With nine men’s sports at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, there are almost 350 male athletes on this campus. Here are six male Husker athletes to pay attention to in the 2016-17 year.
Kevin Maurice, Senior Defensive Tackle
Before the Foster Farms Bowl, 11 defensive linemen were listed on the depth chart, five of whom were defensive tackles.
Now, heading into the 2016 season, Maurice is one of five defensive linemen remaining from that game and the only defensive tackle.
Maliek Collins (DT) and Vincent Valentine (DT) forwent their senior seasons and declared for the draft. Givens Price (DT) and Jack Gangwish (DE) graduated. And just this spring, Greg McMullen (DE) graduated and quit football while Kevin Williams (DT) decided to transfer.
Maurice, with just one career start, now looks to fill the shoes of the players before him.
In the 10 games he played in last season, Maurice made 21 tackles, including three for losses. He also made a sack and forced two fumbles.
Cethan Carter, Senior Tight End
Carter earned an All-Beg Ten honorable mention by the media and was named Nebraska’s Most Improved Player after last season’s performance.
The tight end position saw an increase in productivity in the first year under head coach Mike Riley.
In 2014, tight ends made just ten receptions, six of which were made by Carter. In 2015, they made 29 receptions, 24 of which were by Carter.
Carter did not play in the first two games but was fourth in offense for Nebraska with 329 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
He also proved to be a threat in the running game, making two carries for 48 yards. In the game against Rutgers Nov. 14, Carter ran for a 32-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
Glynn Watson Jr., Sophomore Guard
Watson played in all 34 games for Nebraska in his freshman season and was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week Feb. 15.
The Bellwood, Illinois, native averaged 8.6 points, 2.4 assists and 1.2 steals per game last season.
Watson’s best shooting stretch of the season for came during the Huskers’ four-game winning streak from Jan. 1 at Rutgers to Jan. 20 at No. 11 Michigan State.
Watson shot 21-of-38 (.585) from the field, scoring double digits in three of four games.
He averaged 12.5 points, 2.5 assists and 2.3 steals per game during the stretch.
Watson Jr. proved to be a key factor in the success of Nebraska this season. The Huskers were 10-3 when he shot better than 45 percent from the field and were 6-15 when he shot worse than 45 percent from the field.
Tai Webster, Senior Guard
As one of the most improved players in the Big Ten this season, Tai Webster is a player head coach Tim Miles will likely rely on as a leader.
Webster reached double digits 16 times last season and was fourth in steals in the Big Ten with 1.4 per game.
Before starting the final six games of the season, Webster was known as Nebraska’s sixth man.
Prior to being named a starter, Webster was averaging 9.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.17 steals per game. As a starter, he averaged 12.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.2 steals.
Webster has improved greatly since the 2014-15 season, when he averaged 3.9 points and 18.4 minutes per game.
He was named to the 2015 Barclay’s Classic All-Tournament Team and was a member of the New Zealand National Team in 2014.
T.J. Dudley, Senior
As the 2016 Nebraska Male Athlete of the Year and Most Outstanding Wrestler, Dudley returns for his senior season looking to become Nebraska’s 13th three-time NCAA All-American and its fifth national champion.
As the seventh seed at the 2016 NCAA Championships, Dudley wrestled his way to a second-place finish following a 5-3 loss to top-seeded Gabe Dean of Cornell.
Dudley also finished second at the 2016 Big Ten Championships in Iowa City, Iowa. He fell to No. 13 Sammy Brooks of Iowa in the championship match, 6-4.
In 2015, Dudley finished sixth at the Big Ten Championships and eighth at the NCAA Championships.
Dudley has recorded 20 wins by pinning in his three seasons at Nebraska. He has yet to lose in a pin. He tied for first among the Huskers for pins in 2016 with seven.
Jake Meyers, Junior LHP/Outfielder
As of May 2, 2016, Meyers is batting .310, which is the second-highest average for Nebraska players with 100 or more at-bats.
With 42 games played, Meyers ranks third at Nebraska in runs (27), hits (53) and on-base percentage (.381).
The Omaha native is tied for first in fielding with a percentage of 1.000 and has not grounded into any double plays. His stolen base percentage of .818 ranks first among players with four or more attempts.
And he can pitch, too.
On April 30, Meyers earned his third win of the season in just his fifth start. He pitched six shutout innings, allowing two hits and three walks. His three strikeouts raised his season total to 13 in 23 innings pitched.
Of the eight Nebraska pitchers with three or more starts, Meyers ranks first in ERA.