As Nebraska spring football approaches, Husker Extra is counting down the 25 most intriguing players expected to participate.
The list so far:
No. 25: Tyjon Lindsey, WR
No. 24: Chris Walker, OL
No. 23: Devine Ozigbo, RB
No. 22: Mohamed Barry, LB
No. 21: Barret Pickering, PK
No. 20: Jaevon McQuitty, WR
No. 19: Antonio Reed, S
No. 18: Collin Miller, LB
No. 17: Deontai Williams, DB
No. 16: Dedrick Young, LB
No. 15. Damion Daniels, DT
No. 14: Ben Stille, OLB, sophomore
You perhaps already figured Ben Stille could be on the new Nebraska coaching staff's radar based on his production last season as a redshirt freshman.
Then, when first-year Husker head coach Scott Frost recently mentioned Stille as a player who has taken a leadership role in winter conditioning, it confirmed Stille won't be lost in the shuffle this spring.
"There have been some guys who've (stepped up as leaders)," Frost told the Journal Star. "Mick Stoltenberg (of Gretna) and Ben Stille (of Ashland-Greenwood) come to mind right away as some guys who are going to hold other people accountable."
The 6-foot-5, 255-pound Stille is in position to hold others accountable because of how he played in 2017. He established himself in a big way in a late-September win at Illinois, where he finished with three tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble. He finished the season with team-leading totals of 3½ sacks and 10 tackles for loss, and was named to the Big Ten Network's All-Freshman team along with teammate JD Spielman.
However, Stille plays a position (outside linebacker) where he'll have to continue to play well in order to retain a leading role, since Nebraska has plenty of scholarship players hungry to make their mark this spring.
Meanwhile, the Huskers could be without senior OLB Luke Gifford (hip injury), perhaps opening up an opportunity for younger players to prove themselves — the way Stille did last season.