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In Defense of Scott Frost

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Flat Water

Recruit
Scott Frost inherited a nearly empty cupboard. That's not a new thought, but I think some of us are realizing just how empty the cupboard was. Nebraska had only two players drafted this year in the NFL draft, and that put us tied for last (with Illinois, Minnesota and Purdue) in the Big Ten West. Each of the other Big Ten West teams had either three or four players drafted. Moreover, Nebraska's draft picks were late round picks, while Northwestern (of all teams) had two first round picks. Nebraska's draft performance the prior couple of years was also underwhelming, with only two picks (the Davis brothers) in 2020 and NO picks in 2019. Believe it or not, the last time we had a player drafted higher than in the 5th round was in 2016. That statistic astounded me when I saw it. In light of that, it shouldn't be terribly surprising that Nebraska has struggled on the football field since Frost got here.

Fast forward to this year, and it is clear that the team is significantly more talented than it has been. The offensive and defensive lines are visibly better and we appear to have a wealth of talent at the running back and wide receiver positions. That talent is admittedly unproven, but I saw a lot to like at those positions in the spring game. And we also appear to have a strong secondary and a much deeper linebacking corps than we have had in recent years.

I still have some concerns. For example, Smothers and Haarberg don't appear to me to be ready yet if Adrian goes down, and it frustrates me to no end that Honas is out until at least mid-season. (For God's sake, for once can we have a spring without a significant injury?!) Nevertheless, I think there is reason to feel optimistic about this team. The schedule is brutal, but I am looking forward to seeing how the team plays against the strong competition it will face.
 

wheat

Scout Team
5 Year Member
I agree. And I appreciate a post that isn't all doom and gloom. Those have become something of a rarity. This team has given fans reason to be wary but there's also evidence that this team is better positioned to succeed than any we've had since BR (before Riley). We need to win some games and get some confidence. I think that's what's been missing more than anything. I mocked Bill Snyder for scheduling every directional school he could find but it allowed his teams to learn how to win. This schedule isn't exactly built for that but there's no reason not to be 3-0 headed to Norman.
 
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Husker In Oklahoma

All Big 10
15 Year Member
So, was the cupboard as bare as what Matt Campbell inherited? Many of coaches have inherited much worse, and either show improvement, or are fired after 3-4 years. NFL draft isn’t the end all for a college team. I agree, NU needs that to be better moving forward, but it’s just not all a talent issue. There have been plenty of coaching blunders, and outright head scratchers in play calling. It’s a fine line balancing things, and the bottom line is, they have to figure out a way to win ballgames. How many losing seasons can one go? Pretty big year coming up.
 

HuskerSuperGenius

Red Shirt
5 Year Member
Nebraska NFL draft picks 2008 to 2017:

2008
  • Fifth round: CB Zack Bowman, Bears
  • Fifth round: G Carl Nicks, Saints
  • Sixth round: LB Bo Ruud, Patriots
2009
  • Fifth round: LB Cody Glenn, Redskins
  • Sixth round: G Matt Slauson, Jets
  • Seventh round: OT Lydon Murtha, Lions
2010
  • First round: DT Ndamukong Suh, Lions
  • Fourth round: LB Phillip Dillard, Giants
  • Fifth round: DB Larry Asante, Browns
2011
  • First round: CB Prince Amukamara, Giants
  • Fourth round: RB Roy Helu, Redskins
  • Fourth round: K Alex Henery, Eagles
  • Fifth round: DB DeJon Gomes, Redskins
  • Fifth round: WR Niles Paul, Redskins
  • Sixth round: G Keith Williams, Steelers
  • Seventh round: DB Eric Hagg, Browns
2012
  • Second round: LB Lavonte David, Buccaneers
  • Fourth round: DE Jared Crick, Texans
  • Seventh round: CB Alfonzo Dennard, Patriots
  • Seventh round: OT Marcel Jones, Saints
2013
  • Sixth round: RB Rex Burkhead, Bengals
  • Seventh round: SS Daimion Stafford, Titans
2014
  • Second round: CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Saints
  • Third round: G Spencer Long, Redskins
  • Sixth round: WR Quincy Enunwa, Jets
2015
  • Second round: RB Ameer Abdullah, Lions
  • Second round: LB Randy Gregory, Cowboys
  • Fifth round: WR Kenny Bell, Buccaneers
2016
  • Third round: DT Maliek Collins, Cowboys
  • Third round: DT Vincent Valentine, Patriots
  • Fourth round: OT Alex Lewis, Ravens
  • Sixth round: FB Andy Janovich, Broncos
2017
  • Fifth round: S Nate Gerry, Eagles
Flatwater

1. This years draft picks are about average for DONU for the last 2 decades save for 2011.

2. No draft picks for 2019 and only two for 2020 is a combination of:
a. Overall turmoil of the DONU program over the last 2 decades, too many coaching changes.
b. Recruiting by Riley.
c. Recruiting by Frost: remember that many of the NFL draft picks, especially the first three rounds are often underclassman coming out early because they are extremely talented. Many of the talented players in Frost's first two classes never got to or didnt stay on campus, hence never had a chance to get drafted from DONU.
3. Riley had a 9 win season at DONU, how many of those has Coach Frost had?
4. There was enough talent here to have a winning season all three of Frost's seasons in Lincoln.
a. Effective special team's play.
b. Keeping 3rd string QB's from driving the length of the field in the 4th quarter.
c. Not blowing 17 point half team leads
d. Not blowing a 14 point 4th quarter lead.
e. Not scoring an offensive TD against Northwestern and losing.
f. losing to Minnesota when they were short 30+ players due to Covid.

There is more but you can see why making the old "there was not talent here" excuse is not going to work.

2021 is the Rubicon for Scott, he either crosses the river to success, or drowns in a mess of his own making. I hope he succeeds but either outcome is due to his own efforts, nothing else.

GBR
 
Nebraska NFL draft picks 2008 to 2017:

2008
  • Fifth round: CB Zack Bowman, Bears
  • Fifth round: G Carl Nicks, Saints
  • Sixth round: LB Bo Ruud, Patriots
2009
  • Fifth round: LB Cody Glenn, Redskins
  • Sixth round: G Matt Slauson, Jets
  • Seventh round: OT Lydon Murtha, Lions
2010
  • First round: DT Ndamukong Suh, Lions
  • Fourth round: LB Phillip Dillard, Giants
  • Fifth round: DB Larry Asante, Browns
2011
  • First round: CB Prince Amukamara, Giants
  • Fourth round: RB Roy Helu, Redskins
  • Fourth round: K Alex Henery, Eagles
  • Fifth round: DB DeJon Gomes, Redskins
  • Fifth round: WR Niles Paul, Redskins
  • Sixth round: G Keith Williams, Steelers
  • Seventh round: DB Eric Hagg, Browns
2012
  • Second round: LB Lavonte David, Buccaneers
  • Fourth round: DE Jared Crick, Texans
  • Seventh round: CB Alfonzo Dennard, Patriots
  • Seventh round: OT Marcel Jones, Saints
2013
  • Sixth round: RB Rex Burkhead, Bengals
  • Seventh round: SS Daimion Stafford, Titans
2014
  • Second round: CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Saints
  • Third round: G Spencer Long, Redskins
  • Sixth round: WR Quincy Enunwa, Jets
2015
  • Second round: RB Ameer Abdullah, Lions
  • Second round: LB Randy Gregory, Cowboys
  • Fifth round: WR Kenny Bell, Buccaneers
2016
  • Third round: DT Maliek Collins, Cowboys
  • Third round: DT Vincent Valentine, Patriots
  • Fourth round: OT Alex Lewis, Ravens
  • Sixth round: FB Andy Janovich, Broncos
2017
  • Fifth round: S Nate Gerry, Eagles
Flatwater

1. This years draft picks are about average for DONU for the last 2 decades save for 2011.

2. No draft picks for 2019 and only two for 2020 is a combination of:
a. Overall turmoil of the DONU program over the last 2 decades, too many coaching changes.
b. Recruiting by Riley.
c. Recruiting by Frost: remember that many of the NFL draft picks, especially the first three rounds are often underclassman coming out early because they are extremely talented. Many of the talented players in Frost's first two classes never got to or didnt stay on campus, hence never had a chance to get drafted from DONU.
3. Riley had a 9 win season at DONU, how many of those has Coach Frost had?
4. There was enough talent here to have a winning season all three of Frost's seasons in Lincoln.
a. Effective special team's play.
b. Keeping 3rd string QB's from driving the length of the field in the 4th quarter.
c. Not blowing 17 point half team leads
d. Not blowing a 14 point 4th quarter lead.
e. Not scoring an offensive TD against Northwestern and losing.
f. losing to Minnesota when they were short 30+ players due to Covid.

There is more but you can see why making the old "there was not talent here" excuse is not going to work.

2021 is the Rubicon for Scott, he either crosses the river to success, or drowns in a mess of his own making. I hope he succeeds but either outcome is due to his own efforts, nothing else.

GBR
Totally agree. I flat out don't believe that, man for man, Nebraska's talent level was below that of some of the teams we lost to. Was there championship talent across the board? No. Was there at least .500 record talent on the team. I believe so. I gave Frost a pass on year 1 and thought he and the team underachieved in year 2. Last year was undeniably an odd year but I thought Frost and the team still underachieved. Good coaches can still do a lot with non-championship level talent.
 
Totally agree. I flat out don't believe that, man for man, Nebraska's talent level was below that of some of the teams we lost to. Was there championship talent across the board? No. Was there at least .500 record talent on the team. I believe so. I gave Frost a pass on year 1 and thought he and the team underachieved in year 2. Last year was undeniably an odd year but I thought Frost and the team still underachieved. Good coaches can still do a lot with non-championship level talent.
It all comes down to a lack of development. NU recruits well enough to win the division, but development is clearly lacking.
 

NU_Alum

Heisman
5 Year Member
The talent was easily there to go to a bowl game. The talent levels didn't make us throw INT's all day or fumble or commit penalties one after the other (some after coming out of timeouts, first play of the game, etc...).

Those are things that are taught (or allowed to happen and not corrected).
 

ShortSideOption

All American
10 Year Member
Scott Frost inherited a nearly empty cupboard. That's not a new thought, but I think some of us are realizing just how empty the cupboard was. Nebraska had only two players drafted this year in the NFL draft, and that put us tied for last (with Illinois, Minnesota and Purdue) in the Big Ten West. Each of the other Big Ten West teams had either three or four players drafted. Moreover, Nebraska's draft picks were late round picks, while Northwestern (of all teams) had two first round picks. Nebraska's draft performance the prior couple of years was also underwhelming, with only two picks (the Davis brothers) in 2020 and NO picks in 2019. Believe it or not, the last time we had a player drafted higher than in the 5th round was in 2016. That statistic astounded me when I saw it. In light of that, it shouldn't be terribly surprising that Nebraska has struggled on the football field since Frost got here.

Fast forward to this year, and it is clear that the team is significantly more talented than it has been. The offensive and defensive lines are visibly better and we appear to have a wealth of talent at the running back and wide receiver positions. That talent is admittedly unproven, but I saw a lot to like at those positions in the spring game. And we also appear to have a strong secondary and a much deeper linebacking corps than we have had in recent years.

I still have some concerns. For example, Smothers and Haarberg don't appear to me to be ready yet if Adrian goes down, and it frustrates me to no end that Honas is out until at least mid-season. (For God's sake, for once can we have a spring without a significant injury?!) Nevertheless, I think there is reason to feel optimistic about this team. The schedule is brutal, but I am looking forward to seeing how the team plays against the strong competition it will face.
Really struggle with the “empty cupboard he inherited just look at the draft picks” narrative. Weren’t our only two draft picks for 2020 on the OL but we are saying we are better at that position than we have ever been in 2021 and we “finally look like a B1G OL?” So do draft picks really matter for a barometer then? What happens if guys like Roberts, Bell, and Domann get drafted this coming year? Illinois, Indiana, and Purdue have the same or less draft picks as us the last three years but are beating us. What about Troy? Northwestern has had the same amount of draft picks the last three years as Nebraska and they’ve won the division twice in that timeframe.

Even Ohio State will tell you they can always use more talent, but lack of talent isn’t the reason we haven’t made a bowl the last three seasons. Lack of draft picks heading into season 4 of a coach is more an indictment when there’s articles from 2019 about how well he flipped the roster.
 
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goodnterribles

Regulators! Let's mount up.
5 Year Member
Here come the irrelevant Matt Campbell references.....

Anyway, Frost needs to have a good year. I don't even know how to define "good", but I know what I don't want to see: laying an egg against an equal or inferior team after a good win; terrible special teams; near the bottom in turnovers. There are 8 wins on this schedule, but they have to play like it.
 

Husker In Oklahoma

All Big 10
15 Year Member
Here come the irrelevant Matt Campbell references.....

Anyway, Frost needs to have a good year. I don't even know how to define "good", but I know what I don't want to see: laying an egg against an equal or inferior team after a good win; terrible special teams; near the bottom in turnovers. There are 8 wins on this schedule, but they have to play like it.
It’s not irrelevant. Good coaches win with that they have.
 

NorthwoodHusker

Travel Squad
Scott Frost inherited a nearly empty cupboard. That's not a new thought, but I think some of us are realizing just how empty the cupboard was. Nebraska had only two players drafted this year in the NFL draft, and that put us tied for last (with Illinois, Minnesota and Purdue) in the Big Ten West. Each of the other Big Ten West teams had either three or four players drafted. Moreover, Nebraska's draft picks were late round picks, while Northwestern (of all teams) had two first round picks. Nebraska's draft performance the prior couple of years was also underwhelming, with only two picks (the Davis brothers) in 2020 and NO picks in 2019. Believe it or not, the last time we had a player drafted higher than in the 5th round was in 2016. That statistic astounded me when I saw it. In light of that, it shouldn't be terribly surprising that Nebraska has struggled on the football field since Frost got here.

Fast forward to this year, and it is clear that the team is significantly more talented than it has been. The offensive and defensive lines are visibly better and we appear to have a wealth of talent at the running back and wide receiver positions. That talent is admittedly unproven, but I saw a lot to like at those positions in the spring game. And we also appear to have a strong secondary and a much deeper linebacking corps than we have had in recent years.

I still have some concerns. For example, Smothers and Haarberg don't appear to me to be ready yet if Adrian goes down, and it frustrates me to no end that Honas is out until at least mid-season. (For God's sake, for once can we have a spring without a significant injury?!) Nevertheless, I think there is reason to feel optimistic about this team. The schedule is brutal, but I am looking forward to seeing how the team plays against the strong competition it will face.
One way to get a feeling of where our players stand is making the all Big ten list.
I did a look in on hat a few years ago, and if youre third string, you have a very good chance of being drafted.

My findings are basically exactly what youre saying,and the teams I also found who had comparable talent.

Mix this in with another finding that showed the 2017 class after time,actually finished up 70th out of the 70 teams looked at, basically all P5 teams.

Attrition, high risk recruits and coaching changes have really hurt us.

But, looking at the 2019 classes onwards, that trend has completely flipped, other than what we saw with the covid year, which imo isnt a normal scenario to apply, as it likely had a greater effect on kids further from home, these classes have held up as hoped.

We have a lot of young talent, lets get em trained and raring to go, and hold onto as many as possible.

We all heard our coaches say,once here, you have to keep recruiting them
 

huskrthill

Crap
10 Year Member
It’s not irrelevant. Good coaches win with that they have.
If we're using draft picks as a barometer, the fact that the entire Big 12 conference had zero first round picks might tell us something about the level of competition Campbell is facing.

But it really is irrelevant. What one coach does at one school doesn't necessarily translate to what happens elsewhere. If it did, the Huskers would have a much better record under Frost because he went 13-0 at UCF.
 
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