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Frost needs his guys/We are young/Wisconsin... ugh

ShortSideOption

All American
10 Year Member
Just a few things i'm pondering as I took today off of work, let's just get right into it....

Frost just needs his guys:
I always try to not take what a caption on twitter says, or a coaches off the cuff comment is too seriously. But this tweet got a good debate going on my group chat:

Here we are yet again, does Frost have his guys? What's going to happen when we have ours? I don't need to rehash how frustrated it makes me when I get told Frost inherited terrible talent, yet in 2019 the reason we are struggling is because Foster, Farmer, Morgan, Ozigbo, Gifford, all those guys are gone and we didn't replace them. I had someone also unwilling to tell me we had better talent than Troy last year despite getting beat, and i'd again point to if that's the case, then apparently the guys not good enough to beat Troy last year were the same ones that are causing us to once again struggle with Colorado and Northwestern this year, and all of a sudden make us have to come from behind to beat Illinois despite beating them handily last year. And all of a sudden have us get destroyed at home to Ohio State despite playing them within a touchdown last year. And then get drilled by Minnesota this year after we took them to the woodshed last year. There's reasons for everything, but the eyeball test is looking like we have not improved from 2018 to 2019 in many areas.

The whole "Frost just needs his guys" is also interesting to me because just this spring we were applauding Frost for his roster turnover. "Never seen anything like it", "Frost isn't messing around." Those comments and us being in awe of the roster overhaul sparked this article:

Long story short, after spring this year, 99 of the 155 players on the roster are Frost players (64%). We added guys like Noa, Mills, Schlager, and all of the freshmen recruits. "Overall, the Huskers have welcomed at least 110 players to the program since Frost's hire." There is more to this for me than just "Frost needs his guys". Let's dive deeper:

1) Stanley Morgan, Luke Gifford, Devine Ozigbo, all of those weren't Frost's guys, and we would take them starting for us in a heartbeat.
2) We get to where people quote Matt Farniok as being a guy we wouldn't want, but he's a four star out of South Dakota. Probably playing out of position tho (we will come back to that).
3) The entire backfield we are playing is Scott Frost guys. Mills, Robinson, Washington, Johnson.

We are young, injured, and lack depth:
Back to the Farniok deal... we would take Farniok all day with Frost at the helm. A four star lineman from South Dakota with offers from Florida, Florida State, Wisconsin, Stanford. Ya, that's a Frost guy. But the injury to Christian Gaylord in fall camp put us in a rough spot. Farniok couldn't move to guard without burning Benharts redshirt now that Gaylord went down. Next year, I do expect our line to look pretty different, and much much improved:

LT Jaimes - Corcoran
LG Bando - Hixson
C Jurgens - Farniok
RG Farniok - Wilson
RT Benhart - Fritzsche

I like where that's going, but we can't get there because we are young, preserving redshirts, and injured. Benhart and Piper will be multiple year starters for us, and obviously Jurgens will be too.

But you can go further than just OL. At ILB we are struggling but you don't want to burn redshirts now with Hannah, Reimber, Henrich, etc. OLB no depth. WR you can't burn Nance, Houston, and Chase's redshirt. Nor do you want to do that with Johnson at RB.

I think our floor is way too low with what we are doing right now, but our ceiling will be extremely high. Our coaches could have us with a few more wins right now, but I don't want to get upset too much on it because 6 wins or 8 wins, does it really matter in the grand scheme? I just think there is some responsibility on people other than the players right now.

Wisconsin
Don't really need to say much here, but they run a 3-4 and what do you think's going to happen when they call this against our offensive line?
 

Bleed Red

Red Shirt
2 Year Member
Many good points, but i don't really understand how a team is supposed to improve from one year to the next if they are forced to replace the good seniors with inexperienced frosh and soph. I think the depth and issues with being young stem from the lack of quality depth inherited. Yes, a staff can have massive player turnover and remake the roster, but you don't remake it with juniors and seniors. There is no free agency.
Frost knows he has time and needs to build for the future, not this year. I'm sure the growth is slower than they expected and for sure slower than hoped, but as you say, winning 6 or winning 8 really doesn't matter in the end. Preserving the redshirts is what will pay dividends. Hopefully in 2021 or 2022 NU is no longer young and thin.
 

CO4NU

Junior Varsity
5 Year Member
Excellent points SSO....Excellent.

One question though. What seems to be the reluctance to get guys some live fire? I see "save a redshirt" a lot. Don't they have 4 games to play in and still save the shirt? Seems to me that real life game experience will pay more dividend for the future?

What do we have lose really?
 

AAL1006

Recruit
10 Year Member
There are a lot of posts referring to Frost just needing his guys. I like that you show percentages of players Frost has brought in since his arrival. There are more than I thought there might have been. Regardless if they are Frost's or Riley's players, there are far too many displays of undisciplined action on the field. Mind numbing penalties, over pursuit, out of position, bad tackling, appearance of lack of effort, etc. On top of this, it is up to each player who takes the field to have the mentality that I am going to beat the guy across from me (toughness). So many things are lacking with this team, and it's up to each individual player to decide if he has the discipline and toughness to give the team a better shot at winning.
 

NU_Alum

All American
2 Year Member
Imo, he should have played the younger players this year. Now we're going to struggle next year as well with the young players learning.

If this was always a 6-8 win team, get the young kids learning now so next year we're much better.
 
I think this is generally true. there's an old saying in my consulting work that you can't make a baby in a month by putting 9 women on the project.

Same goes for competing in the B10. The league is a league of mature offensive and defensive lines that will hurt you if you don't have people who are physically and technically mature.

We have holes all over the offense and on defense I feel strongly that LB's are a gaping hole on defense. I think our offense is one that doesn't require all-stars at every position, but it does require everyone be playing their position competently and as a team.

I could see this team playing a lot better as we come out of the bye week, but if forced to guess, I suspect we're still going to scuffle a bit this year.

We should be good enough to get the bowl game, though.
 

winnerwinner

Recruit
2 Year Member
i have some serious issues with the line of thinking that frost needs his guys for a couple of reasons:

- its the same excuses we used for the previous 2 coaches
- it countinues to excuse some of the things that have nothing to do with talent that keeps on happening.

i'm firmly in the "use your current players to establish a culture, a system, and a foundation, then bring in the talent". no matter what, we should always look to bring talent, but the absolute priority in the first two years to me should be the culture. right now it just feels like the coaches are playing this waiting game and making the talent the priority. to me that makes them not much different from other underachieving coaches we've had recently.

there are too many issues with this team on gameday that have way more to do with the coaching than the talent for me to believe that talent will somehow come in and make everything better. prime examples are michigan, usc and florida state.
 

NUinID

Scout Team
2 Year Member
SSO I am not sure I am following you. You have 3 segments to your post.

1. You are basically tired of people telling us that Frost needs his players, even Frost is saying it and you don't like it. OK You don't think that should be an excuse.

2. We are Young, Injured and lack depth. I agree on all those things.

3. Wisconsin runs the 3-4 and runs it very well and Nebraska running the 3-4 is not the problem. I agree.

So in point 1 you are saying not having your guys is not an excuse because 64% of the roster are his guys.
In point 2 the fact that they are young, injured and lack depth is an excuse.

Basically can't they both be an excuse. Can't he need more of his guys that are older and more experienced plus more of his guys to build depth. I mean he is turning the roster over, but it is a young roster with a lot of potential as you have said. But it is still young.

Losing those those 5 seniors hurts this team more than anyone ever thought. The skill was lost, but the leadership isn't there.

I think Frost and Co took a calculated risk to not play a lot of Freshman and look to the future. I think they thought they had enough to be sitting at 6-1 right now or maybe 5-2. The O-line hasn't jelled, Mills has not lived up to expectations, and Martinez has struggled. Couple that with a few key injuries and you have problems. They could have taken some lumps and got experience for some of these guys and still be sitting 4-3. PJ Fleck took lumps for a year and a half with his young team and gained some experience. Now you see the fruit of taking those lumps.
 

RedStones

Nebraskan Again
5 Year Member
Thanks SSO. It's such a complex issue to break down which is why I don't like the "His Guys" argument either for or against.

It's one thing to have one or two rounds of recruits that are "Your Guys". It's completely another to have an entire team of your guys where if one goes down you have another ready to replace him and depth to rotate. I agree with Scott's comments about running 18 & 19 years old out on the field against juniors and seniors. I know a lot of young talented guys can come in and compete immediately but I'd say down in the trenches it's a different story. It often takes a while to beef those guys up before they are really ready.

It's also not as simple as just saying it's his guy when he doesn't always get the one's he really wanted. Some might be second or third choices. And when there are spots that need filled, you have to take someone you think "might" be able to do the job. Some pan out and others don't. You could argue those are his guys because he recruited them but they're still second choices. Even the recruit the coach wanted might be a dud in college for a variety of reasons. I'm just saying it might take several years before a coach feels he actually has the guys he wants.

Then there are the players the coach inherits. I would hope a lot of them could be converted into "His Guys" if they buy in. If they don't then it's even more holes to fill. Even worse is if those that don't buy in stay and under perform. Those are the ones that can really bring down the rest of "His Guys". It's debatable if there are any of those guys left on the team but it's something I've seen in the past.

Not trying to make excuses. Just my 2 cents that fell down in the side of my arm chair.
 

anotherdumbprediction

Red Shirt
2 Year Member
Thanks SSO. It's such a complex issue to break down which is why I don't like the "His Guys" argument either for or against.

It's one thing to have one or two rounds of recruits that are "Your Guys". It's completely another to have an entire team of your guys where if one goes down you have another ready to replace him and depth to rotate. I agree with Scott's comments about running 18 & 19 years old out on the field against juniors and seniors. I know a lot of young talented guys can come in and compete immediately but I'd say down in the trenches it's a different story. It often takes a while to beef those guys up before they are really ready.

It's also not as simple as just saying it's his guy when he doesn't always get the one's he really wanted. Some might be second or third choices. And when there are spots that need filled, you have to take someone you think "might" be able to do the job. Some pan out and others don't. You could argue those are his guys because he recruited them but they're still second choices. Even the recruit the coach wanted might be a dud in college for a variety of reasons. I'm just saying it might take several years before a coach feels he actually has the guys he wants.

Then there are the players the coach inherits. I would hope a lot of them could be converted into "His Guys" if they buy in. If they don't then it's even more holes to fill. Even worse is if those that don't buy in stay and under perform. Those are the ones that can really bring down the rest of "His Guys". It's debatable if there are any of those guys left on the team but it's something I've seen in the past.

Not trying to make excuses. Just my 2 cents that fell down in the side of my arm chair.
Was going to write something similar to your 3rd paragraph. At UCF, “his guys” were a guy faster than the guy he lined up against, in most cases. Wandale is definitely a “his guy.” It will be really hard to fill the roster with those types. We see what happens when we don’t.
 

MadRat

God, Family, Football
2 Year Member
I have to envy the situation at Nebraska where you can discard the previous upperclassmen on a whim and not worry about losses because you have no accountability to care for the young adults that committed to the university under a different head coach. I mean, from a coaching point of view, it is awesome. And to get paid million a year to do that. It doesn't get any better than that!!!
 

The Big Red Lebowski

A:Always, B: Be, C: Cornhusking
10 Year Member
This feels like an unforced error on Frost's part. IMO, it's never going to be useful or motivating for your current players to hear their coach tell the press he needs "better" players, even if it's true.

He should have left it at: "We know our schemes on both sides work, they've worked for a long time. We gotta get better at them."
 

BigRedOhio

Junior Varsity
5 Year Member
This feels like an unforced error on Frost's part. IMO, it's never going to be useful or motivating for your current players to hear their coach tell the press he needs "better" players, even if it's true.

He should have left it at: "We know our schemes on both sides work, they've worked for a long time. We gotta get better at them."
Based on these comments and others on the call-in show, there is still some disconnect between the coaches and "some" of the players. We still have a few deadbeats who can't get with the program. Not sure if it should be stated publicly, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
 
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Colfax

Recruit
5 Year Member
Think it is significant opposing coahing staffs now have a year and a half of film to study Nebraska scheme and personal in the BIG 10 Iidentifing strengths and weaknesses in scheme and position personal playing at this level. Believe this plays a role in 2019 team results.
 

wcbsas

All Legend
15 Year Member
Many good points, but i don't really understand how a team is supposed to improve from one year to the next if they are forced to replace the good seniors with inexperienced frosh and soph. I think the depth and issues with being young stem from the lack of quality depth inherited. Yes, a staff can have massive player turnover and remake the roster, but you don't remake it with juniors and seniors. There is no free agency.

Frost knows he has time and needs to build for the future, not this year. I'm sure the growth is slower than they expected and for sure slower than hoped, but as you say, winning 6 or winning 8 really doesn't matter in the end. Preserving the redshirts is what will pay dividends. Hopefully in 2021 or 2022 NU is no longer young and thin.
It all starts with the depth chart. Below is our 2016 recruiting class. 21 athletes signed, 13 remain (62% retention). Average stars 3.2 those remaining have about the same average.
Alexander, Quayshon
3.5
Bootle, DiCaprio
2.75​
Brokop, Bryan
3
Bryant, Tre
3.25
Butler, Tony
3​
Dismuke, Marquel
3.75​
Domann, JoJo
3​
Engelhaupt, David
2.75
Farniok, Matt
3.5​
Grim, Derrion
3
Jackson, Lamar
4​
Jefferson, Pernell
3​
Lightbourn, Caleb
2.75
Miller, Collin
3​
O’Brien, Patrick
3.75
Raridon, John
4​
Simmons, Greg
3
Spielman, JD
3​
Stille, Ben
3​
Stoll, Jack
3​
Wilson, Boe
3​
TOTAL
21​
3.190​
REMAINING
13​
3.231​

Of the 13 all but 2 are on the 2-deep and one of the 2 (Butler) is listed on the 3-deep.

One of the underrated things about TO and his recruiting as while his classes were not overly heralded his retention rate was phenomenal. Meaning he was consistently pushing 20 or so kids into the upper-class ranks each season. This helped with continuity, leadership and teaching.

Yes we always lose an Ozigbo and Morgan the problem this year IMO is that there was no one lined up behind them to take their place, particularly in the upper-class section of this roster.
 
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