5 Husker walk-ons that could make an impact this season
Scott Frost is all about walk-ons. He’s preached the importance of the walk-on program, he’s thrown around the idea of having 150 players at practice (meaning a large influx of walk-ons) and has said over and over he needs Nebraska kids to set the tone at practice.
Nebraska has 19 walk-ons in the 2018 class, 18 of which are from the Cornhusker State, though they’re not on campus yet. But there are still quite a few non-scholarship guys who could make their mark on the field this spring.
Here are five to keep an eye on:
Kicker Cole Frahm
Nebraska will have itself an old fashioned kick-off this spring. Scholarship kicker Barret Pickering will compete with Frahm to replace Drew Brown.
Frahm is a redshirt freshman from Omaha Burke, where he made 26 of 42 field goal attempts, his longest coming from 39 yards out. He made 92 of 97 PATs.
Brown said at the NFL combine he thought Frahm and Pickering would split duties — Pickering on field goals and Frahm on kickoffs. Though it may seem like a small task, it’ll be worth watching if Brown is right and Frahm does get a shot at kickoffs, or if he can beat out the true freshman Pickering, who enrolled early.
Wide receiver Conor Young
Young made his first start against Ohio State last season, catching two passes for 31 yards. Those are the only two career receptions for the Cozad native, but the 6-foot-2, 180-pound walk-on could find himself a role in Frost’s new offense.
Nebraska will be going fast in 2018, which suits the shifty Young. The wide receivers room is also somewhat small, so a receiver like Young could squeeze into some roles on the field with a good showing in the spring.
Fullback Austin Rose
Running backs coach Ryan Held knows Rose hasn’t taken a snap in a game. But Held specifically said on Wednesday he likes what he has in the walk-on from Lincoln.
Rose is a senior and is listed on the roster as a fullback for his final season. Held said fullbacks won’t really be a thing at Nebraska anymore, but with Rose’s 6-foot-1, 225-pound frame, he could be a change of pace if the Huskers go with a running back by committee. Rose could also be a special teams contributor. He returned kicks last year next to JD Spielman.
Running back Wyatt Mazour
Remember when Mike Riley called Mazour Nebraska’s Danny Woodhead? Whatever it was about Mazour that Riley liked, Held is on board, too.
Mazour — from Albion, Nebraska — has appeared in one game during his career. Now a junior, the 5-foot-9, 190-pound running back will be part of a jam-packed position group. It’s not clear how Mazour will fit, exactly, but at worst he’ll be a tone-setter in the weight room and at practice. Held likes what he’s seen from Mazour on that end already.
Defensive back Jermiah Stovall
Stovall was the leading tackler among walk-ons in 2017. The defensive back had stops against Northern Illinois, Rutgers, Purdue and Penn State.
The Omaha Creighton Prep grad spent time on special teams and in the secondary. In Erik Chinander’s aggressive 3-4 defense, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound Stovall could find some time as a defensive back-linebacker hybrid.