football Edit

Frost and NU want to see what they have at quarterback this spring

The beauty about where Nebraska currently sits is they have time on their hands before they have to make a decision about what they want to do.

The thought today is one of their two open scholarships will be held presumably for an older transfer quarterback that might provide depth in the room.

However, head coach Scott Frost would not come out and say that on Thursday. Speaking publicly to reporters for the first time since Dec. 18, Frost said they are excited to see what guys like freshmen Logan Smothers and Heinrich Haarberg can do this spring behind Adrian Martinez - this on the heels of the transfer decision of Luke McCaffrey.

“I want to coach the kids that want to be here and the kids that are on our team,” Frost said. “We’ll see what happens down the road. I don’t want to get into that kind of speculation.”

2020 has added so many unknowns going forward for every football coach.

The transfer portal has grown to over 1,600 names this year. Junior College and FCS football hasn’t even started yet and every player gets a free year of eligibility.

Managing numbers and roster sizes will be a discussion every off-season, especially over the next four years when players potentially get six years of NCAA eligibility vs. five when you factor in a redshirt season.

The bottom line is Frost and his staff have time on their hands now. There’s plenty of time to survey the portal landscape and junior college football before they decide how they want to use their final two spots.

“There’s always going to be surprises, and I think you have to stay light on your toes and be ready to adapt and solve problems when you need to,” Frost said. “With 1,600 kids in the portal and barely over 100 Division I schools, there’s a lot of kids out there looking for spot. There’s probably not enough spots for all the kids. We are intentionally keeping a couple of spots in our pocket. We thought about doing something maybe before this semester started and tried to address the issue, but I didn’t want to make any quick moves that might be mistakes.

“I imagine there will be more kids in the portal after junior college season and (FCS spring) season. And even more movement probably after spring ball. Also, I really want to see what we have in the room. I’ve really been impressed with Logan (Smothers) since he’s been here. I’ve really been impressed with Heinrich (Haarberg) in the short time that he’s been here. Quarterback is no different than anything else. We’ll take a look at what we have. We’ve got a couple of spots in our pocket to see if we need to get some help anywhere.”

With just three scholarship quarterbacks on campus for spring practice, it will also give guys like Smothers and Haarberg more reps to see what they can do.

This comes on the heels of the lost spring and fall camp scrimmages of 2020. There are a lot of unknowns with this group, and Frost wants to see what he has before he makes any decisions about adding another quarterback to his room.

“I’m excited about what I’ve seen so far,” Frost said of Smothers. “Logan is as good of an athlete as all of those other guys in the quarterback room. I think what I’ve really been impressed with so far is just his savvy and ability to process information quick and make good decisions. He’s been really accurate.

"Mario (Verduzco) has been working with him on throwing motion to make that a little more efficient and consistent and powerful. I’ve seen Mario do wonderful things with guys from that standpoint. I’ve got higher hopes right now then I did when we recruited Logan. He’s going to get his share of reps this spring, so I'm anxious to see where he is.”