Hail Varsity Mailbag
Photo Credit: Quentin Lueninghoener

Mailbag: Nebraska Football’s Spring Is Over, but the Offseason Rages On

May 04, 2022

Spring practice may be over, but Nebraska football’s offseason definitely isn’t. This week’s questions for the mailbag reflect that.

In today’s edition, we answer questions on who we think the team captains will we, as well as who might represent Nebraska at the Big Ten Media Days.

That, and much more. So, let’s get on with it. 

Season starting feels like a long way. Who are your predictions for captains? Predictions for Media Days players? (@lredeugene) 

Erin Sorensen: Garrett Nelson for both. Casey Thompson also seems like a likely candidate for both. Nebraska didn’t send Adrian Martinez to Indianapolis last year—he had gone multiple times already, so it made sense to have new representatives—so I imagine this is the year to send a quarterback. Only wrench for media days would be if Nebraska isn’t ready to name Thompson the starter at that point (but it also takes place in late July, so I hope Nebraska is ready at that point). Final pick (for both) is Quinton Newsome. He wants to be a leader on this team, so I imagine he’ll make a strong case for captain and media days representative.  

Steve Marik: Garrett Nelson is an easy choice for both being a captain and representing Nebraska at Big Ten Media Days. I also think Travis Vokolek would be a great option for both, too. It seems that Casey Thompson has done everything you’d want from a leadership standpoint since getting to Lincoln, and he’s likely QB1. I can see the former Texas Longhorn being a captain, as well as heading to Indianapolis for Media Days. We’d probably want some more defensive guys to be options. Maybe that would mean Nick Henrich or Luke Reimer, who were two of the top ‘backers in the Big Ten last year statistically. 

Greg Smith: I agree on Garrett Nelson and Casey Thompson for both. One player that could be fun for Big Ten Media Days is Trey Palmer. He might be my wildcard pick there. 

Mike Babcock: I’d like to see an offensive lineman in the mix, Nouili maybe. 

Do you think the Big Ten prepares football players for the NFL better than the Big 12? Could that be part of the reason we just had two Big 12 lineman transfer in? (@TwinTwisterDad_) 

Greg: Yes, the Big Ten is much better than the Big 12 for preparing players for the NFL. I do think that played a major factor in Ochaun Mathis picking Nebraska.  

Steve: Name, image and likeness deals played a part in Nebraska landing Ochaun Mathis, there’s no doubt about that. But what also helped land him was the fact that Mathis knows NFL scouts would like to see what he can do against Big Ten offensive linemen instead of Big 12 o-linemen. During the livestream of his announcement, Mathis had an NFL Draft logo on the backdrop behind him. Here’s why he had that.

If Frost doesn’t get to a bowl game, is he gone? Or does the restructured contract give him leeway for a second year with new staff? (@HuskerInSota) 

Erin: If Nebraska doesn’t get to a bowl game, it means the season ended 5-7 or worse. I imagine the restructured contract makes it easier for Trev Alberts to part with Scott Frost in that scenario, not necessarily keep him around for another year. My general feeling is this: If Frost is 6-6 or better (meaning he also gets Nebraska to a bowl game), he’ll be back in 2023. That 6-6 is a tough spot because people will be split on how to feel about it, but I’m not sure Alberts parts ways at that point. Anything 5-7 or worse likely means the end of the Frost tenure at Nebraska. 

Greg: It should be bowl game or bust. That’s a fairly low bar at Nebraska in a fifth season.  

Steve: One would think that not qualifying for a bowl game in his fifth year would mean it’s time to make a change. 

Drake Keeler: Going to reiterate what everyone else has said here. You would think 5-7 means Frost is out. I think that is by far the most likely outcome in that scenario. I’m the first to criticize Nebraska on finding any way possible to keep Frost, but I can’t think of a way that would happen without a bowl game

Now that Mathis is “N”, what other big fish recruits/transfers could follow? (@tchristensen43) 

Greg: The next biggest fish so to speak will come from the 2023 recruiting class. Once we are past the transfer fervor, a lot of attention will shift to the 2023 class for everyone. Elkhorn South defensive end Maverick Noonan and Lincoln East athlete Malachi Coleman are two in-state big fish that the Huskers need to land.

Would you rather the Huskers play Texas or K-State in a bowl game? (@JeffMoock) 

Steve: The old Big 12 rivalries, eh? Both would be fun to watch. But, man, the thought of playing K-State with Adrian Martinez possibly quarterbacking the Wildcats? What a storyline. More so than Thompson playing his old team, in my opinion. It’s not just the Martinez angle, though. Chris Klieman is a guy who has been lightly rumored to be a future head coach candidate if Nebraska were to ever part ways with Scott Frost. He’s a well-respected coach in the industry who I think is destined to coach a bigger program than the one he’s at in Manhattan.  

Erin: Texas, because the hate between both fanbases would be strong. 

Brandon Vogel: I’ll go with Texas. I know the question here is Thompson versus his old team, or Martinez versus his old team, and either of those would be fun storylines. But I’m picking the Longhorns because it feels more likely that Kansas State could end up on a future Nebraska schedule.

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