Frost walks fine balance of getting talent inside and outside of Nebraska

Frost walks fine balance of getting talent inside and outside of Nebraska

Nebraska finished its 2018 signing class with 24 scholarship athletes and 17 walk-on commits. All of these walk-ons came from the state of Nebraska.

“I think there’s a lot of guys that we’re getting in this walk-on class that probably could have played at the Division II or level or the I-AA level, and they chose to be here,” Frost said. “When you get those kinds of kids, I have no doubt that some of those kids and probably a number of those kids will be good enough to get scholarships here.

“Nebraska’s been known for a long time of having a lot of players on the team and a lot of walk-ons on the team. I’d like to get back to that. The best thing Coach Osborne did with those players was everybody practiced. It wasn’t 22 guys practicing, and everyone else on their knee holding their helmet. It was 88 guys practicing at the same time.”

Frost admitted that nearly 20 walk-ons is more on the high end, but he felt it necessary to get that many in order to reestablish a culture of valuing in-state talent.

Nebraska could have up to 21 walk-ons by August, and Frost would ideally like 150 players on the roster.

“Going forward, we’re going to give every Nebraska kid that’s good enough to play here an opportunity to do it,” Frost said.

Running backs coach Ryan Held says the goal is to make sure that Nebraska as a football program doesn’t overlook any talented player within the state’s borders.

“We’re not going to miss a kid in this state from here on out,” Held said. “Now, we’re not going to get them all maybe, but they’re going to go through us first. They’re family, and we want them here whenever they can get here.”

According to a December article in Hail Varsity, 162 football players from Nebraska enrolled or signed to an FBS program between 2004-2017. 92 of those came to NU, which is 64 percent.

In the 2018 class, many felt that the Mike Riley staff should have offered three-star defensive tackle Bryson Williams from Lincoln Southeast, who ended up signing to Wisconsin on Dec. 20, despite getting a late offer from Frost.

Even with the inflated emphasis and enthusiasm for the walk-on program with Frost’s return, the staff has shown that they value talent from all around the country.

“We’ve got to go outside of the state a lot of times to recruit speed,” Frost said. “There’s going to be some speed in the state, like Damon (Benning) when he came out (of Omaha Northwest), Ahman Green when he came out (of Omaha Central), there’s going to be plenty of guys from the state, but skill players, we definitely wanted to add to the depth and the talent level of those positions.”

In total, eight players from Florida signed with Nebraska. Frost and his staff will continue to maintain the relationships they’ve developed in the Sunshine State.

“I think we’re going to continue to get kids from down there,” Frost said. “We’ve got a lot of coaches that are used to recruiting Florida that have a lot of relationships with kids and high school coaches in the state of Florida.”

With signees coming from a dozen different states in this class, Frost and company have shown they’re willing to go wherever they need to in order to get the top talent to Lincoln.

“Picking Nebraska isn’t an easy decision, especially for a kid from Florida, Georgia or Alabama,” Frost said. “So, the kids that are going to come here and choose Lincoln, Nebraska and choose this program are probably choosing it, because they want to be around good people and go to work. Kids are going to come here if we can get them on campus and let them see what we’re building.”

. The Huskers signed four players from California, two from Alabama and two from Georgia. They also had one signee from each of the following states:

  • Maryland (WR Jaron Woodyard)
  • Minnesota (LB David Alston)
  • New York (DE Casey Rogers)
  • South Dakota (OL Will Farniok)
  • Texas (S Cam’ron Jones)
  • Nebraska (TE Cameron Jurgens)

 

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