Nebraska lost a little potential depth in the secondary on Tuesday as defensive back CJ Smith is entering the transfer portal a source confirmed to Hail Varsity. Smith, part of Scott Frost’s first class at Nebraska in 2018, appeared in two games for the Huskers last season before taking a redshirt year.
Smith was the first new commit of the Frost era at Nebraska, pledging to the Huskers in December 2017. He had previously been committed to Florida and was recruited to UCF by the new Nebraska staff at its previous stop. It was the chance to play for that same staff that had offered in Orlando, but at a Power 5 school, that swayed Smith to Lincoln.
He appeared in two games in 2018, appearing on special teams against Purdue in the fourth game of the season and making his defensive debut two weeks later against Northwestern. A season-ending injury provided Smith the opportunity to redshirt.
Nebraska must replace its top three safeties from 2018 following the graduation of Antonio Reed, Aaron Williams and Tre Neal. The trio combined for 171 tackles last season and four interceptions. Deontai Williams and Marquel Dismuke were the first-team safeties for the Huskers in the spring game. Williams, a junior and fellow member of the 2018 class as a junior-college transfer, appeared in all 12 games last year, making 23 tackles and starting against Purdue. Dismuke, a redshirt sophomore last season, appeared in seven games and recorded 10 tackles.
The Huskers signed four defensive backs in the 2019 class.