So, it has been a couple of weeks since Scott Frost let go a chunk of his offensive staff. Gone is the offensive guru Matt Lubick. Greg Austin will no longer manage the pipeline. Ryan Held will no long hold court of the running backs room. Mario Verduzco will no longer be chomping on a cigar with sunglasses on the sideline. We are going to miss Mario. The guy had style.
There has been some rumblings since, but none have been replaced as of now.
Us here at Corn Nation believe that we know what Frost will do. We don’t all agree per say on who he will hire but we are correct in our assumptions anyway. If we are correct then feel free to let us rub it in your faces over the coming months.
Who will be Nebraska’s new offensive coordinator?
Mike: I’ll take a flier on a “Back to the Future” name and that’s Tim Beck, now at North Carolina State. When Frost sprung the Diamond formation against Iowa (not to mention having an I-back run an option with another back, ala Rex Burkhead to Ameer Abdullah), it was a clear sign that Frost was taking a deep dive into Nebraska’s offense during the Beck years.
Jill: Frost seems determined to build around the run game and to bring back a modernized version of the option to compete in the Big Ten. I love the explosive pass plays we’ve seen this season, but most of those were the result of teams having to respect Martinez as a runner. One name that seems far fetched but in the “you never know” category is Tom Herman. He’s hanging out in Chicago as an analyst for da Bears. Maybe he’s seeing the crazy money on the college football coaching carousel and thinking he can work his way back into one of those sweet gigs?
Brian J: I touched in on 9 potential options in an article last week, but I’d really like to see Frost go out and hire Coastal Carolina’s Willy Korn. The former Clemson quarterback has been with Jamey Chadwell at three different schools and help develop the Chanticleers offense which is a modern take on the triple option. Check out this twitter account that shares clips of Coastal’s offense. Frost meet with the Coastal Carolina staff this summer to go over offensive ideas, so the connection is there.
Nate M: Regards to Mullen, I don’t think he will be taking an OC job this year. He probably should take a year off or go be an analyst at Alabama. He seems like the type of guy that would need to take some serious humble pie before taking a job that isn’t a head coaching gig.
I’m somewhat on the Korn bandwagon. Some of the clips of Coastal Carolina looked a lot like what Frost’s offense tried to do this season. Seems like a good fit.
I am not a Helfrich guy as it feels like Frost going back to that Oregon well which hasn’t worked at this point.
Who will be Nebraska’s new wide receivers coach?
Jill: Matt Davison. (Yes, that is sarcasm). /Spins the former Husker player roulette wheel and lands on Mickey Joseph. I have no idea if Frost can pry him away from Baton Rougue, even with a new head coach incoming, but I figured I’d throw out the obligatory hot name with Husker connections. If Frost can get a big name OC to help him save his job, that person is likely to leave for a head coaching gig within a short time anyway. Joseph seems like an up-and-coming OC-in-waiting. Frost and Lubick have gotten some talent into the WR room and that should be attractive to a potential candidate. The rumors say Frost and Joseph have talked, but I dunno if there is more there or not.
Nate M: It’s hard not to just assume it’s going to be Mickey Joseph at this point but maybe Brian Kelly is already talking in his ear and is wanting him to stay at LSU. That would be a bummer.
Who will be Nebraska’s running backs coach?
Jill: Can we convince Rex Burkhead to retire from the NFL and return to Nebraska? I suspect the new OC will need to have a say, but I could see Ron Brown being retained. He’s managed to stay out of the news with any controversial comments since his return to Nebraska. Outside of that, I would guess that the new OC will have someone they want to bring along.
Brian J: We’ve all heard rumors or names linked to the openings at offensive coordinator, receivers and offensive line. But we haven’t heard anything about running backs. Could it be that Frost just keeps Ron Brown in that spot permanently?
Nate M: My question about Ron Brown is not his ability to coach running backs. Is he willing to be a recruiter as well? If he’s willing to hit the pavement and go recruit then I would have no problem with him staying as a running backs coach.
Who will be Nebraska’s offensive line coach?
Mike: Well, if I’m to believe Frost wants to allow the new offensive coordinator to have a say in who the other offensive assistants are, then I have to go with the offensive line coach from NC State, John Garrison. The former Husker assistant helped send Huskers like Marcel Jones, Spencer Long and Alex Lewis to the NFL, and now is coaching Outland Trophy semifinalist Ikem Ekwonu with the Wolfpack.
Jill: I wouldn’t hate seeing Garrison head up the pipeline at all. I don’t think Bill Callahan is coming back to Lincoln any time soon. Hey look - Zach Weigert and Aaron Graham both still live in Nebraska!
Brian J: We always think of former Huskers, but what about one of their brothers? Donovan Riola is currently the Chicago Bears assistant offensive line coach working under the legendary Juan Castillo. Maybe adding him will help us land his nephew who I heard is a pretty good quarterback.
Nate M: You have to hire the OC first right? If it’s true that Frost has been talking to Donovan Riola then you would think that his new OC would give the blessing on that right? This is a critical hire.
Who will be Nebraska’s quarterbacks coach? Will there be a quarterbacks coach?
Mike: Pretty sure that Nebraska’s new offensive coordinator will also coach quarterbacks.
Jill: I tend to agree with Mike. Although if the new OC takes a different position group (WR or RB) and Nebraska continues on this option-heavy path, there could be worse tutors than Frost.
Nate M: Hopefully, the OC or Frost can take on that gig.
Who will be in charge of Nebraska’s special teams?
Mike: Unless Frost is willing to eliminate an assistant coach on defense, I simply do not see a way to have a dedicated special teams coach. I suppose you could eliminate Mike Dawson’s role with defensive ends/outside linebackers and have Barrett Ruud and Tony Tuioti handle the front seven, but considering the progress Garrett Nelson and Caleb Tannor have made over the last year, that would be rather short sighted. So my money is that Frost will hire a running backs or receivers coach who will also excels at coordinating special teams. One thing is clear: it WON’T be anybody currently in Lincoln because the evidence is damning that nobody currently in the offices is capable of handling special teams. It simply has to be an outside hire.
Jill: That person is definitely not in Lincoln right now. I remember Bo Pelini taking over special teams at one time during his tenure and making improvements (no, I’m not serious). Frost would have to overhaul the staff, likely losing a defensive coach or taking on a position group himself (and he’s indicated he wants - or Trev told him - to be more of a CEO coach). If he can make room for a dedicated ST coordinator, Sean Snyder (son of former K-State coach Bill Snyder) is currently at USC and the Trojans are likely to overhaul their staff.
Brian J: I would love for the Huskers to hire Sean Snyder, but I don’t think that’s happening. If they do hire someone from outside the program, then potentially they could turn to Virginia’s Ricky Brumfield whose son is currently on the Nebraska roster. Another option could be to hire Dan Jackson if Travis Fisher leaves for a job in the state of Florida. Jackson is the secondary and special teams coordinator at Northern Illinois. Jackson also has really good connections with the Omaha high school coaches and could help to repair the programs relationships with those coaches.
Nate M: Does anybody remember Beamer ball? It’s my understanding that Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech started his gig there and wasn’t a part of coaching the offense or defense so he just said “screw it I’ll focus on special teams.” His special teams crews were always good and players would take it seriously if the head coach is solely focused on the third phase. This obviously means that Frost would take on the job himself. That sound you hear is probably internal screaming about the idea Frost would oversee special teams himself after the dumpster fire it has been since he arrived. It would be interesting to wonder how much he had to do with special teams. If he didn’t have much to do then he may actually be a tremendous special teams coach but we just don’t know it yet!