Photo Credit: Nebraska Athletics

Frost Talks Casey Thompson Impressing, Offensive Line ‘Coming off the Ball’ and More After Fifth Spring Practice

March 09, 2022

Nebraska’s quarterbacks are trying to get used to the new things that offensive coordinator Mark Whipple and head coach Scott Frost want to do.

“I think Casey actually is doing the best at some of the new stuff, because everything’s new to him. But it’s a learning process for everybody. Been really impressed at times, watching and get frustrated and think we need to get better at other times, that’s the process and that’s spring ball. But Casey’s been doing really good things out there, and the biggest thing is we’re getting such good leadership from the quarterback position. Those guys are driving the huddle, they’re pushing the team, they’re setting examples, and we need that as a football team.”

Nebraska’s primarily been working with three scholarship quarterbacks through five spring practices—Casey Thompson, Logan Smothers and Heinrich Haarberg. The other two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, Florida State transfer Chubba Purdy and true freshman Richard Torres, have both been limited with injuries. Torres tore his ACL in his senior season in high school last fall in San Antonio.

Frost has liked what he’s seen from the offensive line, too. That unit will need to replace the quarterback of the line, the center, as Cam Jurgens has departed for the NFL. Both Turner Corcoran and Teddy Prochazka are not practicing this spring, or will at least be very limited as they both rehab previous injuries.

“The first thing is they’re just coming off the ball. That’s been something that I’ve been frustrated with for a long time. Shoot, when I was playing here, guys looked like they were in 40-yard dashes when the ball was snapped, and that wasn’t up to the standard that I wanted, and that’s the first thing. The protection has been better, too, though. I think Donnie (Donovan Raiola) has done a good job with those guys’ mentality and technique and I can’t wait to watch them keep improving.”

The program brought in two transfer o-linemen in Hunter Anthony from Oklahoma State and Kevin Williams Jr., an Omaha native, from Northern Colorado. Frost said both have been rotating at tackle and guard.

More news and notes:

>> Thompson, a transfer from Texas, said he’s settling in to the offense. One of the biggest things he’s focusing on is building relationships with his receivers.

“I’m just trying to focus on chemistry and timing with the receivers. Different guys go different days, rolling with the first and second team, so I try to get the receivers before and after practice. That’s been the biggest challenge, but I think the transition into this team and program has been great so far with the teammates and the team.”

>> Did Smothers consider a different path this spring and his future at Nebraska following the two new additions to the Huskers’ quarterback room?

“I came here from Alabama. This is where I want to be,” Smothers said. “The whole time I knew that I was staying right here.”

Smothers added that he loves the competition in the quarterback room, too.

>> Purdy said he has been limited in practice so far this spring, but was clear it was not related to his collarbone (which he has previously dealt with at Florida State). He’s been doing 7-on-7 drills through the first two weeks of spring practice and expects to be full healthy following Nebraska’s spring break next week.

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