Kenny Bell’s Final Season Could Make Him All-Time Best at NU

If he never caught another pass, Kenny Bell would already be in rare territory as a receiver for Nebraska.  He's already fifth all-time in receptions, third all-time in receiving yards, and tied for fourth all-time in touchdown receptions.  He's also eighth all-time in kick return yards with  the fourth most yards by a Husker receiver.


Bell might have slipped under the radar a bit in 2013 due to both a combination of injuries and a monster senior campaign by Quincy Enunwa.  Even so, Bell still led the team in receptions and kickoff return yards.  In fact, his returns amounted to the sixth most in a season in team history.  He was honorable mention all-conference for the season.

But last year was a bit of a step back from his sophomore campaign, where he tallied the fourth most receiving yards in a season and scored eight times.  He was named a second-team all conference receiver for 2012.  Prior to that he led the team in receptions, yards, and touchdown catches as a freshman.

So Bell seems to pretty clearly be the team's top target for 2014 and a threat to claim the top spot in receptions (he needs 32 catches), receiving yards (he needs 578 yards), and receiving touchdowns (he needs 10).  He could realistically finish third all-time in kick returns ahead of Tyrone Hughes or perhaps even edge out Niles Paul for second place, which would make him the top kick returner that also played receiver (Josh Davis was a running back).  

In any case, Bell's already put his name up there with the all-time greats at Nebraska.

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Comments 34 comments so far

We’ll need his great hands.  I still recall one of his early games against Minnesota where he basically did a 180° to catch a Martinez pass thrown behind him.  He’s made several difficult catches making the QB look good.

All we need is a good passing QB.

History suggests the starting QB won’t necessarily be the best passer.


Quite right.  Classically, even though we don’t run the option near as much as we used to, the starting QB tends to be a runner not a thrower.  The pocket passer is kind of useless to us as a QB concept.  Scrambling QBs with the ability to throw on the run tend to be the norm.

Zack was a good pocket passer but ultimately we knew we needed a QB with legs.  Enter Martinez.  Brook was a better passer than Tommie, and a quite a good runner as well but Tommie was the better runner.

And RKIII was 3rd string.

Vince Ferragamo was another era.

Someday we’ll land one of those superstars that can do both. You know the one we’ve been dreaming about since Turner Gill showed us what could happen if you could run.

I wonder why everone overlooks Scott Frost who is the only NU QB that has over 1000 yds in both passing & running in a single season and surpassed Tommy in passing for 1400 yds in a season,

If the article is about Kenny becoming a greater receiver for NU then we need to have a QB that can throw a pass, if the QB can also run then so much the better.  Those two qualities really aren’t all that rare and NU should be able to fill that QB slot with relative ease.  Maybe we already have, time will tell.

Eric Crouch 2001: Pass 1,510 55.6%, Rush 1,115
Taylor Martinez 2012: Pass 2,871 62%, Rush 1,019
Scott Frost 1997: Pass 1,237 55.3%, Rush 1,095
Gill was also a 55% passer.
Frost had the sometimes annoying habit of throwing the ball at the receiver’s feet.  He was not really a good passer, and never tried to be an NFL QB.
I do think Taylor had better receivers to work with.

The 3rd element combined with the other two is what makes it so difficult. Run, pass and be able read defenses under pressure.

I stand corrected, I really liked Eric Crouch too.  At any rate Bell would have really profited with receptions and yards and most likely scores with any of those guys.  I hope TA works out this year and gets past the jitters, if not maybe one of the others will step up to the plate.  I like the looks of Stanton, good sized kid, passes well, likes to run, good ball handler, and brawny looking, should make a decent QB for NU.  At any rate, one dimensional teams are too easy to predict and key on, passing frees up runners, or is it visa versa.

The QB that stands out to me is Frost.  He had to fight for everything he got. In fact that whole 1997 team stands out.  That team played with determination and heart.  I think Armstrong is a leader, and he will connect with Bell.

Ring dat Bell, RING IT!

Yeah, another one of a number of guys I’d like to see have the ball in his hands more often if it were not for Ameer showing off all the time.

Even if he exceeds the numbas, I don’t think I’d put him quite in the same category as Irving Fryar, but am drawing a blank as to who else may have been better than Kenny as a pure receiver.  Need to get him the ball more though.

@ Gage,

I think Zach Darlington has a very healthy pass, run combo going on.  On film looks like he could be the best passer of the QB trio we have at this time.  Pretty good wheels too.  Give me the impression of a Blaine Gabby lite, not quite as good a passer, but much better runner.

T Dogg

Zach does look promising but I’m going to have to see him read defenses before I’m going to anoint him the next king. Going after him gives us an idea of what kind of QB they want and I like their direction. And I’m in the camp that wants a sophisticated passing game at NU to complement a physical running game.


Uh, yeah, maybe he needs to get on campus, do a few push ups and such, fling it around some in praktiz before he takes over, ya think?  Oh, and how could I forget, there’re these guys with the initials TA and JS that ain’t goin’ down w/o a fight.

He’ll probably RS next year and give it a strong run in ‘15 is my guess.  Hopefully the concussion thing won’t come back to bite him.  I’m not saying he can even beat out the other 2 guys necessarily, but may have to wait it out til his JR and SR years to lead us to further glory.

Stanton is probably the better rusher of the 3, shifty kinda guy, but ZD seems like the more natural and accurate passer.

T Dogg

It’s nice to have some depth at QB. May the best man win. I’d like to see one emerge as the clear consensus winner. And it’s fine with me if he sets new records.


Which QB trio?  Did Broekemeier leave?
We have 6 after Bush arrives, 5 now, with ZD already on campus.
We had 2 schollies returning.  2 Walkons returning.

Armstrong Jr., Tommy - So
Stanton, Johnny   -  Fr
Broekemeier, Tyson - Jr
Fyfe, Ryker - So
Darlington, Zack - Fr
Bush, AJ - Fr


Fyfe and Broek are career bench warmers, mop up time guys @ NU.  Bush will probably end up @ WR like JT.  So, that leaves the 3 REAL contenders.

I think it is great that we are even having a conversation about who are QB will be.  Last few years most were not happy with who we had and didn’t see any real backup that could take the reins if needed.  TA played good at times but has some growing to do, JS looks like the real deal on tape, Zack would be more good to himself and NU if he did redshirt, Ryker I am not counting him out just yet.  The guy has good speed, not afraid to take a hit and has good arm strength but mostly he has a desire that no one else has because he is a Nebraska grown kid.  Bush I think there is alot of upside to him, but needs some time to develope.

Didn’t mean to leave TB out just didn’t know much about him.  Just read his BIO and was Gatorade player of the year for Nebraska his senior year.  Looks like he is more of a passer than runner but had good numers.  (RKIII   II)


Does Bush have the speed and hands for WR?
He was the starting QB on the team that won the state championship in Georgia’s largest division, I think he’ll have a shot at QB.  He looked good in the highlights (of course) but he does need to learn to not always stretch the ball out trying to score (fumble or play the next play?).  He showed some good moves running, and he was faster than most of the other players on the field in the highlights but at H.S. level I don’t know what his speed really is.


Yeah, we’re getting pretty loaded @ QB as well as most other positions.  All in all, I would say recruiting has been heading in an upward direction under BOP, though I still scratch my head a bit over the DT position where one would think recruits would be fighting over each other to play @ NU with a name D mind at the helm.

Anyway, Broek, well, I thought he was a WR or something, so that about shows you where he stands on the QB depth chart, won’t see the field unless at least 3 other guys go down.  Looks like the Scottish kid put on a few lbs last year as when he got here he was like 165 or something, feather wgt.  190 now.  Also won’t see real PT unless the 3 contenders go down.  If either ever want to start and play some fuhball, my advice:  transfer.  Hell, one of the 3 Amigos might transfer when it’s all said and done.

I don’t think TA is going to give up the position easily.  I think he’s the real deal as far as being a baller, just needs to keep perfecting the passing thing.  I think he’ll be real good.  Excited to see what JS brings to the table also.


Bush reminds me of one of those tall, lanky, gazelle like WRs that LSU always gets—big smooth.  Seems to have the read/zone option thing real well @ his h.s., but looks like your typical ‘project’ as far as the passing thing goes.  Remember, JT was a 4*, #8 or so in the country dual QB recruit—feelin’ me?  I would’ve still loved to see what JT could’ve done @ QB but, alas, we’ll never know…  I just hope they get the ball in his hands more next year.

DT’s are hard to come by, you look at most kids that size in HS don’t have to do to much to be affective when the guy across from them is 40-50lbs lighter.  I think it is improtant to find a guy with size, but needs weight.  Easier in my opinion to add muscle rather than turn fat into muscle.  I like a guy that needs to add weight that has desire to get into the weight room, over the guy you are trying to convince to give up the chips and dip.  You would think that Suh would make it easy to get DT’s here maybe he needs to start recruiting for us in the Detroit area.

JT puts you on the edge of your seat every time he gets the ball that’s for sure.  Need to keep him healthy, I really look for him and bell to have really good years.  I think the run will open things up for them and I think the OL is getting better every year with Garrison at the helm (fire barney) and will allow for more holes which will in turn open up the passing game for big plays.

I don’t much care who’s the qb is just so they can throw to Kenney Bell once in awhile, hand off to Ameer, and not fumble too much.  BTW who’s JT?

Jamal Turner

In BiG football these days, they ALL are stand-out HS players, the guy on the other side of the line also brings a boatload of high ratings and talent, and abilities, real competition, and they no longer are the only big guy on the line outweighing everyone else by 40 or 50 pounds.  Serious weight and strength training can make the difference, NU was at one time famous for it’s training programs, now it seems, not so much.  I had the pleasure of visiting NU and ate at the training tables with TO and numerous players during the Frazier, Winstrom, Alberts, Heismann, Outland, Butkus, Lombardi trophy winners all, and not incidently National Champions.  etc era.  Man, those guys were awesome in their training regimes, the focus, intensity, and determination was palpable everywhere, be it game films, weight rooms, or full pad practices.  Ahhh, but I regress.  I suspect no one really wants to leave Great memories behind, I sure as Hell don’t.  GBR

Back to the subject line, I think one reason QE had such a good year is the D was focusing on KB, because of KB’s previous season.
So who will take place of QE?  Will JT?  If KB is all alone, facing double coverage or always the best cornerback, then he won’t have the stellar season we hope for.  But that would help out the next in line.  There are a bunch of other returning WRs:  Moore, Burtch, Westerkamp, Allen, and several I’m not familiar with (walkons?).

Gladney will probably be a baller, big body.  Monte Harrison coming in, 4* steal from Mizzou.  We’ll be alright.

You must be watching different clips from these guys because I see plenty of them beating up on guys that weigh alot less than they do.  “In BiG football these days, they ALL are stand-out HS players, the guy on the other side of the line also brings a boatload of high ratings and talent, and abilities, real competition” then why doesn’t every HS player get offers from major colleges.  1,134,377 number of HS football players, one fourth for seniors, means about 400,000 kids eligible for college probably 1/10 go on to college to play football so not all are standouts as you said.

DennisR reread your comment, and thought you were talking about the big schools in HS as all big players my opologies and agree with you 100% that we gave away to much information to other schools in the 90’s about are training methods and now everyone else is doing the same or better.

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