We heard from Husker head coach Scott Frost and a foursome of Husker players Monday as Nebraska began its third week of spring ball. Here are the quick hits from that availability.
>> Husker quarterback Adrian Martinez was a major plus in Nebraska’s favor when transfer wideout Samori Toure was deciding where he was going to play this upcoming season. The former Montana receiver has eyes for the NFL next season, and this year he wants to have a showcase kind of season. “There’s only so much you can prove against FCS corners,” he said.
And Martinez’s playmaking ability excited Toure in that regard. During practice so far, Toure says the fourth-year quarterback has made crazy throws. Nebraska is testing the defense deep, another plus for Toure, who fashions himself a big-play producer.
Frost added that Martinez looks comfortable, trimmed down—“When he takes off with it, he looks like a 4.4 guy,” Frost said—and in command.
>> Add corner Cam Taylor-Britt to the growing list of Huskers who have said Nebraska’s offense looks more explosive. The fourth-year cornerback said the DBs are having to get deep in coverage and are being tested by the likes of Toure, Omar Manning, Zavier Betts, and Alante Brown.
Said outside linebacker Garrett Nelson: “Wide receivers are running their nuts off. (The) o-line is blocking their nuts.”
For what it’s worth, Frost, who entered spring ball feeling like this was the deepest and most talented group of wideouts he’s had at Nebraska yet, has been pleased with the group’s play through the first two weeks. He thought they had a strong overall day during last Friday’s scrimmage.
>> During that scrimmage, Frost said they ran between 120 and 130 plays. Throughout, the quarterbacks played well, Frost said. Martinez had a good day, but the competition behind Martinez for the No. 2 spot is heating up.
Walk-on quarterback Matt Masker was mentioned as a guy in really good command of the offense. Frost felt like Logan Smothers, the second-year man, had his best day so far. First-year quarterback Heinrich Haarberg again drew praise for the way he’s showed up to spring ball.
“The ball just jumps out of his hand,” Frost said, which is why the coaching staff isn’t keen on messing much with his throwing mechanics. Haarberg has impressive athleticism and a rocket arm. Frost said he’s still working to get comfortable in the playbook, but the talent really shines through.
>> Jaquez Yant, a second-year walk-on running back from Tallahassee, is performing well in spring ball. With all the opportunity afforded to him by the scholarship guys above him missing time, Frost says he doesn’t expect the young man to be a walk-on for long.
>> Third-year offensive lineman Ethan Piper said Broc Bando is the main guy rotating with him right now at the left guard spot.
>> Asked about whether Nebraska had been given any directive or expectation from the Big Ten conference with regards to the COVID-19 vaccines, Frost said he’d wait on more info from university leadership before commenting too much on their course of action there, but he did offer some insight into his own thinking.
“This is just my opinion but the kids on our team should probably be last in line for something like that just because of how young and healthy they are,” Frost said. “I don’t think I’m going to make them mandatory, I don’t think that’s right, but hopefully we’ll get an opportunity to get some of our guys vaccinated if they want to.”
Derek is a newbie on the Hail Varsity staff covering Husker athletics. In college, he was best known as ‘that guy from Twitter.’ He has covered a Sugar Bowl, a tennis national championship and almost everything in between (except an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game… *tears*). In his spare time, he can be found arguing with literally anyone about sports.