HuskerOnline - The newcomers, in the words of the Huskers
football Edit

The newcomers, in the words of the Huskers

Ever since Nebraska first put these recruits on its radar, HuskerOnline.com has given you insight into their strengths, what they need to work on and how they fit into NU's scheme. From their verbal pledges to signing day and throughout the summer, we have done our best to give you a good idea of what to expect from this class this fall.
So now we are going to open the floor to the guys that know the newcomers best - the players that line up next to them and the coaches that watch them every day in practice. If anyone knows what this class is capable of, it's these guys.
For the record, not all newcomers are on this list. We've included the players who were brought up most in conversations with other players and coaches and have the best chance to make an impact this year.
Avery Anderson, cornerback
6-foot, 175 lbs., Freshman (Pine Creek HS, Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Rivals profile
Credentials: All-Colorado (Denver Post); Colorado High School Activities Association first-team Class 4A selection; 52 tackles (six for loss), six interceptions as a senior
Cornerback Daniel Davie: "Avery is still learning and he kind of relies on his athleticism a bit, but he's made a lot of plays. I think he and (Eric Lee) will be able to help at some point."
Jalin Barnett, offensive lineman
6-foot-4, 310 lbs., Freshman (Lawton HS, Lawton, Okla.)
Rivals profile
Credentials: First-team All-Oklahoma selection (Daily Oklahoman); No. 3 prospect on the Daily Oklahoman's Super 30
Offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh: "Jalin is going to be a hell of a player. He's powerful and he's a good athlete. Obviously he's swimming right now with a lot to learn, but you see the upside in that kid quickly. He's had some really good moments. When he continues to grow, it's going to be a fun deal."
Mohamed Barry, linebacker
6-foot-1, 215 lbs., Freshman (Grayson HS, Grayson, Ga.)
Rivals profile
Credentials: First-team Class AAAAAA all-state selection
Linebackers coach Trent Bray: "I think he has great potential. He's very athletic and he does a lot of good things. He still has to grow in his technique and his understanding of the defense, but he's a freshman. That's most freshman in the country. He's doing a good job and he's coming along. Down the road if he keeps growing he could be an impactful player."
Defensive coordinator Mark Banker: "He came in late but he trains with one of the former Husker players and he came in great shape as well."
Alex Davis, defensive end
6-foot-5, 230 lbs., Freshman (Dwyer HS, Riviera Beach, Fla.)
Rivals profile
Credentials: Defensive MVP of Florida International's camp; only played one season of football in high school
Mark Banker: "Alex Davis has added more strength. He's a clean slate, so that's kind of neat. I think the strength and conditioning coaches appreciate guys like that too, because he's got the stature and the structure, and he's improved not so much weight wise, but strength wise."
Carlos Davis, defensive tackle
6-foot-2, 265 lbs., Freshman (Blue Springs HS, Blue Springs, Mo.)
Rivals profile
Credentials: Missouri Coaches Association Class 6 Defensive Player of the Year; Class 6 all-state selection; Kansas City Star All-Metro; 64 tackles (33 for loss), 18 sacks, 21 quarterback pressures as a senior
Defensive tackle Vincent Valentine: "(Carlos and Khalil) are really good, but honestly I can't even tell them apart. They're both high energy type of guys. They're strong, but they can be even stronger because they have nice frames to put on a lot of weight. I just like their hands. It's kind of hard to really tell them apart - they both kind of bring the same things to the table. They're both strong, stout type of guys. They'll be good in the future and I'm excited to see what they'll do."
Khalil Davis, defensive tackle
6-foot-2, 265 lbs., Freshman (Blue Springs HS, Blue Springs, Mo.)
Rivals profile
Credentials: Missouri High School Coaches Association first-team Class 6 all-state selection; Kansas City Star All-Metro team; 60 tackles (26 for loss), 9.5 sacks as a senior
Vincent Valentine: "I feel like if (Carlos and Khalil) were here last year, they would have been thrown in with us. I don't know what (the coaches') plans are to do with them, but if they want to play them, they can definitely get in there and play."
Michael Decker, offensive lineman
6-foot-4, 285 lbs., Freshman (Omaha North HS)
Rivals profile
Credentials: First-team All-Nebraska (Omaha World-Herald); Super State selection (Lincoln Journal Star)
Mike Cavanaugh: "Michael Decker is going to be a heck of a center down the road. He's smart. He's a little light right now. He's got to get a little more lead in his pencil and get bigger and stronger."
Tyrin Ferguson, linebacker
6-foot-2, 219 lbs., Freshman (Edna Carr HS, New Orleans, La.)
Rivals profile
Credentials: Totaled 104 tackles (23.5 for loss) and 10.5 sacks as a senior; Class 4A Defensive Player of the Year; District 9-4A Defensive MVP
Linebacker Michael Rose-Ivey: "Tyrin has given the whole linebacker room a lot of confidence. For a freshman, I couldn't give him any more credit. He came in and really separated himself from the rest of his class in a good way. I'm not saying those guys weren't doing that, but you could just see it - there was something different about Tyrin. He's got the kind of work ethic Stanley (Morgan) has, and those two guys set the tone for the freshman class as far as work ethic."
Mark Banker: "He loves the game. Obviously looking at him from a physical standpoint, all the measurables are good. He's got that want-to, that attitude. I don't think right now for him he's as physical as he wants to be because of the fact that he's probably thinking a lot.
"When he's with the younger group, he makes the calls, so he's got to take that responsibility on, get people lined up as well as take care of his responsibilities. So he's got a lot on his plate right now. He's a work in progress right now. I think he's probably right where he needs to be right now."
Trent Bray: "He's hungry to learn. He's always in my offense trying to learn something new. He's talking to the older players about how he can do things better. Whenever you have that kind of attitude, you can improve faster."
Christian Gaylord, offensive lineman
6-foot-6, 275 lbs., Freshman (Baldwin HS, Baldwin City, Kan.)
Rivals profile
Credentials: First-team Class 4A all-state pick (VarsityKansas.com); Lawrence Journal-World All-Area team; All-Simone Team selection
Mike Cavanaugh: "I think Christian Gaylord is a really good athlete. He's got a little bit of a clock in his head. He's got to become a better finisher, but he's athletic."
Eric Lee, cornerback
6-foot, 180 lbs., Freshman (Valor Christian HS, Highlands Ranch, Colo.)
Rivals profile
Credentials: All-Colorado (Denver Post); Colorado High School Activities Association first-team 5A all-state selection; 59 tackles (three for loss), five interceptions, 10 pass breakups as a senior
Daniel Davie: "Eric is really good with his technique. The stuff that coach (Stewart) emphasizes with our footwork and our eyes and stuff, he's already known because he's had a lot of work with (former NFL safety) Brian Dawkins. He kind of knows some of that stuff because coach Stewart is an NFL coach and he teaches us that stuff. He's really technically sound."
Stanley Morgan, wide receiver
6-foot, 185 lbs., Freshman (St. Augustine HS, New Orleans, La.)
Rivals profile
Credentials: First-team Class 5A all-state; 46 catches for 891 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior
Head coach Mike Riley: "Stanley is a mature, strong and an unfazed guy on where he is right now. For a young guy, he has fit in learning wise, which usually hampers most of (the freshmen). He appears beyond his years, and he is already very good physically and a playmaker. This was not a surprise to the team tonight (Aug. 15 scrimmage). He has been doing this."
Receivers coach Keith Williams: "He's not afraid to make a play. Sometimes young guys are afraid to go outside of the box to make a play, if the ball isn't perfectly thrown or just right in their lap. Sometimes they're a little hesitant reaching outside their comfort level and trying to make a play. He's not that way. He's comfortable in trying to make a play when he gets that opportunity."
Receiver Brandon Reilly: "Usually freshmen coming in are a little hesitant, but not Stan. He's a different guy, and I can definitely see him helping us out this fall. He's not a big talker, but you can tell he's very confident. I'm excited to see how he does throughout this camp."
Quarterback Tommy Armstrong: "He's looking great. He's looking like every other receiver. They're learning a lot. Coach Dub (Keith Williams) doing a great job teaching him how to run routes and things like that, and he's making great plays. He's made some great plays for being a true freshman, and I'm proud of him. He's taking in everything as well as everyone else."
DaiShon Neal, defensive end
6-foot-7, 270 lbs., Freshman (Omaha Central)
Rivals profile
Credentials: First-team All-Nebraska selection by the Omaha World-Herald; Super State selection by the Lincoln Journal Star; 51 tackles (11.5 for loss), 5.0 sacks as a senior
Defensive end Greg McMullen: "He's a physical guy, a bigger guy. He kind of resembles myself a little bit being more of a power guy than a speed guy. With time, he's going to be a great player."
Mark Banker: "You look at DaiShon Neal, he's put on some mass. He's up to 270 now, and it seems to be decent weight."
Jordan Ober, long snapper
6-foot-1, 200 lbs., Freshman (Bishop Gorman HS, Las Vegas, Nev.)
Rivals profile
Credentials: helped win back-to-back Division I state titles
Punter Sam Foltz: "He throws darts. It's awesome for me because there are no worries. I know where the snap is going to be - it's going to be right there and it's going to be fast. And I even told him, I don't care if it's a high snap or a low snap as long as it's fast. That eliminates a lot of problems.
"We started working the first week of summer. The first week he got here I told him we were going to go out and get some reps. I think we've built something over the summer and now that we're in fall camp it's hitting on all cylinders."
Devine Ozigbo, running back
5-foot-11, 225 lbs., Freshman (Sachse HS, Sachse, Texas)
Rivals profile
Credentials: 795 rushing yards (5.3 average), 15 rushing touchdowns, 22 receptions for 415 yards and four touchdowns as a senior; First-team All-District 11 honors in 5A
Mike Riley: "I have been very impressed with Devine Ozigbo. He's another guy who is not fazed about where he is. Physical guy. He's got good feet. For his body type, he has very good hands. So he's a versatile guy. I love backs that are every-down backs, that you don't have to take them out just because you're going to throw the ball, or you don't have to take them out because it's third down."
"He has stepped in, and the best thing to say for him right now is that he's stepped in and he really just goes in that huddle and goes out and plays and just fits right in. He doesn't look like a rookie."
Antonio Reed, safety
6-foot-2, 200 lbs., Freshman (Southaven HS, Memphis, Tenn.)
Rivals profile
Credentials: Also offered by Memphis
Daniel Davie: "He's really intense. You kind of have to tell him to calm down a little bit. He's really physical and he loves to hit. We were laughing early because he came up to coach Banker and he's like, 'Coach, are we hitting today?!' He's just always ready to play."
Linebacker Josh Banderas: "Once he gets to learning where he needs to be, he's going be a good one. He's already 220, so he's going to be a pretty heavy hitter."
Defensive backs coach Brian Stewart: "He's a big body, he likes to hit, he has that big run-hit factor, he's smart and he's picked up the defense pretty well for a freshman. There are still some things to put in and we are still doing some things special teams wise. As we progress right now I'd say he's a guy we'd use, but as we keep progressing you just don't know much he can retain and all those other things. He's doing a good job."
Matt Snyder, tight end
6-foot-5, 245 lbs., Freshman (California HS, San Ramon, Calif.)
Rivals profile
Credentials: Had 17 receptions for 408 yards (average of 24 yards) and four touchdowns as a senior
Tight end Cethan Carter: "He's still learning a lot. He watches us every day. He's willing to learn and he takes coaching. Matt is going to be a good player."
Jordan Stevenson, running back
5-foot-9, 205 lbs., Freshman (South Oak Cliff HS, Dallas, Texas)
Rivals profile
Credentials: 2014 Associated Press second-team all-state; 2,530 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns as a senior; originally committed to Wisconsin
Mike Riley: "He really just jumped right in and looks to me like he made some plays tonight. We're just going to keep coaching him, let those guys continue to play and grow and not worry about a depth chart until he gets a chance to play some more and everybody else gets a chance to play more too. But we're obviously very excited that we got him, and he appears to be fitting in fairly easily."
Running backs coach Reggie Davis: "He's coming along. I can't imagine what that was like, going through what he went through. My hat is off to him and being able to focus and learn a whole new offense and come into a whole new place that he didn't think he would be."
Running back Terrell Newby: "I feel like it is a good thing for all of us, for Jordan also. Competition drives all of us and it has always been a big competition since Ameer was here… battling for second or third string. I think it only makes us better as a group."
Aaron Williams, safety
5-foot-11, 185 lbs., Freshman (Carver HS, Atlanta, Ga.)
Rivals profile
Credentials: First-team Class AAAAA all-state selection; 148 tackles (10 for loss), six breakups, one interception as a senior
Safety Kieron Williams: "He can do things that I couldn't do when I was that age. We work together and we watch film together and he does a great job of what he does. He can cover well and he can come down and hit well too."
Brian Stewart: "He is just smart. He gets the most out of his reps. He makes plays. He does a good job of making plays and basically he's a smart kid. He's got football instincts."
Safety Byerson Cockrell: "Aaron, man, he's just really working. He's getting after it, man. I tell him that all the time, because honestly, from watching him I learn myself. He does some things that are better than me. So I try to watch him and learn from him too while they learn from me."
Safety Nate Gerry: "I think Aaron will play some role in our defense. If it's a backup/special teams role, for sure. But I think a backup safety spot would be perfect for Aaron. He can get his hands wet a little bit, then his sophomore year he's going to be where I was, just mentally ahead of the game. I think Aaron is going to find a spot on the field this year."
Dedrick Young, linebacker
6-foot-1, 220 lbs., Freshman (Centennial HS, Peoria, Ariz.)
Rivals profile
Credentials: Arizona Republic Division II Player of the Year, Arizona Coaches' Association Division II Defensive Player of the Year; 98 tackles (seven for loss) as a senior
Trent Bray: "He picks up stuff up fast anyway, but having that spring and being able to watch himself and the mistakes he made and the things he did well helped. And physically, he's improved so much there. He's gotten bigger and stronger since he's been here and it's really helped him out."
Mike Riley: "He's relatively quiet, but very, very intense. He's a very good learner, and he's been very consistent. That's what's elevated him. It's not just that he flashes his ability once in a while, he's becoming reliable."
Josh Banderas: "You get to know him more and he gets comfortable, he talks to you a lot. As far as on the field, he's fine communicating. He's going to be a good 'backer."