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Breaking Down Nebraska’s 2017 Walk-On Class

February 02, 2017

Jordan Paup

DE/OLB | 6-3, 230 | Central City, Nebraska

Arguably the biggest walk-on recruiting victory for Nebraska came on Signing Day when Central City’s Jordan Paup officially accepted his walk-on offer to Nebraska. By picking the Huskers, Paup turned down full-ride scholarship offers from North Dakota State and South Dakota State, two of the best teams in the FCS division. Paup is coming off of a dominant senior season in which he tallied 74 tackles, 29 tackles for a loss and 13 sacks. His efforts resulted in him earning 1st team all-state honors and helped lead the Bison to a 6-4 record and the first round of the Class C2 playoffs. Paup will be a part of the 105-man roster when fall camp begins, a testament to how highly John Parrella thinks of his newest walk-on.

Ben Lingenfelter

DT | 6-5, 270 | Cherokee, Iowa

It was a tough choice for the headliner of Nebraska’s walk-on class but if I were a betting man, I’d put my money on Ben Lingenfelter. Lingenfelter starred on both sides of the ball for Washington High School out of Cherokee, Iowa, and helped lead the Demons to a 6-3 record in 2016. He can play multiple positions in Lincoln, but he will likely begin his career playing nose guard for the Huskers. Lingenfelter is a Husker legacy, as his uncle Bob played for the Huskers in the late 70s. Lingenfelter ultimately chose the Nebraska walk-on offer over an FBS offer from Tulane.

Trent Hixson

OG/DT | 6-4, 275 | Omaha, Nebraska

Battling it out with Lingenfelter for top spot honors is Omaha Skutt standout Trent Hixson. Hixson starred at offensive and defensive tackle for the Skyhawks, leading them to a 10-3 record and a runner up finish in the Class B title game. Hixson’s effort helped him earn 2nd team all super state honors for offensive line. Hixson will likely begin his career at guard for the Huskers, as he brings impressive size and underrated athleticism to Nebraska’s walk-on class. Hixson chose the walk-on offer from Nebraska over a scholarship offer from the Air Force Academy.

Cole Frahm

K | 6-5, 210 | Omaha, Nebraska

Nebraska will be in the market for another kicker in a year, so the Huskers made the smart move and added the top kicker in the state to its walk-on class. Frahm earned all-state honors for kicking at Omaha Burke while also becoming a viral sensation due to his trick shot prowess on Twitter. Watch for Frahm to spend 2017 as a redshirt before replacing Drew Brown as Nebraska’s starting kicker in 2018.

Andrew Bunch

Q | 6-1, 185 | Thompson’s Station, Tennessee

Danny Langsdorf made it clear that he was in the market for a walk-on quarterback in the 2017 class, and he found a solid one in the JUCO ranks in Andrew Bunch. Bunch, whose father David played for Nebraska in the 80s, was a standout player in high school at Independence. Bunch threw for over 10,000 yards and led the Eagles to a state title victory as a senior. Despite his exploits in high school, Bunch was only able to garner one FBS offer from Eastern Michigan. This led to Bunch deciding to enroll at Scottsdale Community College, where he immediately earned the starting quarterback job for the Artichokes. Bunch is already on campus and will be able to take part in spring drills, adding depth to an impressive quarterback battle. Bunch is unlikely to redshirt, as he should slide into the No. 3 quarterback spot by the end of fall camp.

Hunter Miller

G | 6-3, 280 | Stromsburg, Nebraska

The 2016 season proved that the walk-on tradition is still vitally important to Nebraska, as injuries led to Nebraska utilizing three former walk-ons (Cole Conrad, Dylan Utter and Sam Hahn) extensively on its line. Hunter Miller will look to continue that tradition, as the massive guard prospect joined the Husker class midway through November. Miller was a star for Cross County as a senior, earning all-state honors and leading the Cougars to a 6-4 record and the Class C1 playoffs. He can play anyof the three interior line positions, giving the Huskers a solid contributor to add depth to their line.

Dylan Reynolds

WR | 6-1, 170 | Broken Bow, Nebraska

Nebraska has had success with walk-on receivers in the past, evidenced these past two seasons with Brandon Reilly. Nebraska will look to continue that success with Broken Bow wide receiver Dylan Reynolds. Reynolds first came to Nebraska’s attention during the summer camp circuit, as he clocked in a sub 4.5 40 time and an impressive vertical leap of 36 inches. This made Reynolds a high priority target for Nebraska as they looked for another speedster to add to their wide receiver class. Reynolds will need some time to add strength and polish as a wide receiver, but he has fantastic tools to work with and could find a role on Nebraska’s offense in the future.

Ethan Cox

WR/CB | 5-11, 175 | Blair, Nebraska

Nebraska landed one of the top athletes in the state, but now they just need to figure out where to use him. Cox excelled at quarterback in Blair’s spread option offense, but his 5-11 frame will likely mean that he will need to find a new position at Nebraska. Cox can play both wide receiver and cornerback at Nebraska, but he will likely fit best at wide receiver in Nebraska’s offense. Cox is very similar to former Nebraska wide receiver Grant Mulkey, an undersized but ultra tough receiver that was a valuable chain mover for Nebraska’s offense in the Callahan years.

Cody Liske

LB | 6-, 200 pounds | Bennington, Nebraska

Walk-on linebackers tend to follow a similar path to playing time at Nebraska. They spend a year redshirting, then find a role on special teams before finding reps on the top defensive units late in their career. Bennington’s Cody Liske will look to follow in the footsteps of current walk-on success stories Chris Weber and Brad Simpson, as he combines a nose for the football and toughness with impressive 4.5 speed. Liske likely projects as an inside linebacker in Bob Diaco’s 3-4 scheme. As a senior, Liske tallied 95 tackles from his linebacker position while also rushing for over 650 yards from his fullback position.

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