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Do We Have the Talent We Need?


Mavric

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On 12/15/2020 at 12:33 PM, Cy the Cyclone said:

Raw talent...yes.  Developed talent...no.

 

That falls on the coaching staff.  Iowa State starts one senior on offense.  They have an OL that features two red shirt freshmen.  Would you pick the Iowa State offense over the Nebraska offense?  They started slow, what with lack of practices, but over the season, they have corrected mistakes and are now playing at their peak.

 

Nebraska, at least on the offense, is still committing the same dumb mistakes they made at the start of the season.  That's all on coaching.  Player development is sorely lacking.

 

you have the talent but lack the leadership.

 

Well said and I completely agree with the lack of development happening on this staff.  I used to get more excited on big recruiting days when we would sign new players, but given how Frost's staff has operated the first 3 years, I believe these kids are not going to reach their maximum potential in the Husker program.  

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@Mavric, I'm curious, why did you break it down 2015-2018 and then 2019-2020? Doesn't that imply the 2018 class and its shortcomings are somehow on Riley, not Frost? 

 

Riley inherited classes ranked:

  • 35th
  • 22nd
  • 32nd

Frost inherited classes ranked:

  • 23rd
  • 26th
  • 30th

Riley went 19-19; Frost is 11-20.

 

I recall this same "Do we have the talent?" conversation during the last regime. We did, we do; we still don't have the coaching, playcalling, clock management, player development, etc. 

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9 minutes ago, QMany said:

@Mavric, I'm curious, why did you break it down 2015-2018 and then 2019-2020? Doesn't that imply the 2018 class and its shortcomings are somehow on Riley, not Frost? 

 

Riley inherited classes ranked:

  • 35th
  • 22nd
  • 32nd

Frost inherited classes ranked:

  • 23rd
  • 26th
  • 30th

Riley went 19-19; Frost is 11-20.

 

I recall this same "Do we have the talent?" conversation during the last regime. We did, we do; we still don't have the coaching, playcalling, clock management, player development, etc. 

The talent argument is just dumb. Kirk is starting 7 sophomores on offense in Iowa City, they seem to make it work. 3 cycles of recruiting is plenty to at least get your team off the ground. Especially with transfers, grad transfers and JUCO players these days. If Frost were hovering around 6-6, 7-5, 8-4 , then I would understand saying he hasn't had enough time to build a championship caliber roster. But he's had more than enough time to build a team that can go better than 2-5 in conf and compete in the west.  It doesn't take years to break into the top 4 of a completely mediocre division, yet we still haven't done that. 

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I have a hard time assessing offensive “talent” in isolation of the awful QB play and OC play calling.

 

As I’ve said before, any OC who tries to make our OL block laterally is trying to jam a square peg in a round hole. Let them drive and trap and they’re decent.  Ask them to go sideways and S&C has not built them to do that.  They are far too heavy footed and the opposing DC knowing our preferences often calls hard slants which regularly blow our guys up. Then to add insult to injury, earlier in the season moreso then last couple of weeks, to NOT attempt to throw the ball deep and allowing 8 defenders to stack the box made those lateral run plays and behind the line passes more likely to create a loss than a gain. 
 

My last observation which lets the OC off the hook just a bit, is that I’m not sure if we had any games this year where our QB was better than the opposing QB.  Game after game we saw opposing B1G QB’s come in and make key throws when they needed them, while ours struggled to hit passes many high school QB’s could hit regularly.

 

At the end of the day, my takeaways are as follows:

1.  I think we may need a new QB coach as our current one appears to be failing to develop the throwing motion, footwork and ability to read opposing defenses

that are required to win at this level.

2.  If after replacing that coach and our QB’s still can’t consistently hit the broad side of a barn, then the OC needs to re-jig the scheme to match what our QB’s can do well.
3.  S&C needs to be aligned with the OC as well.  If the team identity is going to be based on lateral running (which personally is not my favourite), then S&C need to have the OL doing more skipping and less squats.


So outside of “getting better QB passing” which is kind of obvious, the largest part of the “talent” issue that we can go after is the lack of alignment between the talent we do have, the systems and plays the OC appears stubbornly committed to run, and the S&C crew that need to deliver the bodies to run those plays.  So we can blame a lot of other individuals (coaches and players) for their smaller contributions, but this biggest issue falls on the team CEO and he needs to make it priority one heading into next season.

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12 minutes ago, QMany said:

@Mavric, I'm curious, why did you break it down 2015-2018 and then 2019-2020? Doesn't that imply the 2018 class and its shortcomings are somehow on Riley, not Frost? 

 

Riley inherited classes ranked:

  • 35th
  • 22nd
  • 32nd

Frost inherited classes ranked:

  • 23rd
  • 26th
  • 30th

Riley went 19-19; Frost is 11-20.

 

I recall this same "Do we have the talent?" conversation during the last regime. We did, we do; we still don't have the coaching, playcalling, clock management, player development, etc. 

 

I know the angry fans hate this argument, but Frost is 11-20 and could very easily be something like 17-14. Riley was 19-19 and very easily could've been 10-28. I really do understand the wins are what counts. But for the long term prognosis it does matter how close/far we are, and Frost has been close to 7-8 wins the past couple years. I get the W/L argument, but I firmly stand by the view that Riley's teams were worse than their record and Frost's have been better.

 

I'm much more confident moving forward with a 2-5 team that advanced stats say is in the 30-40 range than 2016's 9-4 team that was ranked in the 60s. In everything except record we trended down consistently under Riley - the 4-8 team in 2017 was below 100th. I'm not happy about consistent losing seasons under Frost, but the underlying numbers look good and I'm willing to see if that comes to fruition. In any case, do you feel better about being able to solve penalty/turnover mistakes, or figuring out a way to not let a D2 LB run for 200 yards as a QB? We have come a long way, and it sucks that the record doesn't show it. I'm betting it will before long.

 

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7 minutes ago, QMany said:

@Mavric, I'm curious, why did you break it down 2015-2018 and then 2019-2020? Doesn't that imply the 2018 class and its shortcomings are somehow on Riley, not Frost? 

 

Riley inherited classes ranked:

  • 35th
  • 22nd
  • 32nd

Frost inherited classes ranked:

  • 23rd
  • 26th
  • 30th

Riley went 19-19; Frost is 11-20.

 

I recall this same "Do we have the talent?" conversation during the last regime. We did, we do; we still don't have the coaching, playcalling, clock management, player development, etc. 

2015 class (Remove Stevenson, Alston, Talan, & Snyder, transferred; Decker & Barnett, Retired; Jackson left team) which moves them to the 51st class, it also means 15/22 will finish/finished their career.

 

2016 Class  (Remove O'Brien, Brokop, Alexander, Spielman, Butler, Grim, Lightbourn Transferred; Bryan, Simmons, Jefferson, Engelhaupt, Raridon Retire) which moves the class to 84th.  9/20 finishes career here.

 

2017 Class (Remove Lindsey, Blade, Robert, Gebbia, Thomas, Hampton, Ward, Miles, Transfer; Mcquitty, Johnson, Retire; Watts didn't make it) class becomes 95th. 9/20 will finish career at Nebraska, and the 6 best players left the program. 

That's what Riley left Frost. A total of 33 players out of 62. That doesn't even count non-contributors.

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On the flipside, Frost's patchwork for 2018 became this:

(Pickering, McGriff, Jones x2, Woodyard, Bell, Transferred; Washington, Smith, Retired; Watt, Canty, Legrone (didn't make it), JUCO; Hunt, Jail?) class becomes 63rd. 13/26.

 

2019 class [Chase, Transferred; Bland (Didn't make it)] as of now 26/28 will graduate from UNL. It also still holds the #19 spot.

 

2020 class (Greene, Gray, Francois, Transfer; Fleming, Delancy, Portal) class finishes 27th. As of now 20/25 will graduate from UNL. Also, it's been an incredibly rough year, and half these transfers could probably be chalked up to COVID.

 

Frost has 59/79, which is a 75% rate compared to Riley's 53% on the graduation rate. Again, none of this counts contribution, but does matter when you look at our current depth, and the youth playing for this team.

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So how does this 2021 class contribute to the talent level?  3 four star guys and the balance being 3 stars.   I think the TE , Fidone, and OL, Prochazka,  4 star guys are great additions.   The 4 star OLB, Kpai, I'm not as familiar with - seems to be a bit light for the position.  Perhaps S&C can get him bigger in size. 

I expect to see Fidone on the field next year. 

 

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, TGHusker said:

So how does this 2021 class contribute to the talent level?  3 four star guys and the balance being 3 stars.   I think the TE , Fidone, and OL, Prochazka,  4 star guys are great additions.   The 4 star OLB, Kpai, I'm not as familiar with - seems to be a bit light for the position.  Perhaps S&C can get him bigger in size. 

I expect to see Fidone on the field next year. 

 

 

 

 

Hard to say as it's not a finished class. I'm not a believer in Prochazka, plays pretty high, and I have a hard time believing he's 280 lbs. Fidone has the athleticism to be a gadget player. I'm not really sure on Kpai's weight, but I like his film and he does look like he has put weight on. I think Lutovsky can be a great guard.

 

The other nice thing is that 6/7 top rated recruits are not only a 500 mile, but at max 5 hour drive away from Lincoln.  10/19 live in MO, IA, NE, or SD. They also brought in Oliver Martin and the graduate transfer Kolarevic. 

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On 12/14/2020 at 1:04 PM, Mavric said:

I was thinking about this earlier and then Frost mentioned it in his presser.  I do think we have the talent but I also think there is something to it being young and still a work-in-progress.  I was going to go through the last few recruiting classes to illustrate this, especially on offense.  I'll try to get to that soon but I thought I'd post these quotes from Frost for now.

 

 

Talent is relative. Does Nebraska have the talent to win the B1G West? Yes, but we're facing three of the best developmental programs in the country in Iowa, Wisconsin and Northwestern to a lesser extent. 

 

Does Nebraska have the talent to win the B1G? No, but it's possible in a perfect storm type of situation.

 

Does Nebraska have the talent to make the playoff? No, and it isn't close. It would take multiple consecutive recruiting classes ranked in the top 10, which just isn't possible for Nebraska.

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17 minutes ago, QMany said:

That's not how it works, unless you assume no other team in the country has attrition. Some of those players still played and lost for Frost.

 

Sorry, but it does correlate when depth is a massive issue on the football team, especially when you look at a 3 year recruiting process equals 53%

Nebraska fans, "We have no depth at receiver!!!!," 6 Mike Riley WR recruits transfer, 50% of which before frost gets to campus. "We  have no OLB's or no ILB's!!," 7 of which didn't finish their career at UNL. 

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