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March 3, 2014
Spring preview: Wide receiver/Tight end
With spring practice beginning on Saturday, HuskerOnline.com continues our in-depth look at each position with our 2014 spring position previews.
Today, we analyze and breakdown the wide receiver and tight end positions heading into the start of spring practice.
What we know right now: Nebraska has a very talented group returning at wide receiver, and some young up and coming talent at tight end. Senior Kenny Bell has a chance to become one of the school's all-time best at wide receiver, while senior Jamal Turner, junior Sam Burtch, sophomore Alonzo Moore and sophomore Jordan Westerkamp all made sizeable contributions in 2013.
At tight end, sophomore Cethan Carter should make big gains, while sophomore Sam Cotton, sophomore Trey Foster and redshirt freshman Greg Hart should factor into the mix as well. There's not a lot of production yet out of this group, but Carter has the chance to really break out and Cotton has a strong freshman season.
Biggest question to answer: Probably the biggest thing we don't know going into the spring is which Turner will show up? The one that was outstanding in 2012 or the one that was inconsistent and battled injuries in 2013?
When Turner is healthy, he's an outstanding slot receiver. Last year Westerkamp proved he could step in and make big catches in clutch when needed. Turner had just 13 catches and finished the year with four drops, a couple that would've been touchdowns. Nebraska's offense needs him to return to the player he was in 2012 to give them another weapon.
Spring dark horse: Burtch is an easy name to call as a dark horse, but another one I'll throw out is sophomore Brandon Reilly who saw plenty of action last year and traveled to every game. With four new scholarship receivers coming in this August, this spring will be important for guys like Reilly to make their mark.
At tight end, Jared Blum figured to play in 2013, but hurt his knee during fall camp in August. He'll have a chance to make his mark this spring as a sleeper name to watch.