(Photo – Kenny Larabee)
Year one was tough, but for head coach Scott Frost and company, year two is shaping up to be a whole lot better. Speaking to reporters from the Hawks Championship Center after his team finished their two hour long morning practice; Frost said that his players are starting to take on the right mentality.
“Listen, guys that I want in this program are guys that want to compete,” Frost said. “We didn’t have enough of that when our staff got here. We had competition today. It was offense versus defense.
“It was our second time doing it. Every play mattered. Every rep mattered. We were keeping score. Whether it’s fair or not… there’s a scoreboard in life, in football, in everything. We shouldn’t run from that, we should embrace it.”
Defensive coordinator Erik Chinander said that the differences he’s seen between year one and year two boils down to a couple of different factors.
“Number one, they know what (Coach Frost) wants for practice and what we all want for practice,” Chinander said. “They know the tempo, the drills, how to move in and out of things. And then they’ve also had a year in the system where now it’s not, ‘Oh man, what do I need to do on that call?’ They get the call, they play the call, and they’re playing the game within the game.”
Nose tackle grad transfer Darrion Daniels, brother of Damion Daniels, met with the media for the first time since his arrival on campus since he arrived from Oklahoma State. The biggest change according to Daniels, will be switching from the 4-3 defense to the 3-4.
“I’m used to playing one gap and with me being a nose (tackle), it’s taking a lot out of me to be a two gap player and adapt to that.”
According to Frost, having to adjust to a different scheme hasn’t slowed Daniels down.
“I tell you, Darrion is making plays on the field, but that’s not the most impressive part of Darrion,” Frost said. “It would be really hard for somebody to change teams coming into a new college program and be a leader immediately, but that’s what he’s done. He’s brought a spark to that D-line and I think a sense of accountability. He’s going to be a real asset for us, and I’m not just talking about on the field.”
The decisive factor that brought Daniels to Lincoln was the opportunity to play with his brother, fellow defensive lineman Damion Daniels.
“I kid you not, I literally just took a leap of faith,” Daniels said. “I even went in and talked to my coaches before I officially made the decision and they gave me their input and they all really supported me. They told me the opportunity to play with your brother is very rare, especially at this level and (at) this big stage.”