No. 26, Dedrick Mills, 5-11, 220, sr.; No. 14, Rahmir Johnson, 5-10, 185, rfr.; No. 25, Ronald Thompkins, 5-11, 195, rfr.; No. 24, Marvin Scott III, 5-9, 210, fr.; No. 28, Sevion Morrison, 6-0, 210, fr.; No. 43, Connor Ruth, 5-11, 225, so.; No. 46, Corbin Ruth, 6-0, 220, so.; No. 22, Cooper Jewett, 5-10, 190, rfr.; No. 31, Zach Weinmaster, 5-11, 190, rfr.; No. 23, Jaquez Yant, 6-2, 225, fr.; No. 34 Beau Psencik, 6-0, 190, fr.; No. 35 Trevin Luben, 6-0, 195, fr.; No. 37, Isaiah Harris, 5-9, 190, fr.
By the end of the season, Nebraska’s running game was starting to look good. Mills settled into NU’s zone-based scheme and averaged 116 yards over the final three games. Johnson showed well against Maryland. The Huskers, though, were short on depth for the second straight year following the departure of Maurice Washington, necessitating more carries than preferable for Wan’Dale Robinson.
The new cast
NU signed a pair of freshmen in Scott and Morrison, and is hoping that a healthy Thompkins can also be a contributor.
Between those three and Johnson, at least two likely need to prove they can help take some of the week-to-week workload off of Mills’ shoulders.
The Huskers should be a deeper group overall, but exactly who fills what role remains to be seen. Johnson is considered a natural pass-catcher out of the backfield. Thompkins, if healthy, has a chance to be a significant story. Remember: He was one of the most heavily recruited backs in the country before knee injuries cut short both his junior and senior years of high school.
Mills has played a lot of football in his career, but until last year, he had never been in an offense remotely resembling Nebraska’s spread, zone-based scheme. That showed at times, especially during the first half of 2019. As he settled in, though, the strengths showed through more and more. Mills is powerful and has good speed even if it’s not game-breaking. If his 5.2 yards per carry and 10 rushing touchdowns serve as the floor in 2020, that’s a good sign.