Big Ten Media Days: Nebraska by the Numbers
Photo Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

What You Need to Know From Nebraska’s Time at Big Ten Media Days

July 23, 2018

Nebraska's media days contingent had a full day in front of the cameras and microphones in Chicago on Monday. You can find all of our stories from the day here, but if you're just looking for a way into the major news of the day here's a handy guide.

Quarterbacks

"We have two guys with a lot of talent," Scott Frost said during an interview with the Big Ten Network crew. Two? Slip of the tongue? It was more entertaining than telling, but Frost did give a pretty clear picture of the timeline for naming a starter. "I'd like to make a decision at least by a week before the [first] game," he said. "I think when you're going into preparation for a game, you need to know who the guy is."

Roster/Staff Additions

Frost offered updates on the last two members of the Huskers' 2018 recruiting class who have yet to enroll, and also made his first comments since the news release on the hiring of Ron Brown.

Frost also made his first public comment on the addition former UCF starting safety Tre Neal, saying, “That’s a guy who already knows our system and a guy we care about, a guy that can make all the calls and provide leadership for us in the back end and he’s a good player.”

Redshirt Rule

Coaches are having to figure out their strategies for the NCAA's new redshirt rule on the fly. The rule will allow players to appear in up to four games without losing a year of eligibility, which opens up a bunch new questions when it comes to strategically using those games. Frost said he hopes to get every newcomer to the program on the field this season if games, development and travel allows for it.

"I think this is a good rule. I think four games is the right amount. We’ve got a plan for it," Frost said. "Any kid — freshman, newcomer in the program — that we think is ready to play, we’re going to play them because we’re going to need the depth and the help this year. If they’re obviously not going to play and use the year, we’re going to space them out and use different kids at different periods during the season to try and help our depth on special teams and try to get their feet wet.

"We’ve kind of got a basic plan for that but individually we’ll see where everybody falls after camp."

Rivalry

Frost was just a few minutes into his opening Q&A session when the topic of the great Oklahoma-Nebraska rivalry of old came up. It was a topic that would be revisited throughout the day, touching on two of Nebraska's primary rivalry options in the Big Ten, Wisconsin and Iowa.

“We’re going to approach every game the same, not try to make one more important, not try to fire up our kids artificially to play harder, we’re going to play hard no matter what," Frost said.

The players, however, may feel those existing potential rivalries a little bit more.

College Football Playoff

Frost made it clear he wants the playoff to go to eight teams. Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald disagreed. Whatever happens, the two agreed conversation is important.

"The cool thing about college football is we can talk about this stuff," Fitzgerald said.

Then there's Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh who used his chance to say "why not 16?"

Tradition

Nebraska's storied football history came up often as well on Monday. Not surprising given Frost's history with the program, but Frost still had some interesting things to say about it. "Coach Osborne had the formula figured out at Nebraska," he said. "Some of the things he did to make the program arguably the best in the country can still work today. Nebraska has just gone away from them. We're going to adopt a lot of things again and do it in a modern way and do it in a way that recruits and kids are going to want to be a part of."

Other Observations

  • Jim Harbaugh and Scott Frost were at opposite ends of the breakout room, and the contingency of reporters surrounding both was impressive. I tried to figure out who had more at one point but settled on it being too even to call. — Erin Sorensen
  • Harbaugh also, once again, rocked khakis, a team-issued pullover and a Michigan hat to his press conferences while the entire rest of the room was dressed in suits. Harbaugh gave off an almost-annoyed vibe to some, but personally, it just felt very much like classic Harbaugh to me. An "I'm going to do what I want until someone yells at me otherwise" vibe. — Derek Peterson
  • There was a lot of attention paid to various comments by Frost on quarterbacks today. Rightfully so since he has a big decision to make about which freshman will lead his offense this year. However a comment he made during his initial press conference caught my eye. He referenced Marcus Mariota, Vernon Adams and McKenzie Milton having very few offers out of high school. Each of those QBs (or cubes, if you're talking to Mario Verduzco) were very successful with good development despite not being "blue-chip" prospects out of high school. That is something worth keeping in mind for the future. — Greg Smith
  • P.J. Fleck has a booming voice and is very dramatic at a podium. His voice carried through a very noisy breakout room, especially when he addressed Minnesota overcoming "expectations." — E.S.
  • Fleck called Scott Frost's UCF offense "scary." He's also not going to entertain the argument that some offenses can't work in certain conferences. He cited his Western Michigan teams going 1-11 then 12-0 as evidence for such. Fleck was plenty complimentary of Frost the man when I asked, but his acknowledgment of the capability of Frost's offense was interesting. Fleck did, however, add that Frost needs the right players to make his offense work. I guess we'll see if he does this season. — D.P.
  • Stanley Morgan Jr. was asked about young guys on defense that have stood out to him. He answered immediately with freshman defensive back Cam Taylor. Morgan also said safety CJ Smith. A popular name amongst the three seniors in attendance was JUCO defensive back Will Jackson. Jerald Foster praised Jackson's work ethic and Mick Stoltenberg said it feels like Jackson has been on the team a while already. — D.P.
  • Northwestern head coach Pat Fiztgerald did a good job of getting the message out that they have enjoyed a lot of recent success while acknowledging needing to take a next step. He touted 27 wins over the last three years which is the best in program history. Fitzgerald also recognized that the investments made in facilities can take them to a championship level. It will be interesting to see if he can guide his alma mater to the next level or if the program has topped out. — G.S.
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