April 17, 2008

Your complete breakdown of the Red squad

For the first time ever, the Nebraska football team conducted a draft to pick the squads for this weekend's Red-White game in Lincoln.

Over the next two days, HuskersIllustrated.com will breakdown the strengths and weaknesses of each team leading into Saturday's Red-White game. Today we have a complete breakdown of the Red squad. Quarterback Joe Ganz and running back Marlon Lucky will lead the way for the Red offense.

WHAT STANDS OUT ABOUT THE RED OFFENSE

Immediately what jumps out but the Red offense is the fact they have both quarterback Joe Ganz and running back [/db]Marlon Lucky[/db].

On top of Ganz and Lucky, they also have a very formidable offensive line led by seniors Lydon Murtha and Marcel Jones, along with three up and comers in Keith Williams, Marcel Jones and Mike Caputo.

At receiver, the Red has veteran fifth-year senior Nate Swift to lead the way, and we should get a good feel for Menelik Holt and Curenski Gilleylen by the end of Saturday's Red-White game. The tight ends on the Red are also impressive, because both Mike McNeill and Dreu Young are NU's two best receiving threats at the position. When it's all said and done, this Red offense should be able to put up some points.

WHAT STANDS OUT ABOUT THE RED DEFENSE

The positions the really jumps out to me on the Red Defense are defensive end and safety. Both Zach Potter and Pierre Allen have had excellent springs, and at safety Rickey Thenarse and Major Culbert appear to be a pretty scary duo on the back end.

The linebackers also jump out with Phillip Dillard, Latravis Washington and Tyler Wortman. Dillard is NU's best overall linebacker, and both Wortman and Washington have seen plenty of action with the first team defense this spring.

SLEEPER ON THE RED OFFENSE

A name to watch closely on Saturday is Gilleylen's. With his speed, he has a chance to be a very special player at wide receiver. Gilleylen is also a big physical presence that can make catches over the middle of the field.

SLEEPER ON THE RED DEFENSE

My sleeper on the Red defense is Allen. The 6-foot-5, 265 pound Allen has had an outstanding spring and he's really pushed for time at defensive end. Allen has reshaped his body and dropped a lot of the bad weight he put on last season. Look for Allen to be involved in several big plays.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE RED

This is my early pick to win the Red-White game. With the leadership of Ganz, Lucky and Swift on offense, I just don't see how the Red is going to be stopped.

Another reason why I feel the Red will win this game is their line play. I feel like the Red has the edge in this game on the offensive line and also at defensive end. The key will be preventing breakdowns, as Thenarse, Washington, Allen, Amukamara, Culbert and Moore are all relatively inexperienced and Saturday will be the first time any of them will see major reps in a live game type situation.

PROJECTED RED OFFENSIVE DEPTH CHART


Quarterback
Joe Ganz (6-1, 210), Sr.
Beau Davis (6-4, 180), Sr.
Kody Spano (6-2, 205), Fr.

Running back
Marlon Lucky[db] (6-0, 215), Sr.
[db]Marcus Mendoza (5-10, 185), RFr.
Kenny Wilson (6-0, 225), Sr. (out with injury)

Fullback
Thomas Lawson (6-0, 250), Sr.
Kevin Thomsen (6-2, 240), RFr.
Tyler Legate (5-10, 220), So.

Wide Receiver
Nate Swift (6-2, 200), Sr.
Menelik Holt (6-4, 220), Jr.
Curenski Gilleylen (6-0, 210), RFr.
Matt Donahue (6-2, 175), So.
Ben Lester (5-10, 165), RFr.

Tight end
Mike McNeill (6-4, 240), So.
Dreu Young (6-4, 240), So.
Jay Martin (6-2, 210), RFr.

Offensive line starters
LT - Lydon Murtha (6-7, 315), Sr.
LG - Keith Williams (6-5, 320), So.
C - Mike Caputo (6-1, 270), RFr.
RG - Matt Slauson (6-5, 325), Sr.
RT - Marcel Jones (6-7, 310), RFr.

Offensive line reserves
Cruz Barrett (6-4, 325), So.
Max McShane (6-6, 290), Fr.


PROJECTED RED OFFENSIVE DEPTH CHART


Defensive End
Zach Potter (6-7, 280), Sr.
Pierre Allen (6-5, 265), So.
Tyrone Fahie (6-3, 250), So.
Luke Lingenfelter (6-4, 250), RFr.
Jonathan Santin (6-3, 225), RFr.
Faron Klingelhoefer (6-2, 250), Fr.

Defensive Tackle
Kevin Dixon (6-3, 285), Sr.
Terrence Moore (6-3, 270), RFr.
Ben Martin (6-4, 270), Sr.

Linebacker
WLB - Latravis Washington (6-3, 225), So.
MLB - Phillip Dillard (6-1, 245), Jr.
SLB - Tyler Wortman (6-3, 235), Sr.

Reserve linebackers
Thomas Grove (6-2, 220), So.
Jeff Sayre (6-3, 215), RFr.
Joseph Camarata (5-10, 225), Fr.

Cornerback
Armando Murillo (6-0, 190), Sr.
Prince Amukamara (6-1, 195), So.
Lance Thorell (6-1, 190), RFr.
Anthony Blue (5-10, 180), So. (Out with injury)

Safety
Rickey Thenarse (6-0, 195), Jr.
Major Culbert (6-0, 205), Jr.
Adam Watson (6-0, 190), So.

Special Teams
Kicker - Alex Henery (6-2, 170), So.
Punter - Dan Titchener (6-0, 200), Sr.
Long Snapper - Justin Baumgartner (6-2, 250), Sr.

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