Anthony Grant leads the Huskers running backs as the top unit in 2023.

Ranking Nebraska’s Position Groups For 2023

The 2023 season is just over two weeks away for Nebraska. It was a long off-season coming off the 4-8 campaign a year ago.

Coach Matt Rhule brought in a whole new staff and it’s been shown that anybody can and will get playing time.

This coaching staff has a lot to work with for the amount of returning starters from last season. Coach Rhule and his staff also got a good transfer class and a good freshman from the 2023 class.

With that being said, here are the top five position groups for both sides of the ball for the 2023 season.

Ranking Nebraska’s Position Groups For 2023


5. Tight Ends

The tight end room is probably the weakest group for the offense only because of the lack of depth. The group includes sophomore Thomas Fidone, sophomore Nate Boerkicher and sophomore Arik Gilbert.

Fidone, out of Lewis Central in Council Bluffs, Iowa, was a top-three tight end in the 2021 recruiting class. Fidone was ranked higher than Georgia football star Brock Bowers coming out of high school.

Unfortunately, Fidone has dealt with injuries ever since he got to Lincoln. So, 2023 will be his first chance to capitalize on his potential.

Boerkicher is a former walk-on and should make an impact on the Huskers’ pass game in 2023. Boerkicher has the most game-time at Nebraska than the other two. So, expect him to have an impact.

Gilbert was a transfer portal addition for Rhule’s staff over the offseason. Gilbert was a five-star coming out of high school and was a top-10 recruit in the country. He started his career at LSU before transferring to Florida and then to Georgia.

4. Wide Receivers

The receiver has had a lot of turnover from last season. Nebraska is coming off of Trey Palmer’s record-breaking season. Unfortunately, he is in the NFL now.

The loss of Zavier Betts, who left the program, hurts but there is potential with who is on the roster. There is a veteran presence with seniors Marcus Washington and Billy Kemp IV. They are joined by junior Isaiah Garcia-Castenada as well.

There is a lot of youth within the position group as well. The freshman group is headlined by former Lincoln East Spartan Malachi Coleman, who has been making noise in fall camp.

The group is young but quarterback Jeff Sims has weapons around him at the receiver position.

3. Quarterbacks

Speaking of Jeff Sims, the quarterbacks are next. The losses of last season’s starters with Logan Smothers and Casey Thompson hurts but it opens the door for others.

It opens the door for Sims, sophomore Chubba Purdy and sophomore Heinrich Haarberg to get playing time.

I would expect that all three of them will get chances to get snaps this season but Sims will most likely be the starter for this upcoming season.

2. Offensive Line

The offensive line has been the subject of criticism over the past few years. Luckily it should be one of the best units on the offense in 2023. 

Veteran leadership should play a big role in the success of 2023. Senior center Ben Scott, a transfer from Arizona State, will be the leader of the offensive line this season. The edges will be protected by sophomore Teddy Prochazka and junior Bryce Benhart.

Coach Rhule has said in the past that Benhart has NFL talent and is aiming for a good 2023. 

The guards are headlined by seniors Ethan Piper and Nouredin Nouili.

1. Running Backs

The running back group should be the best on the offense and possibly on the entire team going into 2023. 

This position group is one of the deepest on the team and is led by senior Anthony Grant, who had the most starts from last season. There is also junior Rahmir Johnson, sophomore Gabe Ervin Jr, and even redshirt freshman Emmett Johnson

Offensive Coordinator Marcus Satterfield has said that it will be a “running back by committee” in 2023 and I would expect that everyone will be given a chance to get snaps. 


3. Defensive Line

The losses of Garrett Nelson, Ochaun Mathis, and Caleb Tannor hurts the position group as a whole. Despite this, there is a youth movement for this position. 

The additions of freshman Princewill Umanmielen and sophomore Elijah Jeudy from the transfer portal help out. The defensive line returns junior Ty Robinson, who was a starter last season, and junior Nash Hutmacher as well. 

With new defensive coordinator Tony White’s 3-3-5 defense, many players will get a chance to make an impact. 

2. Linebackers

One of the best positions on the team, headlined by senior Luke Reimer. Reimer has been the Blackshirts’ leading tackler for the past two seasons and will play a big role in 2023. 

Junior Nick Henrich is returning for another season after his 2022 was cut short with a season-ending injury. Coach Rhule’s staff also brought in two-time national champion, junior MJ Sherman from Georgia in the transfer portal. 

The linebackers should be primed for a successful 2023.

1. Defensive Backs

One of the deepest position groups on the team. New defensive back coach Evan Cooper has himself a very good group to work with. 

The cornerbacks or defensive backs are headlined by senior Quinton Newsome, junior Marques Buford Jr, sophomore Malcolm Hartzog, and junior Tommi Hill to name a few. 

The defensive backs will be the strong point for the Huskers in 2023 and will help the Blackshirts protect against the pass as well. 

Main Image: Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

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