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LINCOLN — Before Scott Frost and wife Ashley announced a six-figure donation to the Teammates Mentoring program on the Husker Sports Network on Thursday, the coach touted his team's culture and chemistry in the wake of several transfers.
On Tuesday, three players on NU's offense — quarterback Luke McCaffrey, receiver Kade Warner and center Will Farniok — entered the transfer portal. McCaffrey's departure — just days after Frost expressed confidence to four reporters that McCaffrey would remain with the team — was particularly frustrating to fans and former Nebraska football players who expressed their thoughts on Twitter.
"We were surprised," Frost said of the transfers. "You always see them coming a little bit, so we're doing everything we can to have the right guys in the program but, to be honest with you, I love where the team is right now, and I can't spend one second worrying about kids who aren't on the team. I got too many great players and great kids on this team. I want guys who want to be here and want to fight with me and want to fight with each other, and we've got a whole locker room full of them."
Frost said he'd rather watch his remaining quarterbacks — starter Adrian Martinez and backups Logan Smothers, Heinrich Haarberg, Matt Masker and Brayden Miller — go through spring camp before deciding whether NU has to add another QB to replace McCaffrey.
"Hopefully, we have the answer right here in our building and, if we don't, we keep our options open," Frost said.
Wave a fond farewell to Luke McCaffrey and wish him luck, writes Tom Shatel, but it's a shame we never saw all he was capable of in a Husker uniform.
Scott and Ashley jointly announced the donation to Teammates. The two have a donation challenge in which they'll match all outside donations up to $125,000, the coach said.
Teammates, a organization started by Tom Osborne, pairs adults with students who would benefit from mentors. Sometimes, those students don't have two parents.
Scott Frost said he and Ashley have "strong feelings" about the work Teammates does. Scott was a foster parent when he was an assistant at Oregon while Ashley, in her first media appearance since arriving at Nebraska with Scott, said she grew up without a "father figure" in the home.
"We have a fatherlessness problem in the United States of America," Frost said. "We see it all the time in coaching, that kids who come from good homes with good mothers and good fathers just seem to get along better more often than kids that don't have that advantage. Teammates is doing a good job of bridging that gap."
Ashley said Teammates provides "another person for these young people to connect with, learn from and build relationships with."
Ashley said she "loves the community" of Lincoln, has developed really good friends and has a job — and two kids — "that keep me really busy." Scott said he keeps Ashley "out of the spotlight as much I can," but the two believe in Teammates.
It was Frost's third conversation with the media in the past week as the Huskers have reconvened on campus for winter conditioning. On Thursday, Husker players posted a coordinated slew of tweets supporting the culture and chemistry of the program in the wake of McCaffrey, Warner and Farniok's departures.
"Can’t describe how much I love being around my brothers and coaches!" sophomore outside linebacker Garrett Nelson tweeted.
Tweeted senior safety Deontai Williams: "We are all dedicated and committed to putting Nebraska back on top!"
"I play for the name on my chest, not the name on my back," freshman offensive tackle Turner Corcoran tweeted.
Frost said 90% of players have shown up to the optional workouts early in the week despite one of the biggest snowstorms in the city's history.