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June 25, 2013

Top Husker players for 2013: No. 26-30

Voting Criteria: Player's importance to the team in 2013, talent and potential for the upcoming season. A player's long term/NFL potential was not taken into consideration.

Voting Panel: HuskerOnline.com publisher Sean Callahan, HuskerOnline.com senior writer Robin Washut and HuskerOnline.com staff writer Dan Hoppen.

No. 30 DE Avery Moss Analysis
Corona Del Sol HS
Tempe, Arizona

Height: 6-2
Weight: 270
Year: RS Freshman

Depth Chart Projection: backup defensive end

2012 Stats: Played in three games, picking up four tackles and a quarterback hurry.

Recent Update:
Spring grade out: Defensive end

Moss is one of several young defensive linemen who displayed some promise in 2012, but due to limited playing time it's impossible to really know what to expect from them. Moss certainly looks the part and showed decent flashes during Nebraska's nonconference schedule, but missed the remained of the season with a shoulder injury and was awarded a medical redshirt. With Randy Gregory coming in and Greg McMullen available after redshirting in 2012, Moss is going to have a battle for playing time on his hands.
Voting Rundown: Sean Callahan - No. 32 / Dan Hoppen - No. 31 / Robin Washut- No. 20

No. 29 OT Andrew Rodriguez Analysis
Aurora HS
Aurora, Nebraska

Height: 6-6
Weight: 330
Year: Senior

Depth Chart Projection: Backup right tackle

2012 Stats: Played in all 14 games, started against Northwestern

Recent Update:
Spring grade out: Offensive line

Rodriguez came to Nebraska as a highly-touted prospect but has yet to live up to the hype. After playing at guard his first two years, Rodriguez switched to tackle last year and alternated with Brent Qvale and Jeremiah Sirles in NU's tackle rotation. With JUCO transfer Matt Finnin coming in, it appears someone in that group is about to see his playing time cut into. Rodriguez has elite size for the position but needs to show big improvement at his new spot to keep himself in the tackle discussion.
Voting Rundown: Sean Callahan - No. 15 / Dan Hoppen - NR / Robin Washut - No. 27

No. 28 OT Brent Qvale Analysis
Williston HS
Williston, North Dakota

Height: 6-7
Weight: 315
Year: Senior

Depth Chart Projection: Startling left tackle

2012 Stats: Played in all 14 games, starting 13

Recent Update:
Spring grade out: Offensive line

Qvale started all but one game at left tackle and certainly had some very solid moments. But Finnin's arrival and Rodriguez's potential will keep him from getting too comfortable. Qvale is massive and typically gets a good push in the running game but struggled last year to stay in front of speed rushers on the outside, something that's obviously an issue when protecting the quarterback's blind side. Sirles can also play left tackle, giving Qvale plenty of competition to keep his playing time.
Voting Rundown: Sean Callahan - NR / Dan Hoppen - No. 28 / Robin Washut - No. 12

No. 27 S Harvey Jackson Analysis
Hightower HS
Fresno, Texas

Height: 6-2
Weight: 210
Year: Junior

Depth Chart Projection: Starting safety

2012 Stats: Played in 13 games with a start against Wisconsin. Playing mostly on special teams, accumulated 13 tackles, one fumble recovery and a quarterback hurry.

Recent Update:
Spring grade out: Safety

Although he has been on campus for three years, it's tough to know what Nebraska really has in Jackson given that most of his playing time has come on special teams at this point. He was splitting reps with P.J. Smith early last season but Smith eventually wrestled that spot away and Jackson rarely saw the field on defense. Jackson will face heavy competition from fellow safeties Corey Cooper, Charles Jackson and D.J. Singleton as well as incoming freshmen Nathan Gerry and Drake Martinez. The battle at safety will be one of the most interesting to watch this fall. Harvey Jackson and Cooper appear to have the early lead due to their experience in the system, but both spots are far from settled.
Voting Rundown: Sean Callahan - No. 21 / Dan Hoppen - No. 32 / Robin Washut - No. 25

No. 26 FB C.J. Zimmerer Analysis
Gross HS
Omaha, Nebraska

Height: 6-0
Weight: 230
Year: Senior

Depth Chart Projection: Starting fullback

2012 Stats: Played in all 14 games, started against Minnesota. Had four carries for 16 yards and one reception for six yards.

Recent Update:
Spring grade out: Running back

Zimmerer battled Andy Janovich for playing time all last season and could do so again this year. But the senior appeared to establish himself at the end of 2012 and drew rave reviews from both teammates and coaches in spring practice. Though the position of fullback no longer carries the same importance it once did at NU, it's still key component of the offense. Zimmerer has the experience edge over Janovich and figures to be the starter heading into the season at the least.
Voting Rundown: Sean Callahan - No. 16 / Dan Hoppen - No. 25 / Robin Washut - No. 35

If you missed:

No. 31-35

No. 36-40

NEXT UP: Ranking No. 21-25

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