Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Scot Frost watches his team play during their spring football game
Photo Credit: Eric Francis

They Said It: Scott Frost on Nebraska’s 2021 Red-White Spring Game

May 01, 2021

Nebraska coach Scott Frost met with the media following the White team’s 21-20 win over the Red Team in the 2021 Red-White Spring Game. Frost spoke about what he saw from the quarterbacks behind Adrian Martinez, the running back situation and more.

Here is the full transcript from his time with the media.

On what he wanted to get out of today:

“Big goal was to stay healthy. Second goal was to see some guys perform. This isn’t as much pressure as a regular game, but to see them perform with some people watching them and maybe a little excitement around.”

On Logan Smothers’ and Heinrich Haarberg’s performances:

“I’ll have to watch the tape and see how they did today, but I know how they’ve been doing all spring. I’m pleased with where those guys are. They both have some growth left in front of them but they both had really good springs.”

On if either is in front of the other at this point:

“No. Not right now. We’ve got a long time to go.”

On their closing drives:

“It’s fun to see them compete a little. The first half is questionable. It’s hard enough to know where the ball should be spotted when you’re tapping people and it’s thud. It’s hard to tell, and then even in the second half when they quarterbacks aren’t live. What happened all spring is more important to us. We want to see guys that come out in the stadium and love the competition and the environment and thrive in that. Other than that, it’s a spring evaluation that’ll lead into summer that’ll lead into the fall.”

On the offensive and defensive lines:

“I was really pleased with that, and I really have been all spring. We’ve made more of an effort to be more physical, to finish plays better. We’ve really improved in that area this spring on both sides. Thought the (No. 1) defense did a great job of that. As simple as we were, I thought we ran the ball pretty well. I’ve seen big improvement out of the depth, effort and physicality out of both sides of the line.”

On the front seven battles with the o-line in the spring:

“There was one day where the defense whooped the offense’s tail and the rest of the time it was a really good back and forth. I think both sides have improved.”

On the running back room’s progress:

“I thought that was a bright spot today, seeing those guys run hard. That’s kind of hard to tell sometimes. We’re not live very much, completely tackling to ground very much in spring practice. Just can’t afford to be and the rules don’t let us be, so it’s kind of hard to tell with running backs, but watching them in the second half and seeing some tackles broken and guys running through contact, I thought that was a real positive today.”

On Jaquez Yant:

“Coach Fish did a good job with that. Jaquez had scholarship offers. His grades weren’t where they needed to be and it didn’t look like he was going to make it and Fish kept fighting for him. We’re lucky to have him, glad to have him. He’s still got some growing up to do, but he’s a physical presence. Glad he was able to showcase that a little today.”

On Sevion Morrison’s spring and the key for him going forward:

“Same as the rest of the guys—consistency. I think you could see the flashes of it today. We keep seeing that. He’s had just a little rolled ankle, but that’s tough with a running back. Gabe (Ervin Jr.) had the same thing. You saw flashes of what we expect from all those guys. We need more consistency. We need those guys to grow up fast because they’re going to have to play big-time football coming up real soon.”

On the first-team defense:

“If I was one of those guys I would think it was a little bit of a… joke’s the wrong word, but it was too easy for them. Going out and not having any live tackling and playing a half with a sped-up clock. I don’t think those guys felt like they worked very hard today. We’ve got a lot of guys on that side of the ball playing well, playing a lot better than they did a year ago. They’re playing better, communicating better as a unit. That’s what you’d want to see, I guess.”

On whether he saw enough takeaways over the course of the spring:

“We always want more takeaways and we’ve certainly been hammering them on not giving the ball up on offense. Turnover’s the biggest stat in the game, Coach Osborne always told us that and we’ve been emphasizing that. I don’t know if I saw enough. We saw more but I want to keep seeing it from the defense. We’ve got guys capable of taking the ball away.”

On Omar Manning’s progress this spring:

“I thought he made huge progress. Just being able to go out there and line up, know every signal, run every play the right way. He’s had a few things that have kept him off the field but when he’s out there he’s a difference-maker for us. He’s had a really good spring and, again, we just need consistency from him. If we get that kind of consistency of him being there all the time and helping us, he’s going to be really good and we’re going to be better.”

On Adrian Martinez:

“I thought he threw it well. He had one interception, had to make a play with a few seconds left in the half; I would have done the same thing. I thought he played well. He’s had a really good spring. Has enough talent to make every play you want a quarterback to make. He’s done a good job eliminating mistakes this spring. If he can get through games and just be who he is and not have the three or four bad plays that hurt you, he has a chance to accomplish whatever he wants to. We’re going to keep working with him hard and I’m really excited about where he is right now.”

On Will Honas’ health:

“It doesn’t look good for Will right now. I don’t want to say anything until we know for sure. It was just kind of a nothing play on Wednesday in the last spring practice. Will’s been just an awesome teammate and I care about him so much so it really hurt me to see him down on the ground on Wednesday. It doesn’t look like he’s gonna be ready for the start of the season, and we’ll see where he is beyond that. “

On Gabe Ervin Jr.:

“Gabe’s impressed me for a youngster who should still be in high school. His approach to it, his maturity coming in and learning and competing. He’s got a bright future. He’s been hampered, he had a rolled ankle so he missed a few practices, was really going well at the start of spring and then missed a few but finished strong. That competition at that position is going to continue through the summer and fall.”

On being in front of the fans again:

“Finally a good question. I don’t know who needed that the most, us to have the fans in there cheering for us, or the fans, or the city of Lincoln, but it’s been too long. The stadium wasn’t full but man there was a lot of people in there. The sooner we get back to normal the better for everybody. That was a good first step in the right direction. Thank you to the fans. It adds a lot to the player experience and the coaching experience when they’re in there. We appreciate you.”

On Heinrich Haarberg delivering today:

“This isn’t like a freshman camp back in the day where we install 20% of the offense and the fundamentals, we just threw those guys in and said learn the whole thing. We were really vanilla today so it was simple stuff. Haarberg has a huge arm, and he’s a really good athlete, and he’s a big kid, and he’s smart. It’s just a matter of catching him up on Xs and Os and knowing what to do and being efficient. That’s where Logan excels. Logan is really smart, knows the offense, processes well. Those two are going to continue to improve and I’ve got a lot of confidence in them.“

On whether they’ll take a quarterback in the portal:

“Right now our plan isn’t to use (an open scholarship) for a quarterback, no.”

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