Scott Frost 2018 signing day press conference transcript

Categories: 2018 Football Recruiting
Scott Frost
Scott Frost discusses the new crop of Huskers.

On the February signees:
“There wasn’t as much drama this year as in most years in the past because of the early signing day. There weren’t as many kids out there, there weren’t as many spots in schools. So it was a little less drama than a normal signing day. But there were still some kids that we were waiting on. I feel really good about how we finished out.”

On Maurice Washington:
“Coach Fish (Travis Fisher) and Held (Ryan Held) did a great job of recruiting him, Coach (Sean) Beckman too. I think he was a guy that we identified in December and he blew up after the Under Armour game. But our coaches had a head start on that and already had a relationship developed with him. He had a lot of respect from Coach (Herm) Edwards and everyone down there (Arizona State), but he’s going to fit in great and do everything that we would ask a running back to do in our system. He’s got a bit of work to do academically to fit in our system but we’re excited to get him here on campus.”

On recruiting a large group:
“Our staff has been through a transition like this recently. One thing we didn’t want to do was make the mistake of bringing in kids that were knee-jerk reactions to fill in spots. We aren’t bringing anyone in that we don’t think will help this football team. A lot of these guys are going to help us and have a chance to help us early. There’s a lot of guys that have been on this football team and will continue to be assets and great players, and we look forward to working with them. But we’re also excited to bring in some guys that we’ve recruited who can fit into our system. It’s going to be a good mix. We are looking forward to working with our football team.”

On assembling the recruiting class here:
“It’s been a difficult couple of months. It’s been exhausting for me and the coaching staff. We were basically doing two jobs for a while. I like the early signing period. I think it alleviates a lot of the strain of February and drama. It’s tough on a coaching staff who is transitioning from one staff to another. I think our guys handled it great. We tried to handle every decision based off what was the right thing to do. To help the young men at UCF win a bowl game was the right thing to do. It was hard work for us, but it was really rewarding when it worked out the way it did.”

On position needs:
“When you’re taking over a 4-8 team, there’s a lot of needs. We didn’t want to focus on one position with the short amount of time we had, we just wanted to take the best players. So there might be one or two positions when we took more than we wanted and a couple positions where we would have liked another guy to fill out a roster spot, but in general we feel good about every player we got. There were some glaring needs. We needed a young quarterback. Our depth and the numbers at receivers and defensive back were nowhere near the number that we’d like to carry. So we definitely needed to get some guys in the defensive backfield and out wide on offense. We got the guys we wanted for the most part at those positions and feel great about what we got. Going forward, we’ll be able to balance the roster and fix the positions we’d like to have, but this year with the short amount of time, it was about getting the best players we could get.”

On roster in July:
“That’s something I‘m still working out with Bill Moos. Nebraska has been known for having a lot of players on the team, a lot of walk-ons on the team. I’d like to get back to that. The best thing Coach Osborne did was have everybody practice. It wasn’t 22 guys practicing and everyone else on their knee holding their helmet. It was 88 guys practicing at the same time and part of that is what led to the development of players and helped walk-ons and young players get better faster and get on the field and help the team. I think that’s an asset that Nebraska can have if we’re willing to expand the roster. That’s something I’m working on with Bill Moos. Ideally, I’d like to have 150 or a little bit more. Most teams don’t carry that many. I think last year Nebraska had 130. We’re going to see if we can get more on the team.”

On walk-ons:
“I think we wanted to introduce more this year to get the ball rolling. We want to make sure we have the right guys in the program, the right walk-ons in the program and guys that we feel like can eventually be on the field and help this football team. That’s what has happened at Nebraska in the past, and I want that to happen again.”

On message to walk-ons:
“I’ve coached at an FCS program a state away and those are good programs and it’s a lot of fun to play football there. But I want the day to come back where Nebraska kids who grew up here and came to this stadium to watch football games are dying to come here and play, and I want to give them the opportunity to play. I think there’s a lot of guys in this walk-on class that could have played at the Division II level or FCS level, but chose to be here. When you get those kinds of kids, I have no doubt that a number of those kids will be good enough to earn scholarships. And we’re going to honor them if they do. It will help us get more walk-ons in the future.”

On talking to Coach Osborne about recruiting:
“I asked for his advice, but we have to be careful with rules… if he’s actually recruiting and evaluating tape. I did lean on him for some advice with some things. One thing he shared with me was when he was here they did a study and found that 60% of Nebraska kids that they brought into the program started and played at Nebraska. The number was way lower for out of state kids. Going forward, we’re going to give every Nebraska kid who is good enough to play an opportunity to do so.”

On quarterbacks:
“The last three quarterbacks I’ve coached have been tough. McKenzie Milton, Marcus , Adams. Usually a team takes on the qualities of its leaders whether it’s the coaches or a leader on the field. I want a tough quarterback too. Coach Osborne used to run me if I ran out of bounds instead of lowering my shoulder. I don’t know if I’ll ask the guys to do that, but I want everyone on the team to know they’re tough. Nebraska football used to be built on being physical and tough and working harder than the other team. There’s some missing pieces here that we’re going to try to get back.”

On Caleb Tannor:
“I think watching from afar when Nebraska transitioned to a 3-4 type scheme last year, I’m not sure all the personnel fit or didn’t have time to develop to fit into that scheme. We need outside pass rushers. Caleb is the type of guy who can rush the passer from the outside. But he’s also athletic enough to make plays in space. We had a kid like that in Shaquem Griffin where we just coached, and we’re looking forward to having that dynamic player here and I hope we got it.”

On Ryan Held:
“I think his best asset is there’s a lot of loose marbles floating around in his head… (jokes at Held in the back of the room). There’s nobody that I’ve been around that’s more diligent or passionate around getting the right players on your team. Anything I ask, he’s going to do it and do it in the best interest of the football team. It’s important to have guys like that on your staff. A lot of the kids we’re signing today, Ryan Held was a big part of getting them.”

On developing vs. learning the system:
“Generally, when you watch all this stuff going on, on signing day, I think a lot of programs are just trying to recruit, get the best player they can and throw them on the field. We want to recruit kids with up-side, with character, with intelligence, that can learn our system and put them into our program and develop them. Zach Duval is as good as I’ve ever seen at developing players. Our staff is as good as I’ve been around with developing players. Our schemes aren’t that hard to learn so it’s got more to do with how mature a kid is and how professional he is when he gets here and how hard he works. I think we recruited a lot of guys that fit our scheme, a lot of guys that have the up-side to be really good in what we’re going to ask them to do and a lot of guys with the character and work ethic to come in and get it done. When you recruit those kind of kids they’re going to learn what you want them to do and be good players in the end.”

On how important it was to get guys to campus over the dead period in December:
“It was important to us as a staff because, we finally got a little time to sit back and evaluate and see where we were. It was kind of break neck in the first couple of weeks. Those weeks in December where we were trying to get kids in. We had to be real careful, one of the challenges that we had is, you get a limited number of official visits, and the last staff that was here used half of them, a little more than half of them, so we had to bat a really high percentage to fill our class. So, we were real careful not to bring in kids where we thought it was just a visit. We had to feel good about our chances of getting him before we brought him in. So I think we finished the class with two extra visits, just in case we need one down the road, but we did real well about the kids on campus and I think that says a lot about what Nebraska is, the facilities, the people and our coaching staff’s relationship with kids. I don’t know the math, but we got about five out of every seven kids that came into visit I would guess. We really needed to do that in order to fill the class because we were limited to the number of official visits.”

On why Nebraska had not taken junior college players the past three years:
“I can’t say exactly why it didn’t happen for the last few years. All I can say is that we’re going to sit down with Bill (Moos) and the rest of the administration and make sure that the processes are in place so the football program can take the right athletes once it identifies them and get them into school. I think Bill is going to help us with that, it’s not just the right athlete, but the right kids. There’s a lot of kids that come from high school or junior college that might not have the character or the ability to function in a college environment. We’re not going to recruit those guys but there are a lot of players in high school and junior college that will flourish at the college level and we want the ability to take those kids if they’re available to us.”

On the spring game selling out:
“A lot of people say they have the best fans in the country. I think selling out a spring game in three days kind of puts that argument to bed. I’m so excited that the fan base is as fired up as it is. I’m anxious for the fan base to get to know these new coaches. We have some unbelievable men on our coaching staff. I’m anxious for the fan base to watch the improvement that needs to happen. It’s going to be a process for us, but I think by the time spring ball finishes up with the spring game we will be quite a ways down that road. Can’t believe there’s going to be 85,000 for a spring game, but that’s Nebraska so Go Big Red.”

On how the current offensive recruits can makeover the offense:
“Part of it is a fit thing. We wanted to go out and recruit kids that we thought fit into our scheme and I’ve been recruiting to this scheme for a while and kind of have an idea of what fits and what’s going to work in this scheme. You say three running backs, Miles Jones is going to be a versatile guy for us, he’s going to be a guy that can play outside, play inside in the slot or in the backfield. Those guys have thrived in our system. From the De’Anthony Thomas, Josh Huff, Kenjon Barner mold, to Otis Anderson in Orlando. That’s how we see him. Justin McGriff is a guy with a ton of talent and up-side that’ll start outside, but eventually might grow into a tight end. In general, we got to go outside of the state a lot of times to recruit speed. There’s going to be some speed in the state like Damon Benning when he came out, Ahman Green when he came out there’s going to be plenty of guys from the state, but skill players we definitely wanted to add to the depth and talent level of those positions and we knew a lot of those kids from recruiting down in Florida and feel great about the ones that we got.”

On if Frost is getting the speedy guys that he wants:
“Yeah, I think that the perception out there is that those kids won’t come here. Our staff had six weeks to work and we got the ones we needed. You don’t have to get them all you have to get the right ones and I think we did.”

On if weather is a factor when it comes to recruiting:
“You know what we have to talk about, kids in Florida, Texas and other places on what their perception of Lincoln, Nebraska, is. I think the perception out there is this is a football stadium in the middle of a cornfield and it’s always cold. I can’t tell you how many kids when I met with them on Sunday after their official visits told me this is nothing like they thought it was going to be like. So it’s going to be important for us to get kids to campus, but Lincoln, Nebraska, is no colder than a lot of schools in the Big Ten, in fact it’s warmer than a lot of schools in the Big Ten and kids are going there. There’s no reason why we can’t get them.”

On Frost impression of Lincoln’s downtown transformation since the 1990’s:
“I think Lincoln has always been a great town, but I love the improvements that have been made. This is a great place to go to college to me. It’s not a little tiny college town with nothing but the college, there’s plenty to do here. It’s also not such a big place that you don’t get lost in the mix, so this is the ideal size as far as I’m concerned of a place for a kid to go and be able to do what he wants to do but also focus on what is important and that is football and academics.”

On why Frost thinks recruits wait until February to commit:
“I think there might be a lot of reasons they wait.  Everybody was trying to find their way this year and wasn’t sure how it was going to play out. I think more kids probably ended up signing in December than most of us thought that would sign in December. About 90% of the Power 5 spots were filled after December. That’s a lot higher than I thought it was going to be, and it wouldn’t surprise me if next year it was less than that, because there were a lot of players left out there and there’s quite a few schools, particularly in our conference that were full or about full, and didn’t have that many spots to give those kids. I think everybody was feeling it out this year and we’ll see going forward how many kids sign in December and how many wait.”

On transitioning guys to an up-tempo offense:
“It’s going to be a process. I like the talent we have up front, I really do, I like the body types and the size. We’ve got to change their bodies. The Nebraska I knew and the strength and conditioning and what was expected of them, and what kids look like physically. That’s not really what we’re walking back into but that’s what Zach Duval is here for. I think we got guys on the team that can be great offensive linemen but we got to go to work in the weight room, we’ve got to cut our body fat, eat right, we’ve got to get stronger, we’ve got to get in better shape.”

On how good this class is overall:
“I don’t really care about the ranking it matters on one day and that’s today. I’m not here to win February, I’m here to win football games in the fall.”

On the importance of Florida
“I think we are going to continue to get kids from down there. We have a lot of coaches that are used to recruiting Florida and they have a lot of relationships with kids and high school coaches in the state of Florida. Nebraska had some great players from Florida, I played with Tommie Fraizer, Shevin Wiggins and Tyrone Williams and guys like that who were from Florida. I heard a lot of people say that they didn’t know if we could get those kids to come to Lincoln, Nebraska, and looking at this class, with eight from Florida and three from California, while also Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Connecticut. Kids are going to come here if we can get them on campus and let them see what we are building. I think our relationships with the state of Florida are going to continue to help us. We are going to go everywhere and get the right kids.”

On getting to know his team
“We can’t wait. Our whole coaching staff, we are in this business because the most rewarding part is the relationships with the players and helping them. Through this first month and half, or however long we have been on the job, we haven’t had the chance to spend as much time with our guys as we want to. My staff needs time off. We haven’t had a second to breathe since July so next week the offensive staff is going to take a week and defense is going to stay in the office and then the week after defensive is going out and offence will be in the office. But, I know all of us, myself included, are looking forward to being around the guys, learning about them, developing relationships and trying to help them get better.”

On Casey Rogers
“Greg Austin really was the leading guy on Casey. He’s a lacrosse player from Syracuse (N.Y.). His dad is a lacrosse coach actually. He went to prep school a year out of high school and really got bigger and got good as a football player. He is kind of a tough northeast guy. We have had a few of those around here in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can look like once he gets in this program.”

On Frost’s perception of how he and his staff have been received
“Well the reception for me has been great. That’s why I mentioned that I can’t wait for the state to get to know my staff. These are great people, they are great human beings and they are great coaches. We are going to send a bunch of them to Lincoln tonight to meet some of the fans. This week we are sending them up to the rest of the state so they can get to know some of these guys. The job that they have done in the last two months, I don’t know if it has ever been done in college football and I don’t know if it will be done again. It is hard to go undefeated and this staff pulled that off. They pulled it off after taking over a team that was 0-12 two years before. You don’t see anybody that takes another job and goes back and coaches another game. In fact, a lot of the bowl games that went on, the teams that lost coaches got whipped in their bowl game. Our guys wanted to go back and help those kids in Florida win a football game. Then, to win it was pretty special. To do all that while taking a class that was ranked, not that I pay attention, 94th or something like that up to a top 25 or 20 class…it’s unprecedented what these guys have done. Really it has been less me than the group of guys that are working in the football office and I can’t wait to watch what they can accomplish here.”

On a common personality trait in the recruits
“You know I think I if I had to pick a couple of things, they are competitors. I want competitors. I want guys that like football. I am also really proud of who these kids are. I think our staff approached recruiting from the perspective that we are going to be genuine and we are not going to be used car salesmen. Not lying, cheating, stealing and blowing kids phones up to get them. More than anything I think that helps us get the right kind of kid. The kid that doesn’t need to have all that happen to him to pick a school. Picking Nebraska isn’t an easy decision. Especially for a kid from Florida, Georgia or Alabama. 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 come here around good people and do good work. I think that is the type of kid that we got.”

On Noah Vedral
“Noah is a kid from just north of here… shoot I have hunted around Ceresco and Wahoo a lot. I played with Matt Turman, who is his mom’s brother, and Ron and Mark Vedral who are his dad’s brothers. So, I have known both families for a long time. Noah kind of chose to come down to Orlando to play for us and to play for me. We were really careful when we left UCF not to talk to any kids about coming here. In fact, my message to them was ‘stay here and continue to make this place great and give this new coaching staff every opportunity’. Noah kind of wanted to be back. I think part of it was him wanting to come home. He wants to be a coach one day and I think he wanted to be around us. We are happy to have him. He did unbelievable things as a true freshman for us down there and he’s going to have to sit out a year but we are looking forward to seeing what he can do in the future.”

On a possible proposal allowing players to transfer is their coach leaves or is fired
“I am all for giving the players more freedom and more ability. Coaches can take better opportunities and move on, players are kind of locked in. You also can’t upset the balance and the nature of college football. I think there have been some proposals even to make transfers free and you would never have to sit out. In my opinion that would be a disaster. We would have coaches from other schools on our campus recruiting our guys and, probably, vice-versa. If there was a great player at South Dakota State this year and he had a year left and he could transfer without penalty, I would sure as heck send somebody up to talk to him. But, I think that can get messy and ugly. If they can figure it out, if a coach leaves I understand because kids commit to play for a school but they also commit to play for a coach, and that changes things. The thing that is going to be interesting is if ADs start making coaching changes after the first signing day and kids that have signed at that school already. I think that once that happens it will really, probably, usher in some conversation about changing some of those rules.”

On moving the spring game
“The last staff had half of their spring practice before spring break and half after. If you have ever seen a college kid after they come back from spring break, I don’t think that is really ideal for training and getting the team better. We are going to have one practice before spring break just to try to get the kids familiar with what we are doing and then we are going to come back and go to work.”

On goals for the spring
“Our goal is going to be simple, it’s going to be to get better, day-by-day to get better. And that means waking up and being better than the day you were before. Any challenge that comes in front of you, you’ve got to conquer it and overcome it, put your head on the pillow and get ready to get up and do it again the next day. We have got a lot of work to do. We have got a lot of work to do in the weight room. We have got a lot of work to do in the classroom and on the field. But, I know we have a coaching staff that knows the direction that need to take this team and a lot of kids that are hungry and excited about the change. So, this is going to be a process bit I can’t wait to get started on the first steps.”

On any roster changes
“No, not right now. I know there are some kids that are battling a little bit of injury and we will see how that goes as spring ball approaches. Inevitably, there is a little bit of attrition. But, hey, we don’t want that. We want to keep everybody that we can and make them as good as we can make them.”

On if he is taking time off
“I am going to get a little time off, yeah. It has been hard for me because my wife and my newborn son are still in Orlando. Thank goodness for FaceTime, otherwise I would be missing the first few months of his life. This (coaching at Nebraska) was an opportunity that I couldn’t turn down and our staff felt the same way. But, transitions are always hard and I am going to get back down to Orlando for part of next week to see my family.”

Source: Nebraska Athletics