Here are five takes on Nebraska's hires of Mark Whipple and Donovan Raiola.
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Five takes on Nebraska's hires of Mark Whipple and Donovan Raiola

Here are five takes on Nebraska's hires of Mark Whipple and Donovan Raiola. The new was made official on Wednesday morning.

Mark Whipple.
Mark Whipple. (USA TOday)

1 - Frost had a plan and it played out

After things were quiet on the coaching hire front in Week 1 of the off-season there was a narrative painted by some that Scott Frost was striking out.

That was quickly debunked though on Sunday when it became clear that two of the key candidates Frost wanted to talk to were coaching in football games on Saturday - Pitt's Mark Whipple and USC's Graham Harrell. He also reportedly talked with Virginia's Robert Anae last week as well.

Frost met with both Whipple and Harrell on Sunday, weighed his options on Monday, and went after Whipple on Tuesday morning. By early afternoon on Tuesday Whipple had resigned from his job at Pittsburgh and things moved forward.

There was always an urgency Frost wanted to have with this process, but the problem is things could not move forward until the candidates he wanted to talk to coached their final regular-season game.

2 - Whipple is exactly what Frost was looking for

When I look at the hire of Whipple, this is exactly what Frost wanted. Frost needed an offensive coordinator and a seasoned play-caller that he could trust to manage and run the day-to-day of his offense.

Frost is still going to be involved with what the Huskers do, but Whipple brings with him over 40 years of coaching experience and he's lived and been through just about every situation imaginable.

It will be interesting to see how Frost and Whipple now work together and merge some of their ideas and concepts on offense. Both Pitt and Nebraska were two of the more explosive big-play offenses in 2021.

Donovan Raiola
Donovan Raiola (Getty Images)

3 - Raiola has been on Frost's radar for over a month 

On Friday Frost formerly interviewed both the Chicago Bears Donovan Raiola and Notre Dame's Jeff Quinn for their offensive line opening.

I always got the sense Raiola was the guy at the top of Frost's list, but Quinn's name became available once Brian Kelly took the LSU job. It obviously made sense to talk to both candidates, especially with how close Chicago is to South Bend.

Raiola brings with him an energetic coaching style and a level of edge and toughness he played with back in his days at Wisconsin where he started 39 of 43 games for Barry Alvarez.

4 - These announcements should give NU a late recruiting push

Nebraska's 2021 recruiting class has been stuck in neutral it feels really since the month of June.

The hires of Mickey Joseph, Raiola and Whipple should help give the Huskers a late push down the stretch.

We have already seen the impact Joseph has had with just one day out on the road. He brought with him some recruiting chops from his days at LSU and he went right to work.

I would imagine the first order of business for Frost and Whipple is getting in front of a transfer portal quarterback between now and Saturday, which is the final day you can conduct in-home visits until January.

NU is bringing in Akron's Zach Gibson this weekend, but he does not have an offer from the Big Red. Could we see the Huskers look to bring two portal quarterbacks in?

Could Bill Busch get the final spot on staff?
Could Bill Busch get the final spot on staff?

5 - What will happen with the final spot? 

Now that Joseph, Whipple and Raiola are in, how will Frost finish off his coaching staff?

He still needs to make the decision on if he wants a full-time dedicated special teams coordinator. If he does, then what will he do at running back?

Former LSU assistant and now NU analyst Bill Busch appears to be the likely candidate if Frost elects to hire a full-time special teams coordinator. There are a few other names on the radar as well.

Ron Brown remains the wildcard, as he coached running backs the final two games of the season vs. Wisconsin and Iowa.

If Frost goes with Busch, could he also coach a position along with special teams? Could Sean Beckton coach running backs? Could Frost coach running backs? There are a lot of things to weigh here, and that's why we don't know what Frost will do with his 10th spot on staff. I also don't think it's a decision he needs to rush. The hard part of this process is over.