NCF Nation: Robert Hodge

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

The news bounced through Nebraska with the stunning shock of some kind of a natural disaster.

The surprise announcement that Patrick Witt was leaving the Nebraska program came on a couple of levels.

First, Witt was the Cornhuskers' backup in their final game last season, playing after Joe Ganz was dinged in the Gator Bowl against Clemson.

So the presumption was that Witt would get the first shot -- or at least a good one -- when the Nebraska starting quarterback job was contested at spring practice and beyond.

But his decision has ratcheted up competition and opened a three-way battle involving Zac Lee, Kody Spano and freshman Cody Green. It's left the Cornhuskers with as little depth and experience at the position as any Big 12 team.

Lee is perceived by most to be the most immediately ready, although coaches hope he will work on managing a game better in their offensive philosophy.

Spano is a long shot to earn the starting job, but does have his moments as a runner and thrower.

Green likely has the best athletic tools. It might not be a surprise to see coach Bo Pelini utilize him like Ohio State did with Terrelle Pryor last season. Green would receive work early in the season to build confidence in hopes he could be a major contributor by the end of the season.

Any thoughts that Nebraska could afford to redshirt Green likely left when Witt made his announcement. Pelini's insurance plan has suddenly gone kaput.

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