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Three defenders land the reaming single digits days before kick off

Aug 15, 2023

Before spring training, new head coach Matt Rhule stripped all players who wore a single digit in previous seasons and reallocated their numbers to another one for a placeholder. This is because single-digit numbered jerseys are typically the more valuable numbers for players, and wanted players to earn the right to wear those most desired ones.

The head football coach is implementing a system that awards single-digit jersey numbers to the toughest players on the team, a tradition he utilized at Temple and Baylor.

“What we decided was 0 through 9 would go to the nine or 10 toughest guys on the team” Rhule said. “When I say ‘toughest’, we define that for the guys. Really the guys who best exemplify what it means to be a Cornhusker, to be accountable, to be dependable, to be tough, hardworking, competitive every single day. As we get into training camp, the players will vote on it, and we hope it becomes a tradition. As we have embraced all the great traditions that are here, hopefully this will be something new that people will get in to.”

With the first kickoff just days away now, we finally have the three players who will round out all ten single-digit jerseys.

Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Newsome will retain his number six jersey that he wore in past seasons. The fifth-year senior first joined Nebraska in 2019 and featured in 10 games during that campaign. He saw more action in 2020, but the shortened COVID season allowed Newsome to extend his college football career into the 2023 season.

Newsome took on a more prominent role in 2021, where he was featured in 750 snaps on defense, making it a career-high to that point. The defensive back became better as a run defender and pass rusher as he registered his first career sack before doubling that total the following season. In 2022, he had three pressure attempts and brought down the quarterback twice.

Newsome has been targeted 146 times in his career as a coverage corner but has only allowed 86 receptions. Newsome was named to the Senior Bowl player watchlist.

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

DeShon Singleton steps away from the number nine he donned in the past and steps up to the number eight jersey. As a freshman last season, Singleton only saw 67 snaps on defense and graded among the lowest of all Nebraska defenders.

He was utilized more on special teams last year. It may be more of the same for the youngster if he struggles to get playtime. However, the fact that he landed the number eight jersey could suggest that he is getting the recognition he needs and may be looking to take on a more elevated role outside special teams play.

(Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)

Big defensive lineman Ty Robinson cuts his former number in half and will rock the single nine this upcoming season. Robinson also joins Newsome as a player named to the Senior Bowl watchlist. Robinson may be listed as a junior this season, but this is because he first came into the collegiate level during COVID, so he theoretically could stay at Nebraska another season past 2023.

Robinson totaled 17 tackles as a freshman in 2020 and added 27 to his career total in 2021 and 24 more in 2022. The interior lineman also brought down the quarterback twice in both the 2021 and 2022 seasons and will be called upon to do more in 2023.

Here is the full list of the 10 players who will wear single digits for Matt Rhule in 2023. Eight are on defense and two are on offense. #Huskers

— Sean Callahan (@Sean_Callahan) August 27, 2023

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