ends and everyone look good because he's putting the ball where it's supposed to be on a consistent basis."

Timely throws come when a quarterback is making decisions on schedule, something that head coach Scott Frost, quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco and Martinez himself have all talked about many times over the past two years. Martinez has the arm to make any throw required, he just at times either has not been decisive enough or has struggled to consistently harness his mechanics. "He's always had great zip and arm strength - I think NFL arm strength - but the thing that I've noticed is he's taken his accuracy another step," Lubick said. "When he has to put touch on the ball, he can put touch on the ball. That's why we've been able to complete more deep balls than in the past. "I've been really happy with the way he's throwing the ball." - Lincoln Journal Star


(DS#54 QB) Jr/2022 QB Adrian MartinezNebraska
News Source: Lincoln Journal Star
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  04/09/21 - Markese StepprSo/2023, Nebraska, 5-11, 235 (DS#999 RB) + More +

  Coach Scott Frost announced after his team's fifth spring session that USC transfer running back Markese Stepp would miss all of spring following a recent surgery, but said he should be cleared for some activity this summer and fully ready to go this fall. "He'll be back this summer," Frost said, adding that Stepp arrived on campus with a preexisting injury. "It's something that he didn't know about, we didn't know about when he came in and we think it's in his best interest to get it fixed to give him the best chance to be at his best." Stepp had been involved to at least some degree this spring, though, as videos released by the program showed him participating in at least one padded practice. The other scholarship players Frost said are out for the spring include senior defensive lineman Ben Stille, who had a procedure done before spring ball started, and freshman defensive back Marques Buford Jr. Stepp, though, is the most notable of the group because he arrived on campus hoping to use spring to catapult to the top of Ryan Held's depth chart, and also because he was oft-injured during his three seasons in Los Angeles. - Lincoln Journal Star

(DS#999 RB) rSo/2023 RB Markese SteppNebraska
News Source: Lincoln Journal Star
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  04/09/21 - Ty RobinsonrFr/2024, Nebraska, 6-5, 310 (DS#8 DT) + More +

  At 6 feet, 6 inches tall and 310 pounds, Ty Robinson is an imposing figure even before he puts on his pads. Unless you're a little kid. "One day I just found out that kids really like me for some reason, I don't know why," Robinson said. "They all seem to just call me a big teddy bear, I guess. A big jungle gym. They climb all over me." That's a good problem to have for Nebraska's redshirt freshman defensive lineman, who has plans to be a pediatric doctor after his football playing days are over. As a pre-health major at Nebraska, Robinson has a pretty large workload in front of him.

He's already gotten a taste of it, too, having taken 18 credit hours in the fall when it was unclear just what Nebraska's season was going to look like. "Not a good idea," Robinson cracked. "I highly don't recommend that." But Robinson, who wants to move on to UNMC in Omaha after he's done in Lincoln, found his way through during a season in which he started seven games and flashed the potential that made him one of the most sought-after recruits in the 2019 class. "You learn to balance it out. There really is no time off, is what I've realized, but you find time off. You find time to take a little break," Robinson said. "But...my days are pretty full. I'm usually not going to bed until around 11, midnight from schoolwork, practice, film." - Lincoln Journal Star


(DS#8 DT) rFr/2024 DT Ty RobinsonNebraska
News Source: Lincoln Journal Star
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  04/07/21 - JoJo DomannrSr/2022, Nebraska, 6-0, 235 (DS#19 OLB) + More +

  Mike Dawson summed up JoJo Domann's immense value to Nebraska's football team rather well last week. In doing so, Dawson may have opened up the ears of some NFL folks, if they weren't already aware of Domann's versatility. The 6-foot-1, 235-pound Domann possesses the size of an NFL inside linebacker but also has the ability to move to the perimeter and play receivers in coverage, said Dawson, Nebraska's outside linebackers coach. Yes, that's an extremely valuable combination in this day and age, or in any day and age. It's why Domann seldom came off the field last season, playing either his outside linebacker spot or his role as a nickel in sub packages. It's largely why he led the team with 58 tackles while tying cornerback Dicaprio Bootle for the team lead in pass breakups with five.

It's why the senior from Colorado Springs, Colorado, is one of a handful of Nebraska players deemed most critical to the program making marked improvement on last year's 3-5 record. He just focuses on becoming at least 1% better at his craft every day, he said last week as the team began spring drills. Doing the little things leads to big things, his coaches tell him. "It's tackling, getting off blocks, coverage, pre-snap reads, post-snap processing," Domann said. "I can always get better and get to the ball faster and make more of an impact on the game in all those ways." - Lincoln Journal Star


(DS#19 OLB) rSr/2022 OLB JoJo DomannNebraska
News Source: Lincoln Journal Star
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  04/05/21 - Ezra MillerrFr/2025, Nebraska, 6-5, 325 (DS#999 OT) + More +

  The 6-foot-6, 325-pounder was a four-star recruit out of Ridge View High in Holstein, Iowa, when he signed with Iowa as part of the Hawkeyes' 2019 class. Miller spent his freshman season there and didn't appear in a game, then decided to leave football. When he decided he wanted another shot at playing last summer, he explained that he stepped away from the game to try to work on his mental health after suffering from depression in the wake of several traumatic events in his life. He decided to walk on at Nebraska, where he sat out last year due to NCAA transfer rules and acclimated to the program. "He's an athletic kid, highly touted recruit coming out of high school," Austin said this week. "You never know why a guy comes or transfers, but Ezra has been awesome since he's been here. He's been a hard worker. He's athletic and he's coachable. There's some things he's rough around the edges on that we really have to hone in, in terms of his technique, but nevertheless, good player. I expect some big things out of him." - Lincoln Journal Star

(DS#999 OT) rFr/2025 OT Ezra MillerNebraska
News Source: Lincoln Journal Star
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  04/03/21 - Kurt RafdalrJr/2022, Nebraska, 6-6, 245 (DS#999 TE) + More +

  Pushed back in the pack at a loaded position, Nebraska junior tight end Kurt Rafdal entered the transfer portal Wednesday. His decision comes as the Huskers work through their first week of spring practice. A consensus three-star player in the class of 2017, Rafdal finishes his Nebraska career with six receptions. The 6-foot-7, 245-pound Indiana native played in every game last season, contributing on both offense and special teams. He caught one pass, in the season opener at fifth-ranked Ohio State. In 2019, he played in six games. He made his only reception of the season against Northern Illinois during Nebraska's final touchdown drive. - Lincoln Journal Star

(DS#999 TE) rJr/2022 TE Kurt RafdalNebraska
News Source: Lincoln Journal Star
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  03/25/21 - Will HonasrSr/2022, Nebraska, 6-0, 230 (DS#56 ILB) + More +

  Honas' return to use the extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA puts him in a unique position. He's a junior college player who now will log four seasons at a Division I college, too. Honas has steadily grown into a regular for the Huskers. He suffered a knee injury in 2018, played better late in the season in 2019 as he got back to fully healthy and then took another step forward in 2020. He's the bridge to a wave of young players, and he'll be looked to as the leader in Ruud's group this fall. Honas' return helped fortify what could end up being a deep group for the Huskers. Reimer burst onto the scene in 2020 and Ruud said the Lincoln North Star graduate's challenge is to be one of the best in the Big Ten. Henrich has moved between inside and outside, but settled in and played the best of his young career late in the season inside. Then there's Kolarevic, a graduate transfer from Northern Iowa who has two years of eligibility remaining and arrived on campus in January. - Lincoln Journal Star

(DS#56 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Will HonasNebraska
News Source: Lincoln Journal Star
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  03/05/21 - Brenden JaimesSr/2021, Nebraska, 6-5, 298 (DS#24 OT) + More +

  Nebraska left tackle Brenden Jaimes earned further recognition Wednesday when he received an official "invitation" to the NFL Draft Combine. The only problem? He won't actually get to go to Indianapolis for an event, nor will any of the 323 college football players around the country who got the same news. The combine, traditionally one of the most highly visible mile markers in the NFL Draft preparation process, is not being held in person this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, teams will conduct virtual interviews and psychological testing, and a few select in-person medical exams. That puts more emphasis on pro days on college campuses, which at Nebraska is slated for March 23. - Lincoln Journal Star

(DS#24 OT) Sr/2021 OT Brenden JaimesNebraska
News Source: Lincoln Journal Star
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  01/18/21 - Samori TourerSr/2022, Nebraska, 6-2, 190 (DS#46 WR) + More +

  Nebraska lost one and added one on Monday as Robinson transferred out and Samori Toure transferred in from Montana. A first-team FCS All-American, Toure racked up 1,485 yards on 87 catches in 2019 for the Grizzlies. The Huskers not only have to make up for Robinson's loss, but they have to get more production from the wide receiver group overall, too. Toure told the Journal Star he feels like he can be an all-around threat in the Big Ten. "I would just describe myself as a playmaker," Toure said. "I have good speed, I can take the top off a defense and I like to pride myself on what I do after the catch. Something I've got better at is running the intermediate routes. That was a big thing I needed to do was just polish up my intermediate routes, and I feel like I've done that. "Now I can put it all together." - Lincoln Journal Star

(DS#46 WR) rSr/2022 WR Samori ToureNebraska
News Source: Lincoln Journal Star
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  01/16/21 - Ben StillerSr/2022, Nebraska, 6-4, 295 (DS#70 DT) + More +

  Ben Stille's work at Nebraska isn't done just yet. The senior defensive lineman announced Friday morning that he plans to return in 2021 and play a sixth year for the Huskers. The Ashland native turned in his best season so far in 2020 and was an anchor up front for NU. Now he'll be back working again with defensive line coach Tony Tuioti and defensive coordinator Erik Chinander. Stille's return marks the end of a big week of announcements for the Blackshirts. NU also has senior outside linebacker JoJo Domann, inside linebacker Will Honas and safeties Deontai Williams and Marquel Dismuke back in the fold for the 2021 season along with junior defensive back Cam Taylor-Britt. - Lincoln Journal Star

(DS#70 DT) rSr/2022 DT Ben StilleNebraska
News Source: Lincoln Journal Star
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