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Tom’s Time: ’93 Recruiting Class a Hit, but Many Focused on One Miss

August 27, 2020

Seven of eight. That’s how many in-state players accepted scholarship offers from Nebraska in the 1993 recruiting class. Only one signed a letter of intent with another school.

But that one drew the most attention on signing day.

That one was Scott Frost.

The quarterback from Wood River, a Parade magazine All-American and two-time Super-Stater, signed with Stanford, as he indicated he planned to do the week before.

“We felt badly we missed on Scott Frost,” Tom Osborne said during his letter-of-intent-signing-day news conference. But, he added, the Huskers did get the other seven.

It had been four years since an in-state player had turned down a Nebraska scholarship offer. Creighton Prep lineman Junior Bryant had signed with Notre Dame.

Frost also had been recruited by Notre Dame, as well as several other major schools following a senior season in which he rushed for 1,585 yards and 33 touchdowns and passed for 2,142 yards and 21 touchdowns. His 11,137 yards of total offense during his four-year high school career were the third-most in prep history, nationally. Stanford Coach Bill Walsh, formerly coach of the San Francisco 49ers, would be a better fit given his hopes of playing in the NFL, Frost had said.

Frost’s decision was more difficult because his dad, Larry, had played for Nebraska. In addition, his mom, Carol, had coached Husker women’s track and field.

His brother, Steve, had indicated he would transfer from Colorado State to Stanford so they could play together, however, also influencing his decision to head west.

Though perhaps overlooked, the most prominent of the seven in-state players who signed was Eric Anderson, a lineman from Lincoln Southeast and USA Today prep All-American.

And the in-state players were joined by 13 from out-of-state, including running back Lawrence Phillips from West Covina, California, rated among the best in California, and defensive tackle Jason Peter, a SuperPrep magazine All-American who was following brother Christian to Nebraska from Middletown, New Jersey. Peter’s school, Milford Academy, had 23 Division I recruits, according to Coach Jeff Bevino, and Jason was the best, Bevino said.

The 20-player class, which included junior college transfers defensive tackle Jason Jenkins—who enrolled early—and wingback-defensive back Eric Alford, wasn’t necessarily the best in the country, said Osborne, “but it’s a good group and could turn out as good as last year’s group.”

The 1992 class of 23 had included two Parade magazine All-Americans, running back Marvin Sims and, the most prominent, Tommie Frazier, who became the first freshman quarterback to start at Nebraska. Though Frazier was the only one to play without redshirting, 11 of the 21 scholarship freshmen in the 1992 class earned at least three letters. Five besides Frazier earned four.

Eleven of the other 17 scholarship freshmen in the 1993 class would earn at least three letters and contribute to Osborne’s national championship run.

Aaron Taylor, a lineman from Wichita Falls, Texas, would earn All-America recognition at guard and center as well as the Outland Trophy in 1997. 

Jared Tomich, among the walk-ons in that class (for academic reasons), also earned All-America recognition twice at rush end. He came from St. John, Indiana. Several other walk-ons, among them punter Jesse Koch and lineman Matt Hoskinson, bolstered the class, as did defensive back Tyrone Williams, who was forced to sit out a season following high school for academic reasons.

Williams, Frazier’s teammate at Manatee High in Bradenton, Florida, enrolled as a sophomore, on scholarship.

Nebraska’s recruiting had been negatively affected by its trip to Tokyo to play Kansas State on Dec. 5, the first week coaches were allowed back on the road to visit recruits. And the weather in Nebraska wasn’t out-of-state-recruiting-friendly either. The winter in Lincoln had been the snowiest in nearly 60 years, according to the Lincoln Journal Star. Still, Osborne seemed satisfied.

What national recruiting analysts had to say didn’t matter, according to Osborne. They were “nonsensical,” they said.

The Huskers hadn’t gotten Frost, and the class didn’t include a quarterback. But Nebraska had Frazier and Ben Rutz from the 1992 class. Still, some Husker fans were openly critical of Frost’s turning away from his home state. 

After two seasons at Stanford, he would transfer to Nebraska.

And still have to deal with some of that criticism . . . 

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