When running back Greg Bell officially confirmed his transfer from Nebraska on Monday, he included a letter from the university in the tweet he shared. That letter listed several schools that were blocked from contacting Bell through the 2021 season, including Oregon State.
Wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey made the decision to transfer last week, choosing the Beavers as his landing spot. Tristan Gebbia did the same at the conclusion of fall camp after Adrian Martinez was named Nebraska's starting quarterback. Linebacker Avery Roberts also departed Nebraska for Oregon State.
Aside from former members of Nebraska's staff now with the Beavers, Oregon State also has a different academic calendar and quarters system. Students not only begin school later than most universities, but they are also allowed to add classes into early October. In Lindsey's case, he was able to add classes up until Oct. 7 at Oregon State.
Nebraska coach Scott Frost addressed the transfer rule following Thursday's practice, noting that schools that operate on a quarters schedule are at an advantage over others that do not.
"We couldn't get a player in, if they wanted to transfer here, right when the season started," Frost said. "Some of these quarters teams are still taking them. I think that's an unintended consequence of the rule they made but it doesn’t create something that’s competitively fair and balance.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that those kids were in touch with somebody they formerly knew when they were here.”
Oregon State's football staff includes former Nebraska coaches and staff members Trent Bray (linebackers coach), Mike Riley (analyst) and Dan Van De Riet (chief of staff). While Frost may believe some players have been in touch with those at Oregon State, he was also clear he was not criticizing the Beavers for that. Frost even used a personal exmaple, saying he had called current Central Florida McKenzie Milton on Wednesday for his birthday.
“It’s hard for me to criticize that without being hypocritical," Frost said. "At the same time, if somebody is contacting our kids when they’re still our kids and trying to get them to transfer, then I’m not going to be a fan of that continuing to happen. I’m not saying it did happen, but two weeks from now the transfer rule changes so it’s kind of a moot point.”
The new NCAA transfer rule Frost mentioned goes into place Oct. 15. The rule will allow players to transfer wherever they please with or without a school's permission to do so. The athletes will also enter a nationwide database that will allow interested schools to contact them.
Frost isn't sure what the outcome of the new rule will be once it goes into place, but he assumes it'll continue to get messy.
"The bottom line is, in this day and age, a lot of people want what they want and they want it now," Frost said. "There's not a lot of patience, there's not a lot of willingness to fight through and change their circumstance. People have the tendency to think the grass might be greener somewhere else.
"I hope it doesn't become The Wild West and college basketball with everybody transferring."
Other news and notes:
>> Nebraska tight end Cameron Jurgens is out "about a month," according to Frost.
"He got his cleat caught in the grass and broke a metatarsal in his foot," Frost said.
>> Jurgens isn't the only freshman currently injured. He noted Casey Rogers, Tate Wildeman and Cam Jones are also "down right now," which he said is unfortunate for those looking to get experience with the four-game redshirt rule.
Frost still believes the staff will use freshman that are healthy later in the season though.
"I think we've got quite a few guys that will fit into that category at the end of the year, guys we can get out there and get some experience," Frost said.
>> Frost felt Nebraska had its best week of practice this week, saying if the goal is to "get better day by day, it's been a good week."
The reason for the positivity stems from the the loss to Purdue. Frost has noted that as the turning point for Nebraska, and things have been on the up-and-up since then.
"Everybody seems happy, seems to be fighting together, seems to get what it takes to do the little things the right way to give yourself a chance," he said. "The detail [has] been better. I think the effort [has] been better. Understanding of what we're trying to accomplish scheme-wise is getting better."
With that said, Frost also noted that the Huskers are not particularly deep at some positions and they have to be careful not to run guys into the ground. They'll continue to be smart about how and when they utilize certain players.
>> Frost said both Caleb Lightbourn and Isaac Armstrong do a good job at punter in practice, "but we're going to go with Isaac."
He noted too many big plays on special teams that have gone against Nebraska, which is ultimately waht led to the change from Lightbourn to Armstrong.
>> The Huskers are not planning to use a silent count at Ryan Field on Saturday. Since a lot of Nebraska fans live in Chicago, Frost expects a good turnout for the Huskers.
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.