Spring football: Scott Frost talks Husker quarterback play, winter conditioning and more

LINCOLN — Nebraska football coach Scott Frost is still in talking points mode as the Huskers prepare to begin his first spring practice next Friday. Frost appeared Wednesday night on Sports Nightly to take calls and touched on a variety of topics, including the quarterback race that’s likely to dominate conversation over the next two months.

Patrick O’Brien, Tristan Gebbia and Adrian Martinez are the candidates. Frost has a blank slate for all three.

“Everybody’s going to get a fair shake,” Frost said. Though fans may generally believe that a quarterback has to be a speedy runner — the coach joked about Johnny Rodgers and Mike Rozier — to operate Frost’s system, he’s not necessarily looking for that, just a guy who, when the yards are there, can get them.

Frost said the returning quarterbacks, O’Brien and Gebbia have been doing a “great job” and getting stronger. Frost complimented their passing skills.

More notes from the chat:

» Frost said NU players have made gains — well, gains through weight losses — during winter conditioning with new Nebraska strength and conditioning coach Zach Duval. The players had a 52-day layoff — in a separate interview, left guard Jerald Foster told The World-Herald the players knew how rigorous the workouts would be beforehand — and had to get to work quickly.

“I’ve seen some before (and) after pictures, and it kind of looks like ‘The Biggest Loser,'” Frost said of winter conditioning. “You see a picture of someone seven weeks ago before they started with Coach Duval, and there’s guys making really good gains and cutting body fat.”

Body fat percentage was one of Frost’s concerns in January.

» Frost intends to implement some form of the Unity Council — a player-led group used during the coaching days of Tom Osborne — but likely will wait until year two, so the coaches have time to instill their culture.

» Nebraska wants and needs to win regional recruiting battles in border states, Frost said.

» Frost is a believer in morning practices, in part, he said, because athletes are at their “high testosterone point” during the mornings. Nebraska will practice during the morning in spring and will try do so in the fall if classes permit it.

» Nebraska’s best five offensive linemen will play. Many of NU’s head coaches and offensive line coaches have said this over the years. Frost said he’s willing to move players who are backing up another position if they can start somewhere else.

» Frost said he likes the December signing period but will generally not use official visits in the spring, which is now allowed by the NCAA. Instead, Frost intends to use them in the fall for gamedays.