Football doesn’t return until August. That sucks. So let’s refuse to stop football talk. Let’s keep the anticipation flowing.
We're continuing our look at ten players that might become the most interesting men in the Huskers’ locker room.
- No. 10 — Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Damion Daniels
- No. 9 — Sophomore defensive back Dicaprio Bootle
- No. 8 — Junior outside linebacker Alex Davis
- No. 7 — Junior center Michael Decker
- No. 6 — Junior inside linebacker Will Honas
- No. 5 — Junior wide receiver Mike Williams
- No. 4 — Junior cornerback Lamar Jackson
- No. 3 — Junior running back Greg Bell
No. 2 — Sophomore wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey
Nebraska’s 2018 receiving corps includes a program’s single-season yardage record-holder, a guy who had 800 yards receiving as a freshman, a junior college guy who has already shown up on this list and a bunch of new guys handpicked by the new staff for the new offense. So, how does a sophomore who had 12 catches his first year show up this high on a list of intriguing talent?
That was Lindsey’s first touch of the ball game. He didn’t break any tackles or reverse course after getting shut off or do anything unscripted; the play was a designed handoff for him to get the ball outside in space and use his athleticism. That’s what makes him so intriguing this season with this staff.
Lindsey wasn’t utilized properly last season. Maybe that’s not the best way to phrase it. He wasn’t used enough. There, that works better. Multiple catches and 44 of his 76 total yards came in the first three games, then spot work from then on even during chunks of injury-shortened wideout depth charts. He’s still just the fifth true freshman wideout in program history to have at least a dozen catches, so, yay experience, but he could have been fed more in different ways… Wait, so maybe it's he might not have been used enough OR properly.
The way running backs coach Ryan Held and offensive coordinator Troy Walters and head coach Scott Frost keep talking about incoming freshman Miles Jones, that’s the way Lindsey should be used, too. Lindsey is the same height, almost the same weight and the same build as Jones. They both have similar “get him the ball and vacate the area” skillsets and … wait for it … Lindsey is a year more experienced.
Not that youth is a negative with the new Husker staff, but Lindsey now knows what not to do after a season of trying to figure out what he was supposed to do.
“Last year I was very scared. I was new. I was a freshman. [It was a] new type of offense. My biggest downfall in that was I was always nervous going into the game I never wanted to mess up because it was my freshman year,” Lindsey said after the spring game. “I always just had that in the back of my mind, ‘Don’t mess up, don’t mess up.’”
He doesn’t really have that anymore; seems like it’s been replaced with confidence. A whole lot of confidence. It takes a certain level of swagger to rock a Tune Squad jersey under a flannel. Will Miles Jones have that same strut in his first year? Maybe, maybe not, we don’t know. We know the answer with Lindsey. It’s, “Yes.”
If Tristan Gebbia (Lindsey’s college roommate) gets the nod at quarterback, Lindsey’s intrigue factor goes through the roof. There’s a really good chemistry between those two. Even if it’s not Gebbia, Lindsey’s potential is hard to not get excited about. The plan for the first public scrimmage was to get Lindsey the ball. There was no Stanley Morgan, which will complicate things a bit once the season starts, but the general plan will remain the same: get your playmakers the ball.
Lindsey is one of those playmakers.
This guy is in tight quarters, has one blocker for four defenders and picks up the first down. Last season was mostly this, just in small does. Little flashes of Lindsey’s shiftiness, little glimpses of an ability to take guys whose job it is to tackle him and send them back over to their coaches without having accomplished that job.
In the April 21 Red-White game, Lindsey was lined up in a split Husker backfield on the first snap. He was used. It was clear there was a plan for how to maximize his ability. That’s exciting. Color me intrigued.
Derek is a newbie on the Hail Varsity staff covering Husker athletics. In college, he was best known as ‘that guy from Twitter.’ He has covered a Sugar Bowl, a tennis national championship and almost everything in between (except an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game… *tears*). In his spare time, he can be found arguing with literally anyone about sports.