2013 Spring Preview: Quarterback
RETURNING | Tommy Armstrong, RFr.; Tyson Broekemeier, Soph.; Ryker Fyfe, RFr.; Ron Kellogg III, Sr.; Taylor Martinez, Sr.; Evan Williams, RFr.
INCOMING | Johnny Stanton, Fr.
OUTLOOK | Heading into the 2013 season, it’s clear that one of Nebraska’s strengths is going to be its quarterback position. Long story short: Taylor Martinez is experienced, Tommy Armstrong is young and Johnny Stanton is Tim Tebow. Or Johnny Manziel. Or both, probably.
Regardless of anyone else on the bench, Martinez is a strong point for the entire team because he has three years of starts under his belt. As the Huskers’ career passing leader, he will continue to move this team forward as a real threat in the passing game. The key for Martinez will be to find the balance between passing and rushing.
Also watch for Martinez to work on managing his turnovers. If the veteran can get a handle on the amount of times he turns the ball over, the offense could really be a force to be reckoned with for Nebraska. After all, there is no real discussion as to who the starter will be for the 2013 season.
Fans will see snaps from Ron Kellogg III in the spring game, but the player everyone will be watching this March and April is Tommy Armstrong. The coaching staff reportedly loves him and he’s poised to be the heir apparent to Martinez.
As for Johnny Stanton, this would be the perfect opportunity to sit back and learn. Stanton is on track to be fully recovered from a knee-injury and surgery by the time fall practice rolls around, so the freshman will have playing potential. However, with Martinez healthy and experienced, the wise thing for Stanton to do is learn the playbook. The 2014 season will be here before anyone knows it and Stanton will have an open race for the starting spot with Armstrong. No need to push his luck in 2013.
If anything, it will be interesting to see where each quarterback behind Martinez falls on the depth chart come the spring game and then again in fall practice. Each will have a lot to prove and it is plausible Armstrong could jump in front of Kellogg on the depth chart. Of the walk-ons, Ryker Fyfe might be the one to watch this spring. During Capital One Bowl practices he drew the assignment of replicating Bulldogs’ quarterback Aaron Murray.
The interesting part about the quarterback position is not how it looks for 2013. As long as Martinez is healthy, things will be looking up for Nebraska as they push their way to a hopeful Big Ten Championship. Once the veteran is gone though, it will be interesting to see how those behind him play with little college game experience. That’s a discussion for 2014, however.