Published Monday, March 25, 2013 AT 11:11 PM / Updated at 11:11 PM
Freshman walk-ons trying to help at I-back
Rich Kaipust Omaha World-Herald

Perhaps no position coach on the Nebraska staff returned to work Monday with less to work with than Ron Brown.

Imani Cross is the Huskers’ only scholarship I-back on the field. And the sophomore isn’t exactly overflowing with experience himself.

So who is stepping in to fill the void? Brown is glad you asked.

Discussing walk-ons King Frazier and Graham Nabity on Monday, Brown said: “I like what I’ve seen so far.”

Both, however, are walk-ons and just redshirt freshmen. Frazier is a 6-foot, 220-pounder from Lee’s Summit, Mo.; Nabity a 6-foot, 210-pounder from Elkhorn who was a 1,500-yard rusher on the Antlers’ Class B state championship team in 2011.

And with NU needing somebody to handle reps behind Cross, they have gladly taken them.

“Those two guys are showing up,” Brown said. “They’re good players. They could play at a lot of places.”

Since last spring, Nebraska has lost both Aaron Green and Braylon Heard to transfers. Rex Burkhead ran out of eligibility after the Capital One Bowl. Ameer Abdullah then suffered a minor knee injury during the first two weeks of spring practice, and walk-on Jordan Nelson from Omaha Burke is out with a leg injury.

So Frazier and Nabity have become names to know.

“We’ve got to have them,” Brown said. “We don’t have a lot of numbers at that I-back spot. We’ll start to breathe a little bit better when we get back Jordy Nelson and when we get those freshmen coming in the fall (Adam Taylor, Terrell Newby).”

Brown also isn’t worried about protecting Cross, who reported for spring at a lighter weight and has proven to be in great condition. Brown said he has looked strong and shown his stamina.

“So I like where he’s at,” Brown said.

About Rich Kaipust

Rich Kaipust is a staff writer for The Omaha World-Herald and covers Nebraska football. You can follow Rich on Twitter (@RKaipustOWH) or email him at rich.kaipust@owh.com