The 3-2-1: Setting the stage for Saturday's Red-White spring game
We set the stage for Saturday's Red-White spring game and more in today's 3-2-1 column.
THREE THINGS WE LEARNED THIS WEEK
1 - Around 50,000 fans are expected to attend the Red-White spring game
Ever since Bill Callahan and Steve Pederson made the spring game a marketing event in 2004, Nebraska has consistently drawn between 60,000 and 85,000 fans at their Red-White spring game, other than last year's game, which had limited capacity.
On Saturday, the Huskers are expecting a crowd of just over 50,000 fans to fill Memorial Stadium.
That would be an unheard-of spring game crowd at most schools, but at NU it will be the smallest crowd since 2003 when the Huskers drew 33,419 fans on a rainy April Saturday.
In some ways, Nebraska is its own worst enemy with the monster they created with their spring game these last 20 years.
Some will act like 50,000 fans is a disappointment, but in all reality, it's still a very impressive number of fans considering where this program is at.
On Saturday, Michigan didn't even charge to attend their spring game or announce what the crowd was, but it was well under 10,000 fans in attendance. This is coming off a Big Ten Championship and College Football Playoff appearance season.
Nebraska, on the other hand, will charge $10 to attend, and walk-up tickets cost $20 on Saturday. NU has had five losing seasons in a row. From what I can tell, they are one of only a few schools that even charge for spring game tickets, and my guess is they still will have one of the top two or three largest crowds this year.
Yes, it will be disappointing not to see the full 70,000 to 80,000 fans we are accustomed to seeing at spring games. This was usually followed by national reactionary tweets with "how crazy" Nebraska fans are for showing up in such big numbers to a spring game. Well, Husker fans are still crazy, because 50,000+ fans showing up considering the state of the program is pretty remarkable.
2 - Defensive line numbers could be what prevents a traditional game
Nebraska has over 135 players on their spring football roster, so why the heck can't they divide up the roster into two teams and play a traditional Red-White game?
I'll tell you - the defensive line. I thought sophomore defensive lineman Ty Robinson shared something very interesting on Wednesday. Robinson said the Huskers have just seven total available defensive linemen this spring. That's a problem.
Robinson said all of them have logged over 400 scrimmage-type snaps this spring, which really is a full season's worth of work for a lot of defensive linemen.
This goes without saying - Nebraska is for sure one body short on the defensive line, and in all reality two.
You are going to see the Huskers make a strong push in the transfer portal here in the months of April and May to not only close on TCU's Ochaun Mathis, but identify another high-level portal addition on the defensive front.
3 - Frost doesn't plan to name Casey Thompson his QB starter yet
Quarterback Casey Thompson has taken all of the No. 1 reps at quarterback this spring, however, Scott Frost said on Monday he's still not ready to name a starter.
What should we make of this statement?
I still think the biggest thing is Frost would like to see more of a push from the other quarterbacks, particularly Chubba Purdy this summer.
Is Thompson in the driver's seat? Absolutely, and we all know that. I still find it very interesting, though, that Frost has not been quick to anoint him the No. 1 guy yet.
TWO QUESTIONS THIS WEEK
1 - When can 2023 prospects take official visits?
One of the most confusing things to figure out right now is the NCAA recruiting calendar for 2022-23 in terms of spring official visits.
Last year, because of COVID and the spring dead period, only the month of June was open for official visit activity. This year, there is no clear language on the NCAA recruiting calendar about when official visits can begin.
However, one source I talked to said the NCAA has opened up official visits for 2023 prospects from April 1 to June 26 - which is the beginning of the dead period. This would fall back in line with the pre-COVID recruiting visit rules.
So that means Nebraska could technically bring 2023 prospects in this weekend as official visitors. However, do you want to go that route knowing you will get a prospect's first of maybe four or five visits? I still think the month of June is where you are going to see the most activity happening in terms of official visitors.
2 - Will Turner Corcoran move to center?
A big question I have is, will offensive lineman Turner Corcoran move to center? So much of that depends on right tackle. Right now, I expect Teddy Prochazka to move into the starting left tackle spot when he returns this summer.
Last year's right tackle Bryce Benhart is currently there now, but Corcoran took his spot when Prochazka became the left tackle. When Prochazka got hurt, Benhart was back at right and Corcoran at left.
The wildcard still remains the transfer portal. Could we see the Huskers take another tackle body from the portal on the right side? If the staff feels good about their options at right tackle, then that's when the potential move to center probably would happen for Corcoran.
ONE PREDICTION: One touchdown for WR Trey Palmer
It's hard to make a lot of predictions about what you are going to see in a Red-White spring game, but one thing I'm comfortable saying is wide receiver Trey Palmer is going to stand out.
Palmer is arguably the fastest player on this football team, and he'll tell you that, too. I'm not sure I've been around a guy with more confidence than Palmer in a long time. Usually, guys in front of the camera turn on a "media act." Palmer is the same guy on the camera as he is off the camera. He's fast and talented, and he knows it.
I predict you will see at least one big play and a touchdown from Palmer on Saturday. Also, be on the lookout for his special NFT drop in the coming days.
Sean Callahan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and he can be heard each day at 6:45 am and 5:05 pm on Big Red Radio 1110 KFAB in Omaha during the football season. He can also be seen on KETV Channel 7 in Omaha during the fall and each week he appears on Nebraska Public Media's Big Red Wrap-Tuesday's at 7 pm.