Big Ten: Todd Peat Jr.

When Nebraska star DT Jared Crick suffered a season-ending torn pectoral muscle last October, the team turned to a young lineman named Chase Rome.

Just a redshirt freshman, Rome made two starts and saw action in 10 games. He started the first two games this fall alongside veteran DT Baker Steinkuhler.

But Rome's future with Nebraska is in doubt after coach Bo Pelini announced Wednesday that Rome has left the program. Pelini said Rome's "personal goals and personal perception of where he should be on this football team doesn't match the team goals." Rome won't be with the Huskers for the "foreseeable future," Pelini said, and Pelini will make an announcement when Rome's status is finalized.

Rome played sparingly in Nebraska's 36-30 loss to UCLA last Saturday as freshmen Kevin Williams and Aaron Curry saw increased field time. Todd Peat Jr. also could be in the mix. Although Rome's departure leaves the Huskers with only two veteran options on the interior line -- Steinkuhler and Thad Randle -- line coach Rick Kaczenski doesn't sound too concerned.

From the Lincoln Journal Star:
"I don’t think it affects anybody," the coach said. "You look at last week [at UCLA], Thad Randle played 31 plays. Kevin Williams played 43 plays. Aaron Curry got in there and he's going to continue to play more. We've been trying to get him on the field more and more."

Nebraska returns to the field Saturday against Arkansas State.

Home run summer: Nebraska

June, 13, 2012
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Our series continues looking at a player or a group of players from each Big Ten team who needs a home-run type of summer before preseason camp begins. Who needs to hit it out of the park in preparation for the season?

For previous entries, click here.

In the batter's box: Nebraska

Who needs to step it up: The young defensive tackles

Big Ten defenses are typically only as good as their lines. Nebraska has two proven veterans in end Cameron Meredith and tackle Baker Steinkuhler, who have combined for 53 starts the past two seasons. Eric Martin, Jason Ankrah and Joe Carter add depth at defensive end, which could emerge into a strong point for the Huskers this fall. But the tackle position, where Nebraska had plenty of star power earlier in coach Bo Pelini's tenure (some dude named Suh), needs several players to make strides during the summer. The Huskers were thin at tackle during spring practice as injuries limited or sidelined Chase Rome, Thaddeus Randle, Todd Peat Jr. and Kevin Williams. Rome logged significant time last fall after Jared Crick's injury, and he should be a big part of the plan this fall. The other three certainly have an opportunity to be in the rotation. As I've written several times during the offseason, Nebraska can survive the loss of star power on defense by fostering better overall depth. While all three defensive units have some question marks, the easiest solution, particularly in this conference, is to have a solid front that can go two or three deep. Solidifying the interior line before Sept. 1 is a huge priority for Big Red.

What had been a good national signing day for Nebraska took a disappointing turn as coveted offensive tackle prospect Andrus Peat picked Stanford ahead of the Huskers.

Peat, ranked as the nation's No. 9 overall prospect by ESPN Recruiting, picked the Cardinal rather than join his brother Todd, a Huskers defensive tackle, in Lincoln. Nebraska received pledges from Aaron Curry and Alonzo Moore earlier in the day, but Peat, from Tempe, Ariz., was definitely the team's biggest prize on the board.

"It was really tough," Peat said on ESPNU after making the announcement. "Me and Todd, we've had a really strong relationships. I have a lot of respect for coach [Bo] Pelini and what they're doing over there. I just thought Stanford was the best fit for me."

Nebraska's class includes only two offensive linemen, led by four-star prospect Paul Thurston.

Nebraska recruiting analysis

February, 3, 2011
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NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS

The class

Recruits: 20 (18 high school seniors, two junior college transfers, three players enrolled early)

Top prospects: The Huskers bring in the Big Ten's top-rated recruit in Aaron Green, ranked as the nation's No. 3 running back and No. 11 overall prospect by ESPN Recruiting. They also bolstered the offensive backfield with ESPNU 150 quarterbacks Jamal Turner and Bubba Starling, although Starling could bolt to play professional baseball. Both lines are addressed in this class with players like center Ryne Reeves and defensive tackles Todd Peat Jr. and Kevin Williams. The defensive backfield adds a key player in ESPNU 150 cornerback Charles Jackson.

Needs met: Nebraska needs a featured running back following Roy Helu Jr.'s departure, and the addition of both Green and Ameer Abdullah answers a need there. The Huskers also need to build depth at receiver and brought in two potential contributors in Taariq Allen and Daniel Davie. Life after star specialist Alex Henery begins this fall and Nebraska picked up kicker Mauro Bondi late in the recruiting process.

Analysis: If the 2011 class is any indication, Nebraska will be a formidable recruiting force in the Big Ten. The Huskers capitalized on their Texas connections with players like Green, Turner and Jackson and also did well closer to home with in-state products like Reeves. Although Nebraska didn't neglect its two lines, the overall athleticism in this class really stands out. Skill players like Green, Turner, Starling and Jackson should be able to contribute early in their careers.

ESPN Recruiting grade: B

Nebraska, Iowa pick up key DTs

February, 2, 2011
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Future Big Ten rivals Nebraska and Iowa both have bolstered their defensive lines on national signing day.

The Huskers added defensive tackle Todd Peat Jr. to their 2011 class. The 6-3, 295-pound Peat is a four-star recruit from Tempe, Ariz., rated as the nation's No. 24 defensive tackle by ESPN Recruiting. He picked Nebraska ahead of several Pac-10 programs and will spend this fall learning under one of college football's best interior linemen, Jared Crick.

Iowa's pipeline to DeMatha Catholic High School in the Washington D.C. area continued as defensive tackle Darian Cooper signed with the Hawkeyes. Cooper, who also considered both Michigan State and Michigan, joins DeMatha teammate Jordan Lomax with Iowa. Hawkeyes running back Marcus Coker also is a DeMatha alum.

The Hawkeyes were hoping to add another DeMatha product today as offensive lineman Cyrus Kouandjio announces his decision in a few minutes. Kouandjio is expected to head to the SEC, but you never know.

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