Three Huskers leave the team
With Nebraska being a few scholarships over the limit, some roster attrition has been expected for some time, and those moves came Thursday morning.
Through a university statement, head coach Mike Riley announced that safety LeRoy Alexander and receiver Jariah Tolbert plan to continue their college careers at different institutions. He also said that linebacker David Santos will not be with the team in the fall.
The loss of Santos is the most surprising and possibly the most crippling. The Huskers were already very thin at linebacker with Santos, who missed spring practice with an injury. The senior played in 39 games over the past three seasons, starting 19. He started eight games last year and had 50 tackles. His departure leaves Josh Banderas and Michael Rose-Ivey as the only linebackers with real playing experience on the team and puts the onus on Marcus Newby and early enrollee Dedrick Young to get ready in a hurry.
Alexander missed all of 2014 because of a suspension, but he was a key part of the defense two years ago. Though he started just one game in 2013, he played in 13 contests and recorded 34 tackles and an interception. With Corey Cooper graduated, Alexander figured to be in the mix to start this fall, though Aaron Williams and Byerson Cockrell were taking most of the No. 1 safety reps alongside Nathan Gerry in spring ball.
Tolbert redshirted last season but was expected to have a role in the 2015 offense. At 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, Tolbert figured to have the size to contribute on the outside. But the receiver has had his troubles during his time in Lincoln - he was cited for drug charges on April 30. He was also caught by UNL officers smoking marijuana in February. Tolbert entered a diversion program after pleading guilty to possession of less than one ounce of marijuana.
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