Nebraska Football

Nebraska Football: Depth is the name of the game at running back

COLUMBUS, OHIO - OCTOBER 6, 2012: A football helmet for the Nebraska Cornhuskers sits on the field before a game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and Nebraska Cornhuskers at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. The Ohio State Buckeyes won 63-38. (Photo by David Dermer/Diamond Images/Getty Images)

Four days. That’s how many days Nebraska football has before they take on Illinois in regular-season action. If the last two seasons have been any indication, Saturday’s game will be a physical grind.

One position in particular where Nebraska football has the horses to withstand a physical game is running back. There is no doubt the depth is there. The successful recruiting days of running backs coach Ryan Held has resulted in a stacked position. For the type of offense that Nebraska football is looking to bring in 2021, that could be a very good thing.

Depth is important moving forward

As the program took the field for practice on Tuesday, Matt Lubick indicated that he liked the depth Nebraska football has at the position. Let me just say, I like it too. This positional group is deep, and this positional group is talented. We didn’t really get a good look at the running back talent last year, but there is no doubt that skill is evident.

Sevion Morrison, Gabe Ervin, and Markese Stepp are the three running backs in particular whose names have been popping up all training camp. now, Nebraska football will look to see what they can do against an Illinois team that ran the football quite well in their own right against Nebraska last year.

Now, as Nebraska football looks for revenge, they will have an ample amount of running backs at their disposal. As it stands right now, Nebraska does not want to name a starting running back.

Here’s what Lubick said specifically about running back: “We do feel like we’ve closed in on one. We’re not releasing any depth chart right now, but we want one guy to kind of take the bulk of the load. … And sometimes a game determines that. A guy gets in there and is running really well, and breaking tackles, and doing a good job, he stays in there.” But you also need to be smart to bring in another if a guy is tiring on a long drive. “And we feel like we have capable backs to do that.”

I like the fact that one is not named. It takes a lot of pressure off of a certain running back. It also puts every single running back on their toes. Their contributions are going to be valued.

I’ll be interested to see what the entire Nebraska football running back room does as a unit. It the Huskers can rely on balance from their running game going forward, that will add another element to what should be an already-good offense. The more weapons Nebraska football has at their disposal, the better.

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