Wisconsin vs. Nebraska, 10/7/17

Nebraska linebacker Dedrick Young (left) stops Wisconsin running back Bradrick Shaw (7) during the first quarter at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017.

KAYLA WOLF, Journal Star

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

Dedrick Young, senior, LB

He's the graybeard among Nebraska's inside linebackers, the only senior in the group.

With 31 career starts, he's easily the most experienced of the crew. It's not even close.

But you wonder what goes through Dedrick Young's mind as spring practice nears. If every player is basically starting from scratch with a new coaching staff, how much does all his experience really mean?

Of Nebraska's returning inside linebackers, only Young and junior Mohamed Barry have experience as a starter. Barry started twice last season. That's it.

The 6-foot-1, 235-pound Young, of Peoria, Arizona, started 11 games in 2017, playing through a hand injury while finishing the season with 80 tackles — easily the most among returning Husker defenders (senior safety Aaron Williams is next at 48).

Young has 201 career tackles while going about his business in a quiet manner. Maybe too quiet, though. He has only 13 tackles for loss in his college career, including just one sack, and has forced only one fumble. He has no interceptions.

Erik Chinander, Nebraska's new defensive coordinator, preaches the importance of forcing turnovers, and backs up his words. Central Florida came up with 58 takeaways in the coach's 26 games at the school.

Nebraska has a junior-college transfer, Will Honas, who will get a long look at inside linebacker this spring. Same goes for sophomores Avery Roberts and Pernell Jefferson and redshirt freshman Andrew Ward.

The quiet Young will try to hold off the younger players. But he may have to make some noise to do it.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7440 or ssipple@journalstar.com. On Twitter @HuskerExtraSip.


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