Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Nebraska Honors Seniors Ahead of Iowa Matchup

November 26, 2021

Nebraska is set to face Iowa for its season finale on Friday. Prior to the matchup, the Huskers honored their seniors—and some juniors—for the annual senior day.

Friday’s ceremony is an interesting one, however, as a number of players that walk may choose to return for the 2022 season. Players like defensive lineman Ben Stille, wide receiver Samori Touré and linebacker JoJo Domann, just to name a few, have already exhausted their eligibility and are unable to return. On the other hand, there are older juniors—like linebackers Caleb Tannor and Pheldarius Payne, as well as defensive lineman Deontre Thomas—who have the option to return if they choose.

Nebraska, as well as other programs around the country, are in an unprecedented spot with their senior days due to the NCAA-granted extra year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There’s a lot of guys who could be done or could come back,” Coach Scott Frost said on Wednesday. “Senior Day will be interesting because I think there’s going to be some guys who don’t walk that maybe don’t play anymore, and maybe some guys who do walk and come back and play another year. The way I feel about it is, any time we can honor any of them for the hard work they put in here, we need to honor them.”

Defensive coordinator Erik Chinander shared a similar sentiment to Frost on Monday, saying he has a few players that “aren’t 100 percent sure.” However, he also didn’t anticipate too many players walking for senior day if they intended to return for another season in 2022.

Either way, the day is one that brings out a variety of emotions for both the players and coaches.

“I think every senior day is mixed emotions,” Chinander said. “Really cool for me to see them and their parents. A very emotional day. Very sad to see them go. Probably for a lot of these guys, I wish we had them back for a year. But they’re going to start on the next leg of their life – whether that be Sunday football or their professional journey.”

As a reminder, some of those honored on Friday may still return for another season. If a player has announced their plan for the future, we’ve included either the tweet or announcement saying so in the first list. The second list is the players who participated in Friday’s events but could still return for another year.

Here is the list of players that have either exhausted their eligibility or have already announced their future plans:

TE Austin Allen

While the junior tight end had maintained he wasn’t sure about his future plans for quite some time throughout the latter half of the season, he ultimately announced that Friday’s matchup with Iowa would be his last at Nebraska.

WR Samori Touré

Touré transferred from Montana to Nebraska to get a chance to test himself against the best of the best during his final season of college football.

“It’s crazy,” Touré said. “It feels like I just got here. The season went by pretty fast, my time here went by fast. I’m just looking to finish this out strong and hopefully set a foundation for the team next year.”

WR Levi Falck

Super senior Falck is set to leave the program following the season, but he feels confident in Friday’s matchup with Iowa.

“We all truly believe that we’re going to come out and end the season on a good note and send this team off in a good direction heading into next season,” Falck said.

DL Ben Stille

Stille shared some advice earlier in the week for those making a decision to return for another year, saying it’s something you have to have your whole heart in. Stille made the decision for himself following the 2020 season, opting for one more year to give it his best.

LB JoJo Domann

Following a game where he recorded nine tackles, two pass breakups and one interception against the nation’s top-scoring offense in Ohio State, Frost revealed in the post-game press conference that Domann has been playing injured for parts of the season.

With his future in mind, Domann decided to not play in the Huskers’ final two games against Wisconsin on Nov. 20 and Iowa on Friday, Nov. 26. He had surgery not long after the announcement.

CB Cam Taylor-Britt

Taylor-Britt made it official with a final message posted to Twitter on Friday morning. While he hadn’t publicly announced anything prior to that, he had accepted an offer to play in the Reese’s Senior Bowl which all but sealed the deal on his future.

S Deontai Williams

Deontai Williams said he had unfinished business when he made the decision to return for one more season in 2021.

S Marquel Dismuke

After Williams’ announcement in January, Marquel Dismuke shared that he was also coming back.

The duo’s return provided a boost for Chinander and defensive backs coach Travis Fisher in 2021. Nebraska returned three of its four starters in the secondary from the 2020 season as a result.

S Lane McCallum

Two months after Frost took the Nebraska job, Norfolk native Lane McCallum announced he was coming home. McCallum, a 2017 graduate who spent his first year at Air Force as a kicker, transferred to Nebraska to walk on as a safety. However, it wasn’t safety where he made his first impact as a Husker.

McCallum finally made his Husker debut against Northern Illinois in 2019, but it wasn’t at safety.

It was at place kicker.

K Connor Culp

Culp was named the Big Ten Kicker of the Year in 2020 after going 13-of-15 on field goals and making all 20 of his extra-point attempts. He came to Nebraska as a graduate transfer after spending his first four seasons at LSU.

Here is the list of non-seniors that were honored on Friday:

QB Adrian Martinez

One of the biggest question marks going forward is Martinez and his future with the program. The fourth-year starter has one year of eligibility left but will miss the Iowa game after undergoing surgery on a shoulder he injured at Wisconsin.

DL Damion Daniels

DL Deontre Thomas

DB Kyan Brumfield

DL Colton Feist

OL Matt Sichterman

DL Chris Walker

WR Wyatt Liewer

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