CHICAGO — Mick Stoltenberg never imagined representing Nebraska at Big Ten Media Days. The senior defensive lineman from Gretna, Neb., always thought the opportunity would be cool if offered. He didn't expect it to happen, though.
"If you had told me I would be doing this when I was a little kid, doing the media days stuff in Chicago with Nebraska? I probably wouldn't have believed you," Stoltenberg said Monday.
While Stoltenberg, wide receiver Stanley Morgan Jr. and offensive lineman Jerald Foster were in Chicago to represent at Big Ten Media Days, they were still able to find a little time to kick back. You can thank Scott Frost for that.
The Nebraska team — athletic director Bill Moos included — hit up a steak and seafood joint Sunday evening. Stoltenberg appreciated that time, especially the opportunity to talk one-on-one with Frost and Moos.
Monday was then a full day of work for the Huskers, with media interviews lasting all afternoon. It can be a tiring day for anyone involved, but the three Nebraska athletes in attendance still found a way to have some fun.
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For Frost, these events provide an opportunity to get to know his players a little better. That's why it was important to him to get them away from the hotel and media interviews when he could.
On Tuesday, that included a Chicago Cubs game.
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Like Stoltenberg, Morgan also appreciates the time with Frost. He sees Frost as more than a coach, but someone to aspire to be like.
"Coach Frost is a championship quarterback. He's that guy," Morgan said. "He ate at the same cafeteria I ate at. He's done the same things I've done. I want to be just like that guy. I want to win a championship. It's easy to follow that."
If you ask Frost though, the bond between coach and athlete may be built on even more than that.
"I don't know if it's much that I've been in their shoes as I'm just a big kid," Frost said. "That makes it really easy for me to relate to those guys. It's a fine line to walk because you've got to be their coach but I also like to have fun with them and get to know them on an individual level."
Frost admits he hasn't had enough time to get to know everyone on the team as well as he'd like, but those things take time. He's confident his relationship with his players will continue to grow, especially as the team returns for fall camp.
"I don't have a close enough relationship with a lot of the guys yet because I haven't had a lot of time with them yet," Frost said. "That'll come this season."
Erin is the Deputy Editor and Digital Marketing Strategist for Hail Varsity. She has covered Nebraska athletics since 2012, which has included stops at Bleacher Report, Cox Media Group’s Land of 10, and even Hail Varsity (previously from 2012-2017). She has also been featured on the Big Ten Network, NET’s Big Red Wrap-Up, and a varsity of radio shows nationwide. When not covering the Huskers, Erin is probably at Chipotle.