Nebraska Early Signing Day press conference nuggets
Nebraska head coach Scott Frost gave his first public comments on the Huskers' 2021 recruiting class during his Early Signing Day press conference on Wednesday.
Here's a full recap of what he had to say...
Head coach Scott Frost
***Frost said he was impressed with how his staff put the 2021 recruiting class together amid all the recruiting restrictions and hurdles of COVID-19 this year.
He said they ended up with “more of a regional class” with five Nebraska kids and others from around the state, and they mixed in “some excellent pieces” from further away. “I’m really excited about this group.”
***Frost said the 2021 class was already pretty tight on a personal level and had a group chat that has been going for a while now.
***On quarterback Heinrich Haarberg, Frost said he’d “been impressed with him since the first time I watched him… With some training, I think he’s got a chance to be a really good, really good quarterback.” Frost said Haarberg had “a ton of raw material to work with to make him a really good player.”
***Frost said the recruiting restrictions might have simplified Nebraska’s recruitment process because they had to narrow down guys a little faster than usual with kids not wanting to commit without visiting. He said relationships played a more significant role than ever with this class.
***Frost said there were several kids in this class that he’d never even been with in the same room. That said, he thinks he knows this group well with all of the virtual communication, phone calls, and texts they’ve had over the last year.
***Frost said the pandemic probably played a part in 13 members of the 2021 class wanting to enroll early. There’s obviously a benefit of getting to campus sooner and getting a jump on their development, but the issues COVID has had on high school spring sports, prom, and stuff like that also likely had a role in those decisions.
“The way high schools are right now with COVID, I might be ready to get out of there too.”
***Frost said there were some lessons learned this year as far as recruiting strategy that they could apply for future classes going forward. They obviously still need kids to visit, but they’ve also found ways to sell the program beyond in-person recruiting.
***Frost said Thomas Fidone had “about as much potential as anyone I’ve recruited.” He thinks Fidone’s versatility will allow them to do a lot of different things with him.
***On Teddy Prochazka, Frost said he had a great frame and had “a ton of potential.”
***On Branson Yager, Frost said, “He’s a huge human being” who was also an excellent athlete.
***On Henry Lutovsky, Frost said he was “one of my favorite guys to talk to” and was “100-percent committed to football.”
***On Jailen Weavers, Frost said, “he’s huge, and he can really move. He’s violent.”
***On Ru’Quan Buckley, Frost said he was one of the few signees who were able to visit Lincoln before the COVID shutdowns. Frost said NU had to fight off many other schools to get Buckley to sign, and the two have developed a special relationship over the recruiting process.
***Frost said Nebraska a history of successful eight-man players – including his dad – and Seth Malcom was a good enough athlete that he would thrive at any level.
***Frost said he was really excited about Koby Bretz, who Frost said ended up being “as good as any safety we looked at” in the recruiting process.
***Frost said AJ Rollins had “huge upside” and “untapped potential.”
***Frost said James Carnie “runs so well for a guy his size, has great hands.”
***Frost said they needed to be bigger across the board, including wide receiver. He said this class of Kamonte Grimes (6-3, 200), Latrell Neville (6-4, 190), and Shawn Hardy (6-3, 190) would “give us some length, catch radius” and “they’re all really twitchy athletes.”
***Frost said he’d really bonded with Neville and thought “he has a chance to be special.” Frost said he was very excited about Grimes’ athleticism and potential, and Hardy was just as smart as he was talented.
***Frost said Gabe Ervin “can do everything that we need a running back to do,” and Frost was “super impressed” with Ervin’s senior film from this season. “I look forward to coaching him.”
***Frost said all of the linebackers – Malcom, Randolph Kpai, and Mikai Gbayor – could play inside or outside, “and that’s going to be valuable and help them get on the field faster.”
***Frost said the level of peer recruiting that went on with NU’s 2021 class and the bond that developed within that group “really made our jobs easy” and helped keep the class together amid the pandemic.
***Frost said roster management was a tougher task than normal with all of the unique aspects this year. He said he did expect to add at least one, likely more, signee before February. “I love the group. I don’t expect that we’re done.”
***Frost said this walk-on class would have players who see playing time and earn scholarships down the road. He thought Alex Bullock might have been the best player in the state this season, and guys like him were going to come in with a chip on their shoulder.
***Frost said Nebraska wouldn’t go out of its way to play younger guys in Friday’s game at Rutgers. “We’re going to play the guys who deserve to play, and a lot of those are going to be young guys.”
***Frost said they’re a little bit concerned about travel into New Jersey with a major snowstorm predicted to hit the Northeast this week. Nebraska is scheduled to leave on Thursday at 1 p.m., but they’ll keep an eye on the forecast.
***Frost said Tate Wildeman underwent elective surgery to fix a lingering injury he’s dealt with the past couple of years. Frost said he still thinks Wildeman has a bright future and should be back to 100 percent for spring ball.
***Frost said the team morale has been great this week in practice, and he hasn’t noticed much of an impact from Brenden Jaimes opting out.
***Frost said the plan was to keep the team in Lincoln after Friday’s game until they know for sure what their bowl situation was. Frost said there could be a chance to play in a bowl game, but they’ll address that situation after Rutgers.
***Frost confirmed that Sevion Morrison had COVID this season. He previously had an injury, then came down with COVID, and suffered another injury.