The 3-2-1: Frost's staff plan came together, now can NU finish?
Scott Frost's plan to build a coaching staff came together this week, now can Nebraska finish building this roster for 2022? We hit on that and more in the 3-2-1.
THREE THINGS WE LEARNED THIS WEEK
1 - Scott Frost passed the first off-season test, now can he finish off December?
This past Thursday Nebraska head coach Scott Frost faced doubts as not one of his new hires was announced yet.
Was Frost striking out? Did he have a handle on the situation? Then by Thursday night word got out that LSU's Mickey Joseph was joining the staff. This came just two days after people questioned where things were at after LSU's hire of Brian Kelly from Notre Dame.
Come to find out, there was nothing there to worry about with Joseph.
But what about the coordinator and the other openings? Why weren't we hearing any names? Well, come to find out, things were on hold until championship Saturday came to a close. Frost zoned in on Pittsburgh's Mark Whipple and USC's Graham Harrell, who both coached on Saturday. He set up his interview with Whipple at his home in Phoenix less than 24 hours after the ACC title game in Charlotte.
He also talked with Virginia's Robert Anae earlier in the week.
On Friday, he worked in an interview with Donovan Raiola of the Bears during the middle of an NFL game week. On the same day, he traveled to South Bend to interview Notre Dame's Jeff Quinn.
Frost had several people guessing and even questioning the process. Fans were all over the board. "Was it the Army guy? What about Korn at Coastal Carolina, or even Wake Forest's Warren Ruggiero?" Even Nebraska-Kearney's Josh Lynn name was tossed around.
In the end it was none of them, as Frost had his group circled for quite some time. I give him a lot of credit for how this was pulled-off over the last week.
Frost passed the first test, so what's next? Now Frost has to finish rebuilding this roster for the 2022 season and find some key transfer portal parts to plug in. He also has to get a full handle on which players plan to return to Nebraska for 2022.
This weekend will seemingly be the biggest recruiting weekend of the year as NU tries to finish things off before the dead period hits.
2 - Mickey Joseph is pulling his weight already
In recruiting, relationships matter. I think we are seeing that right away with the addition of LSU wide receivers coach Mickey Joseph, who has made a flurry of new offers to Louisiana prospects the last two days.
Will any of these prospects end up coming to NU? It's hard saying at this point, but I think we've already gotten a good feel for what type of impact Joseph could have at Nebraska as a recruiter.
Just this weekend alone he got Frost in front of the nation's No. 2 ranked running back in TreVonte' Citizin. Before Joseph's arrival, the Huskers weren't on his radar.
If he can add just one of these Louisiana prospects for 2022 that would be huge. I also think he's going to have access to a few more transfer portal options NU may not have had before his arrival.
3 - You can never have enough kickers
After a disastrous year at kicker, Nebraska has gone all-in to try to improve its situation for 2022.
NU has already added two high-profile walk-ons in Charlie Weinrich and Furman transfer Spencer Pankratz.
The real guy to watch, though, is Furman's Timmy Bleekrode, as the Huskers made a full scholarship offer to him this past Friday.
Bleekrode is the first kicker NU has put a scholarship offer to since Barret Pickering in 2018. Connor Culp came to Nebraska as a walk-on from LSU before going on scholarship as a super senior in 2021.
I think, going forward, the quickest way for NU to fix their issues on special teams is to identify offer-worthy kickers and punters. Relying on the walk-on path has not produced the consistency NU needs, and when most Big Ten point spreads are typically between 3 and 7 points, every kick matters.
TWO QUESTIONS THIS WEEEK
1 - Could NU entertain taking two transfer portal quarterbacks?
On Tuesday, Akron quarterback Zach Gibson confirmed to HuskerOnline he will be coming in for an official visit this weekend. Gibson does not have a scholarship offer from the Huskers at this time.
Then on Wednesday, the Lincoln Journal Star confirmed LSU's Myles Brennan has emerged as the Huskers top overall transfer portal quarterback at this point.
So does that mean the Big Red would entertain taking two transfer quarterbacks for 2022? Today, I would say, 'yes'. I just think there are too many unknowns with this room to simply rely on only Logan Smothers and Heinrich Harberg for the 2022 season.
I believe Frost and Whipple want to keep all of their quarterback options open for next season.
2 - What will Nebraska's scholarship numbers be for 2022?
What will Nebraska's total numbers be for 2022 now with some recent roster attrition? As we've reported since back in June, the Huskers were looking at potentially a class of just 12 or 13.
I think you are still going to see very low high school and JUCO numbers in this class at around 15, with anywhere from another seven to 10 spots being held for the transfer portal.
The Huskers can be at up to 88 players on scholarship in February, but must be at 85 by August.
ONE PREDICTION: Raiola will find at least one impact transfer on the line
I'll call my shot on this right now. The hire of new offensive line coach Donovan Raiola came with some intrigue, mainly because nobody knows what he can do as a recruiter at this level.
From what I've heard the last few weeks, Raiola is more than tuned into what's going on, and I predict between now and the start of the 2022 season he will help the Huskers get at least one impact transfer on the offensive line.
Sean Callahan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and he can be heard each day at 6:45 am and 5:05 pm on Big Red Radio 1110 KFAB in Omaha during the football season. He can also be seen on KETV Channel 7 in Omaha during the fall and each week he appears on NET's Big Red Wrap-Tuesday's at 7 pm.