By at April 8, 2011 | 9:53 AM | Print

The 50 Huskers to Know returns for the 2011 spring season! We count down the players you absolutely have to watch heading into spring football, culminating with No. 1 during NU's spring break.

The spring list, remember, is about players who are currently in the program, with an emphasis on redshirt freshmen and sophomores who might not have played much yet; in the fall, you'll see a list with more projected starters and incoming contributing recruits.

Not included on this list is wide receiver Khiry Cooper, who spends the spring with the Husker baseball team.

No. 1 Cornerback Alfonzo Dennard

Let's talk for a second about what kind of confidence it really takes to win a conference championship. It's swagger – that small sense of strut that announces “I'll take on any guy on this field.” The top Husker to know on our list has that. Dennard, at 5-foot-10, 205 pounds, isn't the bigger defensive back on any roster. But he plays big. He thrives in the moment. He's physical. He dares the opposing receiver to beat him to a spot. He dares the quarterback to throw that deep ball. When a great receiver torches Prince Amukamara in the first half of the Oklahoma State game, Dennard goes over the sideline and bellows that he wants his shot at Justin Blackmon. The coaches give it to him.

It's a joy to watch the senior from south-central Georgia because he plays out there on the edge, where exciting players live. Dennard isn't perfect. Sometimes he gets burned. Sometimes he misses a tackle. But, like great Nebraska cornerback Barron Miles in the 1990s, Dennard wants one more play, one more shot. He'll take his chances because he likes his chances.

So do we.

See all 50 Huskers!

No. 50, No. 49, No. 48, No. 47, No. 46, No. 45, No. 44, No. 43, No. 42, No. 41, No. 40, No. 39, No. 38, No. 37, No. 36, No. 35, No. 34, No. 33, No. 32, No. 31, No. 30, No. 29, No. 28, No. 27, No. 26, No. 25, No. 24, No. 23, No. 22, No. 21, No. 20, No. 19, No. 18, No. 17, No. 16, No. 15, No. 14, No. 13, No. 12, No. 11, No. 10, No. 9, No. 8, No. 7, No. 6, No. 5, No. 4, No. 3, No. 2

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