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Good review of the 3 impact RB recruits   Grant, Allen and Emmett Johnson.      Johnson and Allen seem to have have the more varied skill sets as RP, Kick returner, punt returner, slot receiver.  Grant seems to a pure runner who has a mix of power and speed.    I suspect these 3 along with Gabe may end up being our top 4 backs.  Who will transfer - I think Stepp, Yanz are likely transfer candidates at the end of the spring camp - perhaps R Johnson if he sees himself falling behind the other 4.   

Overall, I think Allen may become our next great back.   

 

Obligatory disclaimer:  RB production will only be as good as OL play. 

 

 

https://www.si.com/college/nebraska/recruiting/jeremy-pernell-husker-signee-analysis-the-running-backs

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Here's how I see it - Rahmir and Grant will be battling for the RB1 job in the spring, and Yant and Stepp will be fighting for their spot on the roster. In the fall things get a lot more competitive, with Ervin being closer to fully back and the other freshmen showing up. 

 

I am perfectly happy with Rahmir as RB1 if he continues his growth. He made huge strides in running tough last year, and I love what he can do catching the ball. Still waiting for his track speed to consistently show up though, and that's one of 2 areas I think Grant has an advantage. I think you see more speed from Grant (albeit at the Juco level) than I've seen from Rahmir here, even though I suspect if you lined them up for a 100 meter race Johnson would win. The other thing is size - Johnson is still small and got beat up a bit last year. I think either could be the guy, but the size and game speed make me think it'll be Grant. As long as he keeps working and hits it off with Applewhite, I expect Yant to push Stepp out the door.

 

Then in the fall, it'll be an uphill battle to unseat Grant/Rahmir/Yant for significant carries. Injuries happen and they are talented, but it's going to be tough for Allen/E. Johnson to contribute much. Allen has a much better chance for sure, but I don't know that his talent alone is enough to jump past those guys immediately. E. Johnson needs to get a bit bigger. And hopefully Ervin comes on strong, he was a monster in pass pro and I don't think we got a fair look at his running ability - ACLs are tough though, we'll see what he looks like. I could see Ervin/Allen catching up and cracking the rotation by the end of the year, but IMO there's a lot of ground they'll need to make up in fall camp/

 

And with RB who knows, it's a brutal position. All of these guys are talented enough to have success this year. 

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I think they’ve recruited very well overall all four years generally at the RBs as quite a few were comparable with this year’s catch.  Maybe none are potentially ‘great’ players but most have been quite capable of being productive ball carriers.  
 

The challenge I suspect has been pass pro.  Frosh don’t tend to do well at this when so young and inexperienced.  We have played a bunch who show glimpses of ball carrying stuff but with the rotation weekly, it appears the coaches are trying to find guys who are reliable blocking.  Picking up blitzes and or assigned protection responsibilities is not easy, especially when you’re recruiting mainly based on rushing stats / film, etc.  Frost needs really good blockers with good running and receiving skills.  Those are RARE birds as frosh/sophs.  It takes time to develop the whole package of inside-outside rusher & great block and catch all purpose. We haven’t kept a couple healthy and around long enough really.  
And to get good rushing performance guys need 15-20 carries over 4 or 5 games, or more.  
 

My only hope is Whipple will change schemes and play mix and so on enough to give a running game a chance to develop.  That will take pressure off the O line and QBs and RBs to pass protect when the defenses can’t expect passing and disregard the run game so much.  It can happen, imo, if it is allowed by giving different looks and so on.  We will see.  I really believe Whipple and other new O staff can package things better, within Frost’s idea of offense, but it will look and feel significantly different.  Maybe just wishful thinking on my part.   

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31 minutes ago, Husker in WI said:

Here's how I see it - Rahmir and Grant will be battling for the RB1 job in the spring, and Yant and Stepp will be fighting for their spot on the roster. In the fall things get a lot more competitive, with Ervin being closer to fully back and the other freshmen showing up. 

 

I am perfectly happy with Rahmir as RB1 if he continues his growth. He made huge strides in running tough last year, and I love what he can do catching the ball. Still waiting for his track speed to consistently show up though, and that's one of 2 areas I think Grant has an advantage. I think you see more speed from Grant (albeit at the Juco level) than I've seen from Rahmir here, even though I suspect if you lined them up for a 100 meter race Johnson would win. The other thing is size - Johnson is still small and got beat up a bit last year. I think either could be the guy, but the size and game speed make me think it'll be Grant. As long as he keeps working and hits it off with Applewhite, I expect Yant to push Stepp out the door.

 

Then in the fall, it'll be an uphill battle to unseat Grant/Rahmir/Yant for significant carries. Injuries happen and they are talented, but it's going to be tough for Allen/E. Johnson to contribute much. Allen has a much better chance for sure, but I don't know that his talent alone is enough to jump past those guys immediately. E. Johnson needs to get a bit bigger. And hopefully Ervin comes on strong, he was a monster in pass pro and I don't think we got a fair look at his running ability - ACLs are tough though, we'll see what he looks like. I could see Ervin/Allen catching up and cracking the rotation by the end of the year, but IMO there's a lot of ground they'll need to make up in fall camp/

 

And with RB who knows, it's a brutal position. All of these guys are talented enough to have success this year. 

image.jpeg.b7eef6e19c1cfa16ef0e1b2c01a0fc30.jpeg

This guy had a career after this.  With todays medical advances ACL injuries are more of mental hurdle to come back from.  

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A Yant in very good physical condition could be more than just a good RB Yant. He apparently has worked really hard in winter conditioning. Thus despite all the hype of Allen and Grant — and they may develop into great players — Yant could be very much in the mix with his speed, power and his ability to make a cut to go downfield. With his size to go along with it, you can’t rule him out. Plus if E Johnson continues to be a decent pass-pro blocker — as a poster had pointed out to me — he will get his share of snaps. 

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1 hour ago, MyBloodIsRed16 said:

image.jpeg.b7eef6e19c1cfa16ef0e1b2c01a0fc30.jpeg

This guy had a career after this.  With todays medical advances ACL injuries are more of mental hurdle to come back from.  

 

Right, I should have been clearer that I don't have major long term concerns, other than the biggest predictor of future knee injuries being past knee injuries. Guys come back from ACLs now, but I've always had it in my head the first year back is still not 100% - that could just be the mental aspect though and would vary across players. Ervin certainly has the mentality to fight through anything. 

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I want to see a for sure #1 and 2 back that get 90% of the carries. Im tired of seeing 4-5 guys splitting the bulk of carries. Michigan had a nice 1-2 punch but look at most teams that have dominate run games the majority of the work comes from one guy. Nothing wrong #3 and 4 guys getting some reps at the end of the game but these guys need games to get better. 

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1 hour ago, BaytownHusker said:

I want to see a for sure #1 and 2 back that get 90% of the carries. Im tired of seeing 4-5 guys splitting the bulk of carries. Michigan had a nice 1-2 punch but look at most teams that have dominate run games the majority of the work comes from one guy. Nothing wrong #3 and 4 guys getting some reps at the end of the game but these guys need games to get better. 

I agree.  Perhaps it is too early to appoint Allen as heir to the throne - he and E Johnson may need some time to get use to P5 football, but I can see Grant competing for the starting spot wt R Johnson or Gabe being # 2.    I'm not sold on Yanz and Stepp.  It will be interesting to see how it shakes out in spring ball. 

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7 hours ago, Husker in WI said:

Here's how I see it - Rahmir and Grant will be battling for the RB1 job in the spring, and Yant and Stepp will be fighting for their spot on the roster. In the fall things get a lot more competitive, with Ervin being closer to fully back and the other freshmen showing up. 

 

I am perfectly happy with Rahmir as RB1 if he continues his growth. He made huge strides in running tough last year, and I love what he can do catching the ball. Still waiting for his track speed to consistently show up though, and that's one of 2 areas I think Grant has an advantage. I think you see more speed from Grant (albeit at the Juco level) than I've seen from Rahmir here, even though I suspect if you lined them up for a 100 meter race Johnson would win. The other thing is size - Johnson is still small and got beat up a bit last year. I think either could be the guy, but the size and game speed make me think it'll be Grant. As long as he keeps working and hits it off with Applewhite, I expect Yant to push Stepp out the door.

 

Then in the fall, it'll be an uphill battle to unseat Grant/Rahmir/Yant for significant carries. Injuries happen and they are talented, but it's going to be tough for Allen/E. Johnson to contribute much. Allen has a much better chance for sure, but I don't know that his talent alone is enough to jump past those guys immediately. E. Johnson needs to get a bit bigger. And hopefully Ervin comes on strong, he was a monster in pass pro and I don't think we got a fair look at his running ability - ACLs are tough though, we'll see what he looks like. I could see Ervin/Allen catching up and cracking the rotation by the end of the year, but IMO there's a lot of ground they'll need to make up in fall camp/

 

And with RB who knows, it's a brutal position. All of these guys are talented enough to have success this year. 

Ervin tore his patellar tendon, not his ACL. 

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22 hours ago, 84HuskerLaw said:

I think they’ve recruited very well overall all four years generally at the RBs as quite a few were comparable with this year’s catch.  Maybe none are potentially ‘great’ players but most have been quite capable of being productive ball carriers.  
 

The challenge I suspect has been pass pro.  Frosh don’t tend to do well at this when so young and inexperienced.  We have played a bunch who show glimpses of ball carrying stuff but with the rotation weekly, it appears the coaches are trying to find guys who are reliable blocking.  Picking up blitzes and or assigned protection responsibilities is not easy, especially when you’re recruiting mainly based on rushing stats / film, etc.  Frost needs really good blockers with good running and receiving skills.  Those are RARE birds as frosh/sophs.  It takes time to develop the whole package of inside-outside rusher & great block and catch all purpose. We haven’t kept a couple healthy and around long enough really.  
And to get good rushing performance guys need 15-20 carries over 4 or 5 games, or more.  
 

My only hope is Whipple will change schemes and play mix and so on enough to give a running game a chance to develop.  That will take pressure off the O line and QBs and RBs to pass protect when the defenses can’t expect passing and disregard the run game so much.  It can happen, imo, if it is allowed by giving different looks and so on.  We will see.  I really believe Whipple and other new O staff can package things better, within Frost’s idea of offense, but it will look and feel significantly different.  Maybe just wishful thinking on my part.   

I could see E Johnson breaking in as a return guy prior to being in the RB rotation.  He has the speed and agility to be a good return guy - punts or kickoffs.  

My bet is that Allen eventually becomes the featured back.  Perhaps Grant rules the room for 2 years first as I think he we end up  being # 1.  With a new RB coach everyone starts on an even field.  R Johnson, Gabe and Yanz could be fighting for # 2.  I think Stepp will leave and one more.     

 

By the way, Is Gabe participation in spring drills at all?

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14 minutes ago, TGHusker said:

I could see E Johnson breaking in as a return guy prior to being in the RB rotation.  He has the speed and agility to be a good return guy - punts or kickoffs.  

My bet is that Allen eventually becomes the featured back.  Perhaps Grant rules the room for 2 years first as I think he we end up  being # 1.  With a new RB coach everyone starts on an even field.  R Johnson, Gabe and Yanz could be fighting for # 2.  I think Stepp will leave and one more.     

 

By the way, Is Gabe participation in spring drills at all?

I don't think Ervin is participating in spring, and Trey Palmer is your #1 return man for the next year or two most likely.

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21 hours ago, Pedro G said:

A Yant in very good physical condition could be more than just a good RB Yant. He apparently has worked really hard in winter conditioning. Thus despite all the hype of Allen and Grant — and they may develop into great players — Yant could be very much in the mix with his speed, power and his ability to make a cut to go downfield. With his size to go along with it, you can’t rule him out. Plus if E Johnson continues to be a decent pass-pro blocker — as a poster had pointed out to me — he will get his share of snaps. 


Hmmm, that's awesome to hear!

For me, I thought Yant was going to be our guy.  Yet, there seems to be "discipline" issues of him.  I don't know or get it.  Lawrence Philipps had a lot of issues also ... but he played.  I'm not saying Yant is LP, but I would think that the NW game would "challenge" the idea that he can't play because of his "discipline issues".  So, the reality that he was then benched and really didn't sniff again means he has major issues of discipline or the staff simply felt it was better to go with inferior players [all a part of our 3-9 mentality].  

I have no clue where the RB group will go.  All the new blood leads my mind to believe that the staff is moving on to new players and thus, I would think that Stepp and Yant are the next out of the RB room.  I have no "insight", just reading the tea leaves here of what is said and not said along with how the staff was recruiting that spot.

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1 hour ago, BigRedN said:

For me, I thought Yant was going to be our guy.  Yet, there seems to be "discipline" issues of him.  I don't know or get it.  Lawrence Philipps had a lot of issues also ... but he played.  I'm not saying Yant is LP, but I would think that the NW game would "challenge" the idea that he can't play because of his "discipline issues".  So, the reality that he was then benched and really didn't sniff again means he has major issues of discipline or the staff simply felt it was better to go with inferior players [all a part of our 3-9 mentality].  

There is one hell of a lot of difference between Yant and LP...and I'm not talking in the talent area because nobody is going to match LP there.  LP was a freak in shape and brought it every single time on the field and that includes practice to the point he was getting in fights with defenders.  He was an animal that just never stopped.  There was no way you're keeping him off the field other than the legal troubles he ultimately had.  I'm pretty sure you can't describe Yant like that.  When you show up out of shape and possibly don't bring intensity in practice, it's harder to commit to you in games.

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