Posted by Jerry Hinnen
College football's quarterback carousel just keeps on spinning.
This time, the team going for a ride is the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Multiple outlets have reported that Huskers backup Cody Green has requested his scholarship release from the Nebraska coaches and will be transferring soon.
Unlike many backup quarterbacks who head elsewhere to find playing time, Green will arrive at his new school with quality experience in big-time football. A class of 2009 four-star recruit out of Dayton, Texas, Green nearly won the starting job as a true freshman and would eventually start the Huskers' road game at Baylor. Though he lost out on the 2010 starting position to Taylor Martinez, as a sophomore Green started a pair of wins against Iowa State and Colorado as Martinez sat out with an ankle injury. For his career, Green has completed 66-of-162 passes for five touchdowns with three interceptions.
So Green should be a big addition to whatever program might add him to the roster. (One local columnist has already speculated Green could be interested in replacing Kellen Moore at Boise State.) But as for how big a blow his departure will be for the Huskers, it largely depends on how well Martinez responds to his ongoing ankle issues and an awkward spring, one capped by an iffy 4-for-13 performance in the Nebraska spring game. Green's decision leaves the Huskers with just two scholarship quarterbacks, Martinez and redshirt freshman Brion Carnes. (Blue-chip recruit Bubba Starling could be a third, but he's expected to forgo college football in favor of pro baseball.) If Martinez is hurt again or struggles to the point of a benching, Bo Pelini will have no one else available who's ever thrown a college pass.
Then again, if Martinez returns to his 2010 form, adjusts to new coordinator Tim Beck's offense and stays healthy, the backup will be an afterthought--which is likely why Green has asked for his release in the first place. And experience or no experience, Carnes may not be all that bad an option off the bench anyway; he connected on 11-of-15 passes in the spring game and averaged better than 10 yards an attempt.
So the Huskers should be able to weather Green's departure. But the emphasis there is on "should"; if Green's absence leads to trouble at the quarterback spot, the inaugural Big Ten "Legends" division race--one in which the Huskers are likely the tentative favorite--will be thrown wide open.