On Wednesday, Chris Schmidt talked to Ron Brown, Nebraska’s Director of Player Development, on Hail Varsity Radio. They discussed a wide range of topics including how spring went and the differences in guiding young men today versus in the ‘90s.
With the NFL Draft kicking off on Thursday, the discussion turned to some of Nebraska’s draft hopefuls. Running back Devine Ozigbo did all the little things to put himself in the position he is now in, Brown said.
“What a great example of resiliency,” Brown said of Ozigbo. “Here’s the thing, he really improved as a player. He kept getting better and better. This year, he did all the little things prior to his senior year that helped make him the very best back that he could be. I just loved how he grinded it out. He refused to just cash it in and point the index finger at some coach for not playing him or getting his just due.”
Stanley Morgan Jr. is the player most people have thought would have the best chance at getting drafted from Nebraska. Morgan did well for himself at the NFL Combine, running a good 40-yard dash. That was helpful too, because it has been the biggest question about his game.
“I thought he had a tremendous attitude his senior year,” Brown said. “He tried to do the little things with blocking and running after the catch. He always had strong hands. When we were recruiting him out of New Orleans years back, that’s what we really liked about him. The question was does he have the flat-out speed. He really increased his speed. He really helped himself. He’s a smart guy. He will participate well on special teams. That will always be important.”
Linebacker Luke Gifford is one of the wildcards that could be drafted. We’ll never know what his stock would look like had he not been banged up during his time at Nebraska but Brown certainly thinks that Gifford would be an asset to any NFL team.
“He is one of those guys that always beats the odds,” Brown said. “That’s one thing that I’ve always liked about him. He’s moved positions and gone through injuries at Nebraska. He’s a very bright football player. I think he will be a great special teams guy. I don’t know quite where he will go in the draft or free agency but I’ll tell you this—he’s a guy you want on your football team. He’s a great leader. He could fit into a lot of different places. He’s a very special guy.”
No matter where or if a player is drafted, Brown said that Coach Scott Frost has given them all some wise words of advice to stick around in the NFL.
“We talk to Devine, Luke and all these guys,” Brown said. “I’ve heard Coach Frost talk to these guys to say that whatever team you go to, find the special teams coach and tell him you are all in. Don’t just be a primadonna and look for a position to be handed to you.
“You have to fight and work to be there.”