OMAHA, Nebraska — Nebraska's depth issue at linebacker became more problematic Thursday with coach Mike Riley's announcement that David Santos would not be with the Cornhuskers this season.
Riley also said safety LeRoy Alexander and receiver Jariah Tolbert would transfer.
Santos was the Cornhuskers' most experienced linebacker, having started eight games last season and 19 in his career. Santos injured his right knee against Miami in September and was limited the rest of the season. He missed two games and the Holiday Bowl but still finished with 50 tackles and an interception in his junior season.
Santos, from Spring, Texas, had major knee surgery after the season. Riley didn't say in his statement why Santos wouldn't return. Santos' father, David Santos Sr., declined to comment.
The Huskers practiced with just five scholarship linebackers in the spring, and three scholarship freshmen will join the team in fall camp.
Alexander was suspended for the entire 2014 season for an undisclosed reason. The native of Toledo, Ohio, appeared in all 13 games as a redshirt freshman in 2013. He made 34 tackles, with 27 coming in the final six games.
Tolbert, from New Orleans, was charged with marijuana possession in June 2014 and again this past April. He sat out as a redshirt last season and was one of the top receivers in the spring. He led all receivers in the Red-White game, catching three passes for 55 yards and a touchdown. A posting on Tolbert's Facebook page said he would play at Arizona Western Community College this fall.
Before Riley's announcement, the Huskers were known to have 88 scholarship players, three over the limit.