Practice Notes 3.27

Adrian Martinez speaks to the press after practice in the Hawks Championship Center on Monday, March 25, 2019, in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Following Wednesday’s practice, Scott Frost and several assistant coaches and players spoke with the media about practice, as well as the intensity of competition within the team.

Frost was the first person to speak after practice and he was immediately asked about sophomore running back Maurice Washington Jr., who was a full participant in practice Wednesday morning after being held out previously as he dealt with legal matters.

“We’re going to try and keep him on as close of a schedule as normal as we possibly can,” Frost said about Washington. “He has bigger fish to fry than worrying about this [football], but we want to keep him on a schedule. He’s been a part of practice, not a full participant, but when he’s out there he’s been doing a good job.”

“We’re getting better everywhere, and it’s fun to watch,” he said.

“This our second time as a staff trying to re-mold a program,” Frost said. “First years were very similar. We lost a bunch of close games, we did a bunch of little things wrong, we got ourselves beat...I wouldn’t say it got better in our last job until fall of year two.”

Frost said he sees a similar track of improvement between the springs, but made sure to acknowledge his program is not yet where it needs to be.

“I’m thrilled with where we are right now in spring...But we’ve got a long way still to go,” he said.

Freshman Wan’Dale Robinson was a full participant in today and Monday’s practices, after sitting out for two weeks with a hamstring injury.

As for his acclimation to college football, Frost said all of the early-enrollees have done well both on the football field and in classes.

“They’re the type of guys we want, and if that’s any indication of the type of class we recruited then I think we’re going to be very happy,” Frost added.

There was a newcomer to the media scrum on Wednesday as senior defensive lineman Darrion Daniels had his first appearance in front of the cameras since he transferred to Nebraska from Oklahoma State. He is the older brother of sophomore defensive tackle Damion Daniels and is already making headlines.

“Darrion’s making plays on the field, but that’s not the most impressive part of Darrion,” Frost said. “It would be really hard for somebody to change teams coming into a new college program and be a leader immediately, but that’s what he’s done. He’s brought a spark to that D-Line, I think a sense of accountability and to the whole defense. He’s going to be a real asset for us and I’m not just talking about on the field.”

Daniels compared sophomore quarterback Adrian Martinez to a previous quarterback he faced at Oklahoma State; former Texas Tech and current NFL MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

“The only one who really comes to mind is (Patrick) Mahomes. Just Mahomes,” Daniels said.

Frost also touched on his team’s improvement in consistency from last year.

“What I’m impressed about is last year we had a real drop-off in the middle of spring ball, and that’s common...I haven’t seen that,” Frost said. “We’ve gotta keep moving forward. We don’t have time to have some practices that are letdowns.”

“I wasn’t just happy, I was thrilled with the way guys came back,” Frost added. “There’s a hundred different things that could happen on spring break, we all know that. They came back ready to practice.”

Frost also lauded the work ethic of the captains, who held a meeting and workout Sunday night before Monday’s practice.

“That’s a sign of a mature team that’s starting to make decisions based on what’s best for the team instead of what’s best for them,” he said.

Frost also briefly touched on the news that NU President Hank Bounds will leave his position this summer.

“In my experience, there’s a lot of leaders and there’s very few good leaders,” he said about Bounds. “I can’t say enough about Hank Bounds. I think he’s a good man and he’s one of the best leaders that I’ve been around. We’re going to miss him, but I’m happy for him and wish him the best.”

Frost said the school has enough strong leaders to know they will be fine and that he’s confident in them choosing a successor.

Frost ended with some fire when asked about his team running one-on-one drills between offensive and defensive-line players during practice.

“Listen, guys that I want in this program are guys that love to compete,” Frost said. “We didn’t have enough of that when our staff got here. We had competition today, it was offense vs. defense. Every play mattered, every rep mattered, we were keeping score.”

“Whether it’s fair or not, there’s a scoreboard,” he continued. “In life, in football, in everything. We shouldn’t run from that, we should embrace that. And I want guys that are at their best when the chips are down and we need to compete.”

Elsewhere on the second floor of Hawks Championship Center, senior cornerback Lamar Jackson revealed he missed Monday’s practice for an important reason; the birth of his son.

His son’s name? Legacy.

Nebraska’s next practice will be on Saturday afternoon, but there will not be any media availability from the team until after the next practice on Monday morning.