Every position is a competition. That’s what Coach Scott Frost said about his Nebraska roster on Tuesday, specifically while answering a question about his quarterbacks.
The question was whether or not Frost has a clear pecking order for his QBs—primarily between Adrian Martinez and Luke McCaffrey—as he gets close to the end of fall camp.
“I wouldn’t say it’s clear yet,” Frost said. “Adrian is certainly playing well. Luke is certainly playing well. We feel like we have two guys at the top of that heap that are playing well enough to help us win games. Every position is a competition and we're going to have to make those decisions pretty quickly, but I've been really impressed with both of them.”
Frost’s preference is to play one guy, but it’s not a deal-breaker if the Huskers have to roll with two. Ultimately, it’s about doing whatever is best to help the team win.
Senior defensive lineman Ben Stille said he’s seen good things from both Martinez and McCaffrey. He said that both are rotating with the first team and that “it doesn't really matter which one's back there. They both make plays."
Stille said the offense appears to be comfortable with both players.
Offensive coordinator Matt Lubick previously said that the starting job belonged to Martinez but that he was seeing “friendly competition” at the spot. Martinez said he’s “here for the competition” when asked. While Martinez suggested McCaffrey might be able to play at another spot, Frost cleared that up on Tuesday.
“I want to be clear that he is a quarterback and right now our offensive moves exceptionally well when he's at quarterback,” Frost said.
If the job goes to Martinez and there’s a way to get McCaffrey involved elsewhere? That’s not completely off the table though, as Frost is clear it’s all about putting the best players on the field. That’s the case no matter where they play.
For now, Martinez and McCaffrey continue to battle because every position is a competition. That can’t lost too long though.
“We’ll have to make those decisions pretty quickly,” Frost said.
More news and notes:
>> Junior Omar Manning has been in and out of practice dealing with “some health things,” which Frost said has held him back. Frost also said the Huskers need him out on the field more consistently to help.
So, does he expect Manning to be available right away?
"I hope so,” he said.
>> The Huskers scrimmaged over the weekend, which Frost was happy with mostly because it’s needed.
“We’re trying to get a lot of live hitting in but in a manner where we can keep guys as healthy as we can,” Frost said. “There’s no substitution for that.”
>> Ty Robinson has “been as advertised,” per Stille. He also mentioned Tate Wildeman and Colton Feist as defensive linemen who have been impressive in the last few weeks.
>> Junior Cam Taylor-Britt has played both corner and safety in his career with Nebraska, but it seems that he’s settling in at cornerback. He said on Tuesday that he feels good about the finer details of the position.
He also said he’ll start there.
>> Taylor-Britt mentioned a number of wide receivers who are doing well in practice: Kade Warner, Levi Falck, Marcus Fleming, Alante Brown and Wan'Dale Robinson.
>> Junior tight end Austin Allen said he’s been motivated this year after falling short in 2019.
“In the tight end room, it was evident after the Iowa game that we never wanted to feel that way again,” he said.
He also talked about Rutgers transfer tight end Travis Vokolek, saying that he has learned a lot and has "become one heck of a blocker for us.”
>> Allen said that Warner is on scholarship now. Frost said he plans to announce these possibly next week.
Allen also said that Warner will often have players over to watch football on Monday or Thursday night and they’ll talk schemes and defenses. Whiteboard included.
>> While Taylor-Britt was a little more coy with his comments on Ohio State, Austin did say the Huskers have put some pieces of Ohio State-specific plans in place through camp so far. With that said, Austin also said the team is turning its attention fully to the Buckeyes now ahead of the matchup on Saturday, Oct. 24.
>> Senior safety Marquel Dismuke is ready for a game. While he played a lot in 2019, he’s ready for the new season.
"I feel like this is going to be my breakout year,” Dismuke said.
He also said he’s comfortable with Nebraska’s defense, especially with Deontai Williams back on the field with him.
As for the strength of the defense? Let’s just say he feels good about the whole thing.
“We all feed off our own energy,” Dismuke said.