Nearly midway through what so far has been a winless season in Lincoln, the personnel upheaval is continuing. Reportedly.
According to multiple media outlets in the area, Greg Bell will not make the trip to Madison this weekend for Nebraska’s game Saturday against Wisconsin. Rivals.com is reporting that Bell has decided to leave the Cornhuskers and transfer, although the Omaha World-Herald writes that “NU is not confirming Bell’s departure and will not have a comment on his situation until after the Wisconsin game.”
Bell had started the first three games of the season, but was benched ahead of the Week 5 loss to Purdue and played sparingly last weekend. If the junior were to leave now without playing another down for the ‘Huskers, he’d be able to take advantage of the new redshirt rule and retain a season of eligibility that he could use elsewhere.
Through four games, Bell was third on the team, and second among running backs, with 173 yards rushing on his 35 carries. Just two of those carries came in the loss to the Boilermakers this past Saturday.
Should he end up transferring, Bell would become at least the 15th player to leave the program since Scott Frost took over last December. The other 14 are offensive lineman Bryan Brokop, wide receiver Zack Darlington (HERE) offensive lineman Michael Decker (HERE), tight end David Engelhaupt (HERE), quarterback Tristan Gebbia (HERE), linebacker Willie Hampton (HERE), defensive back Will Jackson (HERE), wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey (HERE), fullback Ben Miles (HERE), quarterback Patrick O’Brien (HERE), linebacker Avery Roberts (HERE), tight end Matt Snyder (HERE) inside linebacker Andrew Ward (HERE) and wide receiver Keyan Williams (HERE). An even dozen of those 14 transferred, while one of the remaining two, Decker, retired from football and the other, Darlington, joined the Army.
Even as summer camp is under a month away from kicking off, the attrition in Lincoln isn’t easing up.
As noted by the Lincoln Journal Star, a pair of tight ends, junior Matt Snyder and sophomore David Engelhaupt, are no longer listed on Nebraska’s updated online roster. A school spokesperson subsequently confirmed that the pair are no longer a part of the Cornhuskers football program, although no reason or reasons for their departures were given.
Neither player caught a pass during their time with the ‘Huskers. Snyder was a three-star member of NU’s 2015 recruiting class, while Engelhaupt was a two-star signee in 2016.
Including Engelhaupt and Snyder, a total of 10 Cornhuskers players have left the program since Scott Frost was hired in December of last year. The other eight are offensive lineman Bryan Brokop, wide receiver Zack Darlington (HERE) offensive lineman Michael Decker (HERE), linebacker Willie Hampton (HERE), fullback Ben Miles (HERE), quarterback Patrick O’Brien (HERE), inside linebacker Andrew Ward (HERE) and wide receiver Keyan Williams (HERE). Eight of those 10 transferred, while one of the remaining two, Decker, retired from football and the other, Darlington, joined the Army.
By the Journal Star‘s count, NU now has 83 scholarship players, two below the NCAA-mandated 85-man limit.
Everybody figured that Scott Frost’s arrival with a new way of doing things in Lincoln would prompt a few transfers out of the program but the latest name to leave Nebraska is on the defensive side of the ball as linebacker Andrew Ward became the latest name to announce a transfer after just a year with the Cornhuskers.
As Ward mentions in his post, he was originally recruited to the school by the prior coaching staff under Mike Riley. He redshirted as a freshman in 2017 and seemed to fall down the pecking order at his position during spring practice. Originally from Michigan, the linebacker was rated as a three-star coming out of high school according to 247Sports and held offers from Penn State and Virginia Tech among others.
Ward adds to the growing list of roster turnover this offseason for the Cornhuskers. Also on Saturday it was confirmed that center Michael Decker was retiring from football, while wideout Kenyan Williams, fullback Ben Miles, quarterback Patrick O’Brien, and receiver Zack Darlington all announced intentions to leave the program.