Nebraska Hires Jonathan Rutledge As New Special Teams Analyst
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Reviewing Huskers’ Roster Heading Into the Offseason: Special Teams

December 03, 2018

Sadly, the 2018 football season has come to an end for Nebraska. With the school semester coming to a close soon and National Signing Day just around the corner, this is a perfect time to take stock of what the Nebraska roster looks like at this stage.

On Saturday, we broke down the offense. On Sunday, it was the defense’s turn. To wrap things up, it’s time to take a look at the third phase of the game: special teams.

Place-Kickers (5)

Scholarship (1): Barret Pickering (SO)

Walk-On (4): Cole Frahm (SO), Noah McCashland (rFR), Dylan Jorgensen (FR), Gabe Heins (FR)

Things looked pretty shaky early on for Pickering, but he really closed the season strong and it looks like Nebraska has its kicker moving forward. Jorgensen, the walk-on commit out of Lincoln Southwest, made seven of his 11 kicks with a long of 47 as a senior. As a junior, he made seven of his 10 kicks with a long of 44. He was 65-of-65 on extra points in his two years as the Southwest starter.

Punters (5)

Scholarship (1): Caleb Lightbourn (SR)

Walk-On (4): Isaac Armstrong (SR), Jackson Walker (SR), Alec Cromer (JR), Grant Detlefsen (FR)

Isaac Armstrong went from second-string walk-on to one of the better starters in the Big Ten after he replaced Caleb Lightbourn, and he still has another year of eligibility. But so does Lightbourn, who even had his kickoff duties taken away from him by the end of the year. That makes things a little awkward. Since Lightbourn was pressed into duty as a true freshman, he still has his redshirt year available if he were to choose to transfer elsewhere.

Detlefsen, a walk-on commit from Lincoln Southeast, also played tight end for the Knights at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds. He punted 45 times for an average of 39.5 yards with a long of 58 and two touchbacks as a senior.

Long Snappers (3)

Walk-On (3): Chase Urbach (SR), Cameron Pieper (rFR), Cade Mueller (rFR)

With Jordan Ober graduating, Nebraska no longer has a long snapper on scholarship. Midway through the season, Chase Urbach had replaced Ober as the long snapper on punts anyway because of his ability to get downfield and cover the punts better than Ober. Urbach will be back for one more year and redshirt freshmen walk-ons Cameron Pieper and Cade Mueller should get the chance to earn the back-up job for next year.

Class Tally

Seniors: 4 (1 scholarship, 3 walk-on)

Juniors: 1 (0 scholarship, 1 walk-on)

Sophomores: 2 (1 scholarship, 1 walk-on)

Redshirt Freshmen: 3 (0 scholarship, 3 walk-on)

True Freshmen: 2 (0 scholarship, 3 walk-on)

Total: 13 (2 scholarship, 11 walk-on)

Overall Roster Review

Total: 153 (84 scholarship, 69 walk-on)

Offense: 66 (37 scholarship, 29 walk-on)

  • Quarterback: 5 (3 scholarship, 2 walk-on)
  • Running Back: 11 (8 scholarship, 3 walk-on)
  • Wide Receiver: 17 (7 scholarship, 10 walk-on)
  • Tight End: 8 (5 scholarship, 3 walk-on)
  • Offensive Line: 25 (14 scholarship, 11 walk-on)

Defense: 74 (45 scholarship, 29 walk-on)

  • Defensive Line: 21 (15 scholarship, 6 walk-on)
  • Linebacker: 25 (15 scholarship, 10 walk-on)
  • Defensive Back: 28 (15 scholarship, 13 walk-on)

Special Teams: 13 (2 scholarship, 11 walk-on)

  • Place-Kicker: 4 (1 scholarship, 4 walk-on)
  • Punter: 5 (1 scholarship, 4 wak-on)
  • Long Snapper: 3 (0 scholarship, 3 walk-on)

Class Review

  • Seniors: 24 (16 scholarship, 8 walk-on)
  • Juniors: 29 (19 scholarship, 10 walk-on)
  • Sophomores: 31 (16 scholarship, 15 walk-on)
  • Redshirt Freshmen: 34 (11 scholarship, 23 walk-on)
  • True Freshmen: 36 (23 scholarship, 13 walk-on)

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