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July 22, 2011As the dog days of summer continue, HuskerOnline.com is introducing a new series breaking down Nebraska's top-15 players on the roster heading into 2011.
In our final installment of Key Huskers, we take a look at defensive tackle Jared Crick and where he stands entering the start of fall camp.
Crick plays the game with as much motor as any defensive linemen in the country. He's started 28 consecutive games now for Nebraska at defensive tackle.
His 9 ? quarterback sacks led NU in 2010 and that mark also ranked second in the Big 12 Conference. Even without Outland Trophy winner Ndamukong Suh next to him last season, Crick still proved he could put up equal production numbers as he did in 2009.
What he still needs to prove
Heading into a new conference, Crick is going to face off against some of the best offensive linemen in the country when the Huskers take on teams like Iowa, Wisconsin and Ohio State.
The Big Ten will bring a different style of offensive football NU hasn't seen a lot of over the last several years. Crick needs to prove he can make the adjustment to the more physical two-back orientated Big Ten Conference.
Most memorable play or moment
Crick had a lot of big games in 2010, but arguably his most dominant performance came against Idaho where he racked up 2 ? quarterback sacks for 30 yards of losses, to go along with four tackles for loss.
Crick was dominant that day and helped close the door on the Vandals early, despite the fact the Huskers played sluggish for nearly the entire second half.
In NU's win over seventh ranked Missouri, Crick also had eight tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss as the Blackshirts put relentless pressure on Tiger quarterback Blaine Gabbert.
On paper Crick is the top returning defensive player in the Big Ten and arguably the best defensive linemen in all of college football.
He definitely projects as a first round draft pick and should benefit by coming back for a fifth season. Look for Crick to have another big season and put his name with some of the great defensive linemen in program history.