Husker notes: Huskers look for leader at quarterback; Scott Frost expects no problems meeting scholarship limit

Husker notes: Huskers look for leader at quarterback; Scott Frost expects no problems meeting scholarship limit
Scott Frost has said he was encouraged by what he saw from his quarterbacks throughout spring practices. (World-Herald News Service)

LINCOLN — Coach Scott Frost said Wednesday that it’d be “foolish to anticipate” who will start at quarterback next fall.

The four signal-callers left on campus — junior Andrew Bunch, sophomore Noah Vedral and freshmen Tristan Gebbia and Adrian Martinez — each “did a great job” in the spring, Frost said in an interview on 590 AM in Omaha.

“We’re looking for a leader at that position,” Frost said. “We’re looking for somebody who can manage the offense and make it work.”

Nothing is more important for his offense, Frost said, than the ability to quickly process information before and after the snap. Frost’s scheme — a fusion of old-school Nebraska and new-wave Oregon — relies on multiple-option package plays that require a quarterback to read the defense after the snap and mentally toggle among a variety of choices, including run or pass.

“He has to be one step ahead of what’s going on on the field and make plays,” Frost said. “I’ve seen a lot of talented quarterbacks in this scheme that couldn’t do it because their wheels just didn’t turn fast enough. I think we’ve got a group of guys in that room that are quick thinkers and can process information fast and make the decisions we need them to make.”

Other topics covered:

» Nebraska is currently one over the 85-scholarship limit, but Frost doesn’t expect getting to 85 — or even under it — will be a problem. Frost said he wants to be a few under 85 to offer scholarships to deserving walk-ons and potentially pick up a graduate or junior college transfer, as he did last year at Central Florida with cornerback Mike Hughes, who arrived a few weeks before training camp and parlayed one strong year at UCF into a first-round selection in the 2018 NFL draft.

Frost is open to taking a graduate transfer if he’s a fit. NU passed on Ohio State transfer quarterback Joe Burrow, who is looking at LSU, Cincinnati and North Carolina.

“We need more talent, we need more guys who love football, more guys who are going to be good teammates, more guys who are going to buy in to our culture,” Frost said. “The faster we can get good kids and good football players onto our team, the better … we’re not desperate to take any.”

» Frost said fans may be tired of him saying it, but the cultural formula Nebraska used under previous coaches Tom Osborne, Frank Solich and Bo Pelini — the latter two were handpicked by Osborne — still works and will be reintroduced.

“There’s pieces of the formula that worked at Nebraska for a long time, and there’s a reason Nebraska was great for a long time,” Frost said. “It probably wasn’t a great decision by Nebraska, but Nebraska backed off from a lot of things that made Nebraska what it was for a long time.”

» Frost doubled down on the Huskers being dangerous in Year 2. He’d originally said as much to Sports Illustrated.

“It takes a couple years or three years to get a program all the way there,” Frost said. “Where you have the talent at every position that you need, that you have kids who understand how you need to do things, that you have kids who are putting needs of the team above individual needs. Those things don’t happen overnight. The patience part of it comes in. We’re going to be better this year, and judging by what I saw this spring, by Year 2, we’re going to be really dangerous.”

» In 2019, Nebraska’s Big Ten crossover games ease. NU drops Michigan and Michigan State from the slate and adds Maryland and Indiana.

» Frost said his wife and son haven’t moved yet to Nebraska and will do so May 25.

Husker signee Maurice Washington’s academic status in question; NU has requested NCAA waiver

LINCOLN — High-profile Nebraska signee Maurice Washington is set to graduate soon from a California high school, but his academic status as a Husker football player could be up in the air after that.

While Washington, a four-star running back, spent most of his senior year at Trinity Christian High School in Cedar Hill, Texas, Trinity Christian coach Aveion Cason told the World-Herald that Washington was expelled and moved back to his home state of California.

“He got in trouble, and he was expelled,” said Cason, who declined to say why Washington was expelled, other than that it was for behavior and not academics. Washington did not immediately answer text messages, and his phone is not allowing calls.

Cason said Nebraska helped Washington get set up with another high school in California in order to graduate on time. HuskerOnline reported Tuesday that Nebraska will request an NCAA academic waiver for Washington so he can enroll at NU but not play as a freshman.

Washington’s academic status has long been a question, as he’s attended multiple high schools. He spent his freshman and sophomore years at The King’s Academy in Sunnyville, California, before transferring to Oak Grove High School. A California high school sports governing body ruled Washington ineligible at Oak Grove, so he sat out his junior year before transferring to Trinity Christian.

Despite the expulsion, Washington’s mother, Donna Chambers, told The World-Herald on Tuesday afternoon that as far as she knows, her son should still be in Lincoln this summer, perhaps even June.

“It’s just a matter of when,” she said. “… I’m not sure how that works, when they send for the kids or when they fly out.”

A majority of Nebraska’s 2018 recruiting class will arrive next week. Eight signees — four true freshmen and four junior college transfers — enrolled in January.

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