No. 5, Omar Manning, 6-4, 225, jr.; No. 1, Wan’Dale Robinson, 5-10, 185, so.; No. 3, Jamie Nance, 6-0, 180, rfr.; No. 10, Demariyon Houston, 6-0, 180, rfr.; No. 87, Chris Hickman, 6-6, 215, rfr.; No. 4, Alante Brown, 5-11, 190, fr.; No. 6, Marcus Fleming; 5-10, 170, fr.; No. 15, Zavier Betts, 6-2, 200, fr.; No. 12, Will Nixon, 5-11, 185, fr.; No. 45, Ty Chaffin, 6-5, 215, sr.; No. 88, Levi Falck, 6-2, 205, sr.; No. 81, Kade Warner, 6-1, 210, jr.; No. 36, Christian Banker, 6-0, 190, jr.; No. 89, Oliver Martin, 6-1, 200, jr.; No. 29, Bennett Folkers, 6-2, 205, so.; No. 38, Brody Belt, 5-8, 185, so.; No. 85, Wyatt Liewer, 6-3, 195, so.; No. 47, Austin Jablonski, 6-2, 215, rfr.; No. 17, Ty Hahn, 6-2, 195, fr.; No. 19, Barron Miles Jr., 6-0, 170, fr.; No. 41, Elliott Brown, 6-1, 180, fr.; No. 42 Broc Douglass, 6-0, 160, fr.; No. 84, Matthias Algarin, 6-0, 170, fr.
The 2019 group as a whole lacked explosiveness and then the guy with 48% of the group’s yardage transferred in JD Spielman. Robinson clearly showed he’s an ascending player at NU and in the Big Ten, but he was also on job-sharing duties at running back and thus the staff couldn’t deploy him exactly the way it hoped to.
The new cast
You’d better take notes. The newcomers include heralded juco prospect Manning; a talented group of freshmen in Brown, Fleming, Betts, Nixon and Hahn; plus walk-on transfers Falck and Martin. Hickman, too, is new to the room after moving over from tight end.
This is going to be a new-look group all along. The Huskers are hoping that the newcomers along with receivers coach Matt Lubick can engineer a quick turnaround. Brown has impressed from the first day he stepped on campus, and it’s possible even a couple of the new walk-ons like Falck — who had a productive 2018 at South Dakota before injuries cut last year short — and Hahn could contend for time.
Robinson was a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award — given to the most versatile offensive player in the country — and topped 1,000 all-purpose yards as a freshman despite missing two games and playing through the season with minor but lingering hamstring issues. A healthy offseason, and the Kentucky native should only be more explosive as a sophomore.
It will also help if he’s not needed as much as a running back. Robinson is most dangerous when he can be moved around, and at times last year NU had to stick him in the backfield and leave him there.