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July 7, 2014

HuskerOnline 2014 Top 40 Players

Voting Criteria: Player's importance to the team in 2014, 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, HuskerOnline.com staff writer Dan Hoppen, HuskerOnline.com recruiting expert Nate Clouse and HuskerOnline.com video producer Gregg Peterson.

No. 40 DT Kevin Maurice Analysis
Freedom High School
Orlando, Florida

Height: 6-3
Weight: 280
Year: Sophomore

Depth Chart Projection: backup defensive tackle

2013 Stats: Played in six games, recording two tackles

Recent Update:
Spring grade out: Defensive tackle

Maurice received some early playing time as a true freshman, but that quickly evaporated as the season went on. With Thad Randle graduated, some snaps have certainly opened up at defensive tackle. But Vincent Valentine and Maliek Collins are the favorites to be the starters, and Aaron Curry and Kevin Williams are also fighting for backup spots. The coaches have made it clear they like Maurice and he showed improvement in the spring, but he'll have to fight for whatever reps he gets.
Voting Rundown: Sean Callahan - NR / Dan Hoppen - NR / Robin Washut- NR / Nate Clouse - NR / Gregg Peterson - No. 28

No. 39 QB Johnny Stanton Analysis
Santa Margarita Catholic
Rancho Santa Margarita, California

Height: 6-2
Weight: 225
Year: R. Freshman

Depth Chart Projection: Backup quarterback

2013 Stats: none

Recent Update:
Spring grade out: Quarterback

Stanton made a name for himself at the Elite 11 quarterback competition in 2012, but then missed a large chunk of his senior season with a knee injury. Stanton spent last year rehabbing and learning the offense on the scout team before getting a chance at the quarterback job this spring. Tommy Armstrong has an obvious experience advantage is the favorite to start, and Ryker Fyfe is in the conversation as well. But the strong-armed Stanton might have the highest ceiling of the three - it's just hard to foresee how much he'll be on the field this season.
Voting Rundown: Sean Callahan - No. 39 / Dan Hoppen - 40 / Robin Washut - No. 31 / Nate Clouse - NR / Gregg Peterson - No. 39

No. 38 RB Adam Taylor Analysis
Katy HS
Katy, Texas

Height: 6-2
Weight: 210
Year: R. Freshman

Depth Chart Projection: Backup running back

2013 Stats: None

Recent Update:
Spring grade out: Running back

With a number of veterans in front of him in 2013, Taylor chose to redshirt and hone his skills on the practice field. He was the scout team MVP for the offense, but Ameer Abdullah, Imani Cross and Terrell Newby still all stand behind him and the field, and, barring injuries, it might be tough to find plays for him. Taylor is an incredibly hard worker who has shown real signs of improvement during his time at Nebraska, and he will certainly see the field down the line. But the backfield appears pretty crowded at the moment, so Taylor's opportunities might be limited.
Voting Rundown: Sean Callahan - NR / Dan Hoppen - NR / Robin Washut - NR / Nate Clouse - 30 / Gregg Peterson - No. 33

No. 37 TE Sam Cotton Analysis
Lincoln Southeast HS
Lincoln, NE

Height: 6-4
Weight: 250
Year: Sophomore

Depth Chart Projection: Backup tight end

2012 Stats: 3 receptions for 22 yards and 1 touchdown

Recent Update:
Spring grade out: Tight end

The third Cotton brother to play at Nebraska, Sam showed some positive signs in limited playing time in 2013. With Jake Long graduated, Cethan Carter is the only tight end on the roster with more experience than Cotton, meaning his snaps are going to increase. It's tough to take too much from his few opportunities last year, but Cotton displayed some soft hands and good blocking ability. Fall camp will give him a real chance to show what kind of playing time he deserves.
Voting Rundown: Sean Callahan - No. 35 / Dan Hoppen - NR / Robin Washut - NR / Nate Clouse - No. 28 / Gregg Peterson - NR

No. 36 FB Andy Janovich Analysis
Gretna HS
Gretna, Nebraska

Height: 6-1
Weight: 230
Year: Junior

Depth Chart Projection: Starting fullback

2013 Stats: Played in 13 games

Recent Update:
Spring grade out: Running back

Janovich got some opportunities and played well as a freshman, but C.J. Zimmerer pretty much dominated the fullback duties in 2013. But Zimmerer is gone, leaving the position in Janovich's hands. The overall importance of the fullback seems to have decreased year by year in Tim Beck's offense, but when he is on the field, Janovich gives the Huskers' a crushing blocking presence. One of the strongest players on the team, Janovich should have a much better grasp on the offense than he did as a freshman, and has the ability to be a bruising blocker.
Voting Rundown: Sean Callahan - No. 36 / Dan Hoppen - No. 36 / Robin Washut - No. 32 / Nate Clouse - NR / Gregg Peterson - NR

NEXT UP: Ranking No. 31-35

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