The state of Nebraska's young defense is such that all hands need to be on deck this season, including freshmen.
That's why it was disappointing to hear that two promising young players -- redshirt freshman Thomas Brown and true freshman defensive end Ernest Suttles -- were dismissed from the team on Thursday night.
According to police reports, Suttles got into a fight at an off-campus party with Huskers linebacker David Santos. Suttles was ticketed for allegedly hitting Santos in the head with a bottle. Brown was not cited, and his involvement in the incident was unknown.
Brown was competing for a starting linebacker spot and was named the Huskers' scout team defensive MVP in 2012. At the very least, he would have provided some depth at a position where Nebraska lost all three starters from a year ago.
Suttles might have been headed for a redshirt season but had been one of the Huskers' recruiting wins in the last year, signing with Nebraska out of Tampa, Fla. The 6-5, 240-pounder looked to give the team some much-needed athleticism on the defensive line.
Instead, both now are gone because of an alleged incident with Santos, a sophomore who is expected to be the team's starting middle linebacker this fall. Head coach Bo Pelini hasn't had a lot of discipline problems during his tenure as head coach in Lincoln, but he can also ill afford to lose two young players who could have contributed on defense. Santos has frequently been mentioned as a potential leader on the Huskers defense this season despite his relative inexperience.
Nebraska is going to have to count on several young players contributing on defense this fall. Unfortunately, Suttles and Brown will no longer be a part of the next wave of potential Blackshirts.