Photo Credit: John Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: A Closer Look at Scott Frost’s Ideal Quarterback Style

July 12, 2021

Recruiting never stops and it’s easy to miss the top stories day-to-day. Recruiting analyst Greg Smith recaps all things Nebraska recruiting news, analysis and more so you never miss a thing.


The questions never stop in the recruiting world. No matter what time of year it is, there is always something to talk about so we have been taking reader and listener suggestions on questions. I then answer the questions in a quick video. This week’s topic comes from Andrew Nielsen (@anielsen17) on Twitter.

I think this is a pretty perceptive observation by Andrew. I believe there has been a shift under Frost during his time at Nebraska. It’s just not quite a shift away from dual-threat signal callers. Nebraska still covets dual-threat quarterbacks. The shift has been away from that running ability being the first thing that comes to mind at the position.

Nebraska’s 2021 quarterback Heinrich Haarberg started this trend for the Huskers. The former Kearney Catholic standout is a great athlete. He posted good track times during his time in high school. Yet when you think of him as a quarterback you start with his arm talent. He’s got a big arm that has been missing in this offense at Nebraska under Frost.

The same can be said for 2021 quarterback commit Richard Torres. The Texas native is also a multi-sport athlete with tremendous arm talent. Remember what his high school coach Ricky Lock told Hail Varsity following Torres’ commitment.

“Oh, his arm strength is unbelievable. He’s got one of the strongest arms of the 2022 kids in the country,” Lock said. “He can spin it and he’s very elusive. Straight line speed I don’t know about that. But he’s very elusive in the pocket. He’s tall, so he can see. But he’s very athletic. He’s a tall guy, that’s pretty athletic.”

The other thing both Haarberg and Torres have in common is size. Haarberg came to Nebraska around 6-foot-5, 185 pounds. He is certainly bigger than that now after arriving in Lincoln in January. Currently, Torres stands at 6-foot-6, 210 pounds. Look at the 2020 quarterback Logan Smothers (6-2, 180) and the 2019 quarterback Luke McCaffrey (6-1, 175) and you can see a clear difference.

That doesn’t mean that Smothers might not still have a bright future in Lincoln. He brings a skill set to the table that is different than Haarberg and Torres. That battle in a post-Adrian Martinez world will be tough.

I think you are seeing this shift for a couple reasons. Nebraska knows that for long-term success on offense in the Big Ten it will have to lean on the running backs to produce more than in previous seasons. It’s not sustainable in the long run for the Huskers to run the quarterback as much as Adrian Martinez has had to. To also give this offense a boost under Frost, bigger plays are needed in the passing game. One way to produce those plays is to stretch the field vertically. The last two quarterback recruits are better suited to handle that part of the job.

We’ll see what type of results the shift produces on the field for Nebraska. Like a handful of other positions on the team it seems like Nebraska is adjusting the type of quarterback it wants to bring to Lincoln.

Recruit Watch

>> Dwight Bootle, a 2023 cornerback prospect, was named defensive MVP at a national combine recently.

>> Nebraska 2023 defensive line target Jayden Wayne has put together an impressive offer list so far.

ICYMI

>> In Derek Peterson’s latest column he ponders what the Huskers have to do to get love in the latest defensive rankings.

>> Jacob Padilla put spot-up specialist Lat Mayen under the microscope in his latest Nebraska basketball player profile.

>> Ally Batenhorst led Team USA to a 3-0 record in U20 World Championship pool play over the weekend.

>> We could learn what type of mentality these Huskers have during Buffalo week, writes Derek Peterson.

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