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Nebraska Recruiting: Huskers Talented Enough to Have Better Results Under Frost

November 03, 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.


Talent versus better coaching is an age-old question. It seems to always rear its ugly head when a program is struggling to produce wins on the field. It’s become a discussion around Nebraska football once again. Typically, that discussion is brought up by fans and media. Except in this case, it’s Nebraska coach Scott Frost who has made that a recurring talking point.

The most recent time was after Saturday’s loss to Purdue at home coming off a bye week. During his post-game press conference Frost was asked why the team hasn’t been able to win recently.

“We just have to play better. We’re a good team but we’re not a great team, talent-wise,” Frost said. “We have to play better. A team shouldn’t need me to motivate them all the time. That’s my job. That’s what I do, but a great team doesn’t need a coach to motivate them all the time. We got them ready to play. I thought they came out ready to play in the first half. They weren’t not ready to play in the second half. We just stubbed our toe a few times and made too many mistakes and got beat by a Big Ten team.”

There is a lot there with that entire quote. For this discussion I’m going to explore Frost’s declaration that he has a good but not great team based on talent. I don’t think it’s a dispute that Nebraska isn’t as talented as Ohio State. Or a team like Georgia who seems poised to make a run to a national championship this season. Yet, it’s hard to square that quote from Frost with his preseason declarations that this team is the most talented team he has had at Nebraska.

We are four years into his tenure. If there are problems with the talent base, he bears a lot of responsibility for that. Every coach wants more talent. At this point in the season it feels like more of an excuse than a reason for why Nebraska is sitting at 3-6. The reason I say that is because talent didn’t cause Nebraska to lose to Illinois. The Huskers had an advantage with a veteran quarterback and defense in Week Zero. They played against a new staff but couldn’t win that game.

Talent didn’t cost the Huskers the game against Minnesota. The Gophers are a better team than given credit for but it wasn’t talent that led the Huskers to come out flat in that game. It wasn’t talent that cost Nebraska the game last weekend against Purdue. The point being: Nebraska has plenty of talent to beat the teams in the conference that are its peers right now.

The Huskers have out-recruited Illinois, Minnesota and Purdue by a wide margin in the Frost Era. On paper the talent is there to secure more wins than losses against those opponents. Yet against those opponents the Huskers are 4-8 under Frost. Two of the four wins are against the Illini.

I don’t think a large percentage of fans think games would be different with one or two more difference makers. Everyone wants a team full of future NFL Draft picks. A player like Kenneth Walker III would cover up some issues but the Huskers are not void of talent. Finding a way to bridge the gap while continuing to upgrade the talent is the name of the game. That piece of the puzzle has been missing the last four seasons.

Recruit Watch

>> Lincoln East athlete Malachi Coleman posted his junior film on Tuesday night.

>> The Huskers offered Georgia defensive end AJ Hoffler on Tuesday.

ICYMI

>> The tight end room is close to full strength (Premium) as the Huskers prepare for Ohio State.

>> As Steve Marik writes, through all the peaks and valleys, Adrian Martinez stands (Premium) through it all.

>> In the latest Padding the Stats, Jacob Padilla looks into Adrian Martinez, Scott Frost and what-ifs.

>> The Hail Varsity staff is back to answer your questions in the mailbag including a lot of quarterback discussion.

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