It's officially spring. At least by the football calendar if not by the weather.
Nebraska isn't holding its first practice of the spring this morning, at the time of this writing, it has already been held. Here's a little three-act play (in tweets) that will take you from the early start to the end of the Huskers' only practice before spring break:
First Day of Spring Ball at Nebraska has me feeling…#RaisetheStandard pic.twitter.com/mPo0vCtHQU
— Ryan Held (@CoachRHeld) March 16, 2018
#WarDaddyUp #BlackShirts #CornhuskerSpringBall2018
Day 1 pic.twitter.com/VtT9m0SKmm
— Zachary Duval (@zduval1) March 16, 2018
First practice in the books for the #Huskers.
Asked how the players took to the speed, Frost prefaced his comments by saying "It's no secret" he loved his UCF team, but said this first day went a little better than the one in Orlando. pic.twitter.com/H33oGHzh0m
— Derek Peterson (@DrPeteyHV) March 16, 2018
Count me a fan of the early-morning practices. I haven't sough out any of the literature behind the physical benefits Scott Frost has mentioned multiple times, but I assume it's somewhere close to the reason everyone says you have to eat breakfast each morning. You need to tell your body, "Hey, you've made it to another day, time to start operating like the machine you are."
There was also some thought behind the decision to hold this lone practice before Nebraska's spring break.
"We decided on this format for a bunch of reasons. I didn’t want to do half of spring ball before spring break and half after," Frost said on Wednesday. "I’ve seen a couple college spring breaks on MTV and I’m not sure you’re going to get the most out of kids before or after that. With the way the rules are set up, by practicing on Friday we’ve been able to meet with the guys all week, which gave us a whole week of meetings to try to get them familiar with our schemes. I think it’s going to also be beneficial to have them get a taste of what it’s like and then be able to go on spring break and come back with a little bit of an idea of what they have in front of them, and I think we’ll be able to accomplish more in spring because of that."
That's smart, too. If you're a player and you've got just one practice in the books while knowing there's still weeks of work ahead (not to mention all the hard work put in during winter conditioning) it would make most people think twice about just taking the next week off. It's early enough in Nebraska's practice calendar that the risk of losing some gains feels real, and I've heard some players say they have low-key spring break plans for that reason.
This one practice also got the Huskers an entire week of meetings, which also seems pretty savvy. I wonder if it works that way on the backend, too. For example, if you hold one last practice the Monday after the spring game, would it open that entire week for meetings? Have to dive into the NCAA rulebook for that one.
We'll have a full report from Friday's practice up shortly.
The uber-popular Friday Night Lights camp concept, created by Mike Riley and staff, is coming back in 2018 along with a new 7-on-7 tournament and a "Down in the Trenches" camp for linemen.
Camp/clinic information & registration at:https://t.co/LAa18TAPG9 pic.twitter.com/kQ8KC2JKW0
— Gerrod Lambrecht (@GerrodLambrecht) March 15, 2018
The big question when that news came out was if that event would be open to the public again. Per our Greg Smith from Friday's practice, that might depend upon if the new lights at Memorial Stadium are up and working.
With the announcement of the camp schedule yesterday Frost did say they’d like to keep the structure the same (fans attending) but the big question now is will the new lights be up so they can keep calling it Friday Night Lights. #Huskers
— Greg Smith (@GregSmithHV) March 16, 2018
The Grab Bag
- ICYMI: Lot of good stuff on the site yesterday, including offensive line coach Greg Austin on teaching methods, Derek Peterson on 100 Days of Frost and a recap of Day One at the NCAA Wrestling Championships.
- The Pac-12 became the first power conference to not have a school advance past the first round of the NCAA Tournament since 1996-97.
- According to this report from SI, one NFL team has a private investigator tailing Baker Mayfied in Norman.
- If you need a quick referesher on Day One of the NCAA Tournament here are 10 takeaways from USA Today.
Today's Song of Today
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.