It is the first press conference of the 2020 spring football season! Do you have your Kool-Aid all mixed up and ready to drink or are you still staring suspiciously at the moldy stuff leftover from 2019?
Everyone’s bigger! faster! stronger!
Actually strength and conditioning was a common theme mentioned by the players. Maybe it is really true this time!
These are paraphrased notes and very few actual quotes.
What is the mentality going into spring ball?
- Everyone is doing the right things and wants to get better - bigger, faster, etc.
How about the competition?
- The secondary is competitive. There are a lot of guys that want to play. It will be tough for the coaches to pick.
Has there been a mantra for the team?
- Cam pointed to his sweatshirt which said “Humble over hype.” He emphasized that and a day-by-day mentality. “Nobody likes to lose and we lost a lot.” “That was last season and we are onto the now.” (It is easy to see why he has been regarded as a leader almost from the day he stepped on campus.)
Cam also discussed the leadership coming from the DB (defensive backs) room for the whole team. He emphasized that the DBs hang out together, even outside of team activities and that they have some upperclassmen who have been out there on the field and can provide advice and leadership throughout the team.
(Mullet is gone. Carry on.)
He mentioned that they are preaching “Day by Day.”
Early impressions of Matt Lubick (new offensive coordinator) - Stoll is excited about the knowledge Lubick brings and he likes the energy and how much Lubick loves football.
What about the experience? You have 10 starters back on offense.
- That experience will help - young guys are rising - we’re seeing less difference between the starters and the twos - we’re going to work on making sure have our details right - our big focus is making sure the details are dialed up and we’re taking care of the small things.
On Rutgers transfer Travis Vokolek (who sat out in 2019 because of the transfer)
- We can trust him on and off the field - he learned a lot while sitting out - he’ll benefit the team this fall
Is there a team mantra?
- Details. Want to get the game cleaner than we have been. Also focusing on special teams - everyone needs to take pride in that (starters too).
Can the offense operate faster?
- Yes, I think the experience will help. Don’t have to focus on assignments as much, can focus on details.
Personal goal for your senior year?
- Get better day by day. Details.
Everyone’s hungry. Everyone is putting their heads down and grinding. Not talking about last year; we’re looking forward. Keep attacking everything and get closer as a team. Get better.
Special teams? How is it different?
- We’ve been focusing more on details. Learning new stuff. Get dialed in on the assignment and then understand the details and get better.
As a senior, what have you been trying to get from the younger players?
- Will and I trying to teach younger guys and are being more vocal in the group.
- We had a lot of guys last year that were focusing on perfecting their craft and didn’t know the playbook as well. This year, we have guys that have reps and can focus on next step.
What are you working on for yourself?
- Get stronger and faster to run with receivers. Be more vocal with the defensive line. Last year was my first year in the inside position, so I feel like I benefited from reps. Learn my keys better.
On the d-line - there are a lot of new players?
- They were doing a great job today, creating gaps for us.
Difference from past?
- Everyone is closer. We know the right things and wrong things to do. This staff is like family. Coach Dawson coming back was big - guys love him.
A lot of redshirts last year - what did you see behind the scenes from them and how are they coming into spring ball?
- Bigger, faster, stronger...guys coming in and flying around. We keyed in on being Big Ten stronger. A lot of guys that redshirted wanted to play. They focused on coming in and getting better and making plays. The redshirts were important to get stronger and compete with physical teams like Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota.
Who stuck out?
- Jordan Riley. Big physical guy. He’s a big boy and he can run too.
(He is huge BTW)
Who was taking the first reps?
- Varies a lot
- As a senior, I have to help bring young guys along. We’re pretty young overall.
What do you like about this group?
- The traits we’re trying to implement. Competitive, gritty, tough.
Who is playing inside with Darrion gone?
- Damion is playing nose. Ty Robinson gets in there some - he’ll be a swing guy. Jordan Riley too.
How have the redshirt freshman and transfers come along?
- Ty in particular has grown a lot. The four game rule is crucial - guys get to play some and that is a great motivator and for development. It has accelerated their growth.
- We went back to work sooner than usual. Guys were hungry and it was motivator because we left so much on the table. The games we lost but know we should have won are a motivator.
No hype this year compared to last year? How does that feel?
- It can be an advantage. Lay low. Play the underdog.
- “There should be no excuses this year. Bringing back five starters, there should be no excuses.”
- There is competition. Everyone needs to play like their spot is up for grabs. Take it day by day.
Who is playing behind him in reps?
- Brant Banks
Having Christian Gaylord back...
- It’s great. We love having him back.
How much did he want to come back?
- More than anything.
Matt Farniok - Wan’dale Robinson - Dicaprio Bootle
I wasn’t able to watch these guys live. Here are some tweets about their portion of the presser.
Matt Farniok said he played some left guard today in practice and that he expects to cross-train. Farniok has started the past two seasons at RT. #Huskers— Parker Gabriel (@HuskerExtraPG) March 9, 2020
Wan’Dale says his hamstring “popped” near the end of Purdue game. Wanted to go back in but medical staff/coaches said no. #Huskers— Adam Krueger (@AdamKruegerTV) March 9, 2020
First name given from Robinson when asked about the other guys in the wide receiver room: redshirt freshman Jamie Nance.— Derek Peterson (@DrPeteyHV) March 9, 2020
Said Nance has "come a long way." #Huskers
Wan'Dale Robinson says Matt Lubick clearly meshes with Scott Frost and "probably gets along with him better than most people he's worked with." #huskers— Sam McKewon (@swmckewonOWH) March 9, 2020
Thanks to Dear Leader Jon Johnston for catching this portion of the presser and including tweets and his notes!
Frost says McCaffrey working exclusively at QB right now. But come fall, if McCaffrey isn’t “the guy,” the receiver discussion could be in play. For now, though, Frost wants McCaffrey to try to win the QB job.— Steven M. Sipple (@HuskerExtraSip) March 9, 2020
Frost says special teams potentially cost Nebraska 3-4 games last year, maybe more. A restructuring of how NU prepares for special teams was necessary.— Evan Bland (@EvanBlandOWH) March 9, 2020
- Coaches should demand toughness, but it better come out of the locker room.
- Henry Gray and Isaac Gifford out with a shoulder injury
Name, image, likeness (NIL):
- Nebraska will benefit greatly from the NIL decisions. Because of the fan base, the excitement. A big announcement coming next week will make Nebraska a leader in the name,image, likeness issue.
Other items of note:
- Chris Hickman will start practicing at outside wide receiver instead of tight end. Frost said there are only 4 scholarship receivers at practice today.
- Frost jokes he’s afraid to say they had a good practice because people will go out and start placing bets on Huskers to win super bowl. He said he understood now why Osborne was so low key on players. Loves Nebraska fans and their excitement, but they...“Nebraska fans, I love them, they’re so excited about it. If you say anything good about a player he ends up being the next Johnny Rodgers and we’re going to win the Big Ten.”
Scott Frost with about as candid of an answer as we've heard from him regarding the status of the #Huskers program.— Andrew Ward (@AndrewWardKLKN) March 9, 2020
"You guys got me afraid to say it was a good practice."
Incredible answer from a usually reserved Frost. pic.twitter.com/sbHJmy7K0A
Frost says he will lean on the leadership of the secondary, tight ends and offensive line. Those groups enter the year with the most experience. #Huskers— Andrew Ward (@AndrewWardKLKN) March 9, 2020
More News and Notes
Wrapped up an hour with #Huskers assistants. Mike Dawson is clearly excited to be back. Matt Lubick is an interesting guy. Barrett Ruud said Keyshawn Greene had never been on an airplane before his OV to Lincoln.— Parker Gabriel (@HuskerExtraPG) March 9, 2020
#Huskers DC Erik Chinander says Ty Robinson is well over 300 pounds now.— Adam Krueger (@AdamKruegerTV) March 9, 2020
Nebraska’s new OC and WR coach Matt Lubick enjoyed his year away from coaching, but he's happy to be back at it with the #Huskers.— Hail Varsity (@HailVarsity) March 9, 2020
"You take things for granted until you’re not there.” https://t.co/g2dvWJlJ8M
Good stuff from Mike Dawson today, the #Huskers outside linebackers coach who was at Nebraska in Frost's first season, went to the Giants and then returned this year.— Andrew Ward (@AndrewWardKLKN) March 9, 2020
On being a Nebraska fan last year:
"The anxiety level was probably high." pic.twitter.com/0CRhYUKQLN