Keep Your Eye on Burtch
Walk-on wide receivers don't often excite the Husker Nation. You have to go back to Brendan Holbein in 1996 to find a walk-on wideout that led NU in receptions. But there aren't many walk-ons at the position that come in with the credentials of Sam Burtch of Murdock, Nebraska. Burtch managed to over 1,000 receiving yards as a high school senior on just 44 catches. That was good for an average of nearly 24 yards per reception. He stood out in the 2011 Shrine Bowl and might have gotten more recruiting attention if he hadn't played in Class C-2.
NU offensive coordinator Tim Beck disclosed Burtch's status as the #4 wide receiver right now. Beck said Burtch could be used at all of the wideout positions due to the sophomore's experience in the system. That would put him behind Kenny Bell, Quincy Enunwa, and Jamal Turner and ahead of returning players like Taariq Allen, Tyler Evans, and Tyler Wullenwaber.
Last season's #4 wide receiver in terms of production was departed senior Stephen Osborne. He caught ten passes for 91 yards and two scores. The departure of Kyler Reed and Ben Cotton, who combined for 42 catches for nearly 600 yards creates an opportunity for someone to step into the void as a target. Not to mention the loss of guys like Osborne, Tim Marlowe, Rex Burkhead, and Braylon Heard. There will be room for someone to have an impact, even behind the top receivers.
A big target at 6'3" Burtch can create matchup problems particularly against undersized nickel and dime backs on opposing teams. Don't be surprised if he catches your eye early next year, just as Osborne did in 2012.