A case that talent was primary Issue for recent struggles and should be mostly fixed starting in 2021

FargoNDHusker

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Dec 22, 2020
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This year will really give us clarity on coaching I feel. Yesterday I was listening to a pod that was recapping the Saturday practice, in that they briefly mentioned how Fidone has struggled knowing where to line up and it can be really confusing for young guys in this system. I'm not sure if Frost runs a really complex/difficult system, maybe someone with a better understanding of the ins and outs of coaching can help me with that?

We complain about the receivers struggling so much, I think that no spring ball, no real time in the fall really hurt the young guys and our most talented players on offense are the young guys. The guys who have been here and in this system were trusted and produced a decent amount but just aren't the talented players you need to really separate yourselves. Betts struggled lining up and knowing routes, Manning couldn't get on the field and Brown looked lost quite a bit while I thought the guys who have been in college a bit seemed to at least know where to be and what to do.

I'm not saying Martinez was without a lot of flaws, many I don't know if can be fixed, but I do think a lot of the issues were more on guys not knowing where to line up, what routes they should be running and just basic things most people don't notice or think about and instead just blame the qb. Talent at this point (aside from maybe the rb's) should be there, O-line is good and depth/talent at receiver and tight end spot. At this point the pieces are in place to compete and win the West, but if the coaches don't get the penalties, special teams in order and fail to develop players with a full spring and fall this dumpster fire will continue to burn, but if they can clean that up and utilize the talent on the roster I think this year can get this thing going the right way.
 

inWV

Defensive Coordinator
Sep 22, 2007
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So we've had now 2 good years of good O line recruiting and those guys are starting to see the field. Most people agree that it takes 3 years to develop a high school lineman to play in the B1G. IF our young O linemen can be average, we should be pretty good on offense with the weapons we have now. Frost has had 3 years now to recruit and has landed what appears to be 2 very good classes. Hopefully it starts showing up in the win column.
This is what people miss. Before 2000, you had to be pretty damn good to see the field before your the third year on the Oline and most guys played in their fourth and fifth year. In his second year, Frost was faced with playing Hixson as a RS Soph walk on because Raridon (5.9 4*!) never developed. Cam played as a RS freshman Center who didn't quite have the snapping down yet.
We now look to start a third year guy at tackle with a season of playing experience and a second year guy on the other side who is uber talented, but short on game experience. The interior is more experienced, but less talented.
 

dinglefritz

Nebraska Legend
Jan 14, 2011
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I for one will be happy with 7 wins. It's clear that we still have some fans that are in complete denial.
My view is that it would be a stepping stone out of complete oblivion. Make no mistake I'm very disappointed in what I've seen these past 2 years, but I think Frost has recruited well enough to lay the ground work for future success. I think he'll meet the 5 year that some former Husker greats thought it would take to compete for titles.
 
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TruHusker

Offensive Coordinator
Sep 21, 2001
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Say what you want, that Riley left the cupboard bare, whatever. Does it really matter? I took over a couple of schools that were a mess from previous administration, no one cared about that, the boards just wanted results.

I have been on the record of stating my disappointment with the development of some positions, with OL being one of the most obvious. Frost inherited a decent OL his first year but has not had much since then. Is that talent or development? Could be both but why are we staring down year four and people just now believe we are seeing some progress. Where was the transfer portal during this time?

I get that Frost wanted to get "his" type of OL there. Huge 6-8 and 6-9 guys. That doesn't impress me unless they can get the job done blocking and we have shown very little ability to do that. I looked at several NFL OL draft projections and the same names keep coming up. Here they are. Not a guy over 6-6 and right at 315 lbs, two are 6-4 so clearly, getting a bunch of Philistines is not, in itself, the answer although we can keep bragging on that all day if you want.

Sewell Oregon 6-6 330
Slater Northwestern 6-4 315
Dorrisaw Virginia Tech 6-5 314
Vero-Tucker USC 6-4 315
Jenkins Okie St. 6-6 320
Leatherwood Alabama 6-6 312

It is clear these guys don't have to be sequoia trees to be successful. It is about athleticism and technique, both of which we are desperately lacking. Until things improve with the OL, I don't expect much else to get better. They are clearly, seriously underperformed to this point and I lay that at the feet of the coaches.

Until there is clear evidence of solid fundamental football, give out all the stars you want, it won't matter. LB's that can tackle, DB's that can turn and maintain contact, tackle and break on the ball, RB's that know where the cut back lane is, WR's that understand option routes and can adjust. People want to point to the lackluster special teams, well duh, that doesn't take a football guru to see. However, the same problems with development there are plaquing this program in many positions.

I am patient, love to see really good football being played, even if you lose a game, if you played well against better talent you can hang your hat on that. We have not. Rant over, for now
 

schuele

Athletic Director
Apr 17, 2005
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I have been on the record of stating my disappointment with the development of some positions, with OL being one of the most obvious.
I read a lot of comments here about improvement in the offensive line, but I just haven't seen it. In 2019 the Huskers put up some gaudy numbers against a Maryland team that had given up, and last year they ran the ball pretty effectively in the finale against Rutgers. But I can count on one hand the number of times I watched the Frost-era Huskers play and felt like they really won the line of scrimmage. Maybe this season we'll see some addition by subtraction, and the O-line will blossom.
 
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Red I 73

Blackshirt
Nov 25, 2007
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West Des Moines, Iowa
Some good stuff and I agree with a lot. Need a couple young dbs and lbs to step up to keep momentum moving forward after this year. Offense will depend a lot on Qb play.
QB play will depend on the rest of the offense doing their jobs on a consistent basis. With the exception of Frost's first year the only thing that could be counted on was being inconsistent on all parts of the offense.
 
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dinglefritz

Nebraska Legend
Jan 14, 2011
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Say what you want, that Riley left the cupboard bare, whatever. Does it really matter? I took over a couple of schools that were a mess from previous administration, no one cared about that, the boards just wanted results.

I have been on the record of stating my disappointment with the development of some positions, with OL being one of the most obvious. Frost inherited a decent OL his first year but has not had much since then. Is that talent or development? Could be both but why are we staring down year four and people just now believe we are seeing some progress. Where was the transfer portal during this time?

I get that Frost wanted to get "his" type of OL there. Huge 6-8 and 6-9 guys. That doesn't impress me unless they can get the job done blocking and we have shown very little ability to do that. I looked at several NFL OL draft projections and the same names keep coming up. Here they are. Not a guy over 6-6 and right at 315 lbs, two are 6-4 so clearly, getting a bunch of Philistines is not, in itself, the answer although we can keep bragging on that all day if you want.

Sewell Oregon 6-6 330
Slater Northwestern 6-4 315
Dorrisaw Virginia Tech 6-5 314
Vero-Tucker USC 6-4 315
Jenkins Okie St. 6-6 320
Leatherwood Alabama 6-6 312

It is clear these guys don't have to be sequoia trees to be successful. It is about athleticism and technique, both of which we are desperately lacking. Until things improve with the OL, I don't expect much else to get better. They are clearly, seriously underperformed to this point and I lay that at the feet of the coaches.

Until there is clear evidence of solid fundamental football, give out all the stars you want, it won't matter. LB's that can tackle, DB's that can turn and maintain contact, tackle and break on the ball, RB's that know where the cut back lane is, WR's that understand option routes and can adjust. People want to point to the lackluster special teams, well duh, that doesn't take a football guru to see. However, the same problems with development there are plaquing this program in many positions.

I am patient, love to see really good football being played, even if you lose a game, if you played well against better talent you can hang your hat on that. We have not. Rant over, for now
The caveat in your post is that Frost inherited 3 good O linemen IMO and horrible depth behind them. What we've had to do is to try to rebuild that depth after those first 2 seniors graduated. Boe Wilson was not a great player by any stretch and the same can be said IMO about other Riley O line recruits other than Jaimes. I'm optimistic that the talent we've brought in these past couple of classes is > than the guys Riley recruited. It sure looked that way to me last year. We have to have better dudes than Farniok and Wilson.
 

NikkiSixx

Recruiting Coordinator
Sep 14, 2013
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I am normally an optimistic person but also would like to believe that I am semi realistic or at least not completely dillusional. In the last 7 years I don’t post much because I haven’t felt much if any optimism about a our chances and honestly Husker football fandom has been more a chore than fun. I believe that will change in 2021 and will attempt to articulate how much I think the roster has improved and why this thing may just turn around in year 4.

Definitions / Background for analysis

High Rated – 5.7 or better

Blue Chip – 5.9 or Better

Stats - Rankings from Rivals which is not perfect but generally is a good approximation at macro level and also consistent with recent lack of conference honorees and draft choices

Assumption it typically takes 2-3 years to derail a good roster if a new coach doesn’t effectively recruit and about same amount of time to build up a poor roster if that is what you inherit

2014-2017 Recruiting (4 years prior Frost)

Landed High Rated– 33

Retained – 14 for 2018

Blue Chips – (Farmer, Gebbia, and Lindsey)

With Lindsey and Gebbia being transition casualties left Frost with 12 total high rated players and 1 Blue Chip from the group as the core of his first two teams. Conclusion is Frost inherited a well below Big Ten average roster from Riley. I personally think there a lot of Husker fans that don't necessarily agree with this. But rankings, lack of drafted players ands conference honorees all point to this opinion being accurate.

2018 to 2021 (Frost Classes)

Landed - High Rated 62

Retained – 44 for 2021

Blue Chips Available - 11 (Martinez, Henrich, Benhardt, Robinson, Gates, Betts Corcoran, Manning, Joseph, Fidone, Prochazka)

1QB, 3OL, 3WR, 1DL, 1LB, 2Sec

Only 1 of the 44 are Seniors or two if you count Cam Talyor Britt which means a vast majority of the high rated players will be around for next 2-3 years.


Scott has landed twice the high rated recruits as previous four years and retained 3 times the number with 5 times the Blue Chips if you remove Gebbia who transferred before 2018 year started and leave Lindsey because his was available that first year.

2014-2017 recruiting ineffectiveness outlined above had massive impacts across the board on the Staffs early lack of success but most notably at offensive line where it killed any chance of fielding a competitive offense in 2019 after Foster/Farmer graduated. Also, likely main cause of Martinez regression from 2018 to 2019 and into 2020.

The 2019 interior o-line of So Hixson, RF 265 Lb converted TE Jurgens and a below Big Ten average and injured Wilson was, in my opinion, the worst interion o-line in the BIG when you factor impact of snaps. Sophomore Farniok was also well below Big Ten average right tackle and LT So James was the only solid player at that point being a Big Ten average left tackle as a Sophmore. This overall offensive line was in bottom 2-3 in league and derailed Martinez who didn’t do himself any favors in 2019 with the extra weight that slowed his running which was really impactful as running for his life was one of our key plays in 2019. The combination of line play and Martinez regressions effectively tied an arm behind Scotts back as a play caller as well. The only good thing that came out of this was the 2019 screen pass post on Rivals about a week ago. After Frost ran 44 times for 98 yards against a bad South Alabama team to start the season, I assume he realized they would need to do other things against big ten teams and I think the number of screens were one of those other things.

While it was only Rutgers in our final game of 2020, with the three Freshman and a sophomore on the oline we put up significantly more yards against them than any other team they played and only OSU averaged more per play against them. I expect the left side with Top 100 Corcoran, Piper and Jurgens to continue to develop over Spring and Fall and to be flat out imposing in the run game in 2021 and more than competitive in pass protection with the right side holding there own or Big Ten average.

To provide perspective on improvement in the Oline room, the only 2019 player I think that would make the two deep in 2021 would be So James as backup to Corcoran. I would even take this a step further and say you could field a second team line from 2021 group with scholarship backups that would significantly outperform that 2019 line which is staggering to think about.


While concerning to some, WR/TE group has 9 high rated players and still has 3 blue chips even without Robinson. Martin, Brown, Flack, Allen, Volkolek along with transfer Touré should ensure this groups floor is competitive (slightly below Big Ten avg.). What I believe will separate this group from competitive to good is the likelihood of 1 or more of Betts, Manning and/or Fidone developing into a “Dude” over Spring and Fall camp. Only the o-line has as many Blue Chip recruits as our WR/TE group and I expect that to show up in 2021 as all but 3 of the 9 are returning players. We also caught a break with Manning on not losing a year of eligibility given that he wasn't physically/mentally ready to help which is one of reasons many schools typically avoid all but highest rated 2 year Jucos. With the extra year, Every one but Toure/Flack will be back in 2022 so this group could develop similarly to o-line moving forward and be something special relative to recent Nebraska standards.


I think of the concept of synergy or whole being greater than some of parts for my offensive expectations in 2021. It will start with an effective running game behind this o-line that Allen has assembled along with Martinez and a serviceable RB that I am sure exists within our 6 Scholorship backs. This will put Martinez and Frost in a high percentage of advantageous (run-pass) down and distances which is were he is most effective. There is simply too much talent at WR not to at least be as good as 2018. In that scenario 2018 Freshman Martinez threw for 18 TD and and 7 INT. I think the talent around him in 2021 will be significantly better than 2018 when you factor in O-line. I personally wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Martinez throws something like 22 TD with 8 interceptions and 600 plus rushing yards with the player around him and Frosts ability to better manage play calling with the running game he will be able to use in 2021.

This is an incredibly important year for Scott and for Husker football. Fairly quietly, a solid roster has been built that will return almost everyone in 2022 on offense including what could be a top 2-3 o-line in the big ten. If Frost comes out and demonstrate the offense that many people expected and goes 6-2 in West (likely minimum record to win West) he will be able to maintain or even accelerate what I believe has been West Division leading recruiting into the 2022 class. The 2022 team will also likely start the year ranked, with expectations and a lot of momentum.

IF he cannot win at least 7 games with the talent we have in 2021 I don’t see how he could win much more in 2022 with basically the same players returning. At that point, given the talent, I will probably have to agree with the crowd claiming he cannot coach and that we just playing string out for the next guy. Personally I don't think this will be the case and very excited for 2021.
You already lost me with your first conclusion.. Frost didn't have to lose Gebbia, or any of the others. He pushed many of those people out. It was his choice to turn over the roster quickly, which I agreed with. But saying he was left with nothing when it was his own choice to push people out, is a false narrative. I won't even bother with the rest of your post since it's already biased and inaccurate.
 
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