There is no silver lining, no cup half full angle to the Nebraska Cornhuskers losing All-American defensive tackle Jared Crick for the year to a torn pectoral muscle. It is bad news for the Huskers’ already lagging defensive unit – and it is bad news for Crick, whose college football career ended on the most unfortunate of notes after a mildly unimpressive campaign this season.
Coming into 2011 Nebraska touted its three-headed All-American monster on defense. Between Crick, Lavonte David and Alfonzo Dennard, theoretically at least, the squad seemed to have enough firepower on that side of the ball to hang with the rough-and-tumble style of play they would encounter in the Big Ten. David has been superb so far, there is no denying that. Dennard, however, suffered an injury during training camp and only recently returned to play. And Crick, unfortunately, underperformed all year long en route to this untimely exit.
Even though Crick hadn’t played up to expectations this season, he was still an unquestionable leader of the unit – and one of the more beloved presences in the locker room. He ranked No. 7 on the Huskers in tackles with 22 and had one sack on the year.
Over the course of his career at Nebraska, Crick was able to accumulate 20 sacks – good for No. 8 on the Husker career sacks list.
The news of Crick’s unfortunate injury was presented to the media on Wednesday via statement:
"After further examination on Tuesday, it was determined that Jared Crick has a torn pectoral muscle and he will be out for the remainder of the season.
"I feel extremely bad for Jared. He is a young man who has represented this program in a first-class manner throughout his career. He made an unselfish decision to come back to Nebraska for his senior year and earn his degree, which he did this summer. He has also been a leader on and off the field and a young man who has made a positive impact in our community. Jared has a bright future in front of him on the field at the professional level. I know he will bounce back from this, and become a stronger player and person.
"It is a tough blow for our football team to lose a player of Jared's caliber, but we have players that are capable of stepping up and filling the void."
From an NFL standpoint, the injury isn’t expected to hurt Crick’s chances of being a fairly high draft pick. According to ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr., the talented defensive end should get selected somewhere around the No. 18 mark in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Meanwhile, look for Terrence Moore and Chase Rome to step in for Crick. More likely than not, the onus will fall on David to rally the unit in the face of this crisis.
Nebraska gets a week off after their pulse-racing victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes last week, and will play their next game versus the Minnesota Gophers on October 22.