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LINCOLN — Nebraska football coach Scott Frost said he and his staff considered addressing NU's quarterback depth even before Luke McCaffrey chose to transfer in late January.
"I didn't want to make any quick moves that might be mistakes," Frost said Thursday in a post-signing day press conference. He also wants to see what freshman quarterbacks Logan Smothers and Heinrich Haarberg have to offer. He said he's been impressed with both.
"I want to coach the kids who want to be here and the kids who are on our team," Frost said, declining to go into detail on what kind of quarterback Nebraska might seek out if it chose to explore the transfer portal.
But the Huskers are "intentionally keeping a couple spots in our pocket" to address the QB position and other spots.
Smothers, who was part of the team in 2020, is "as good an athlete as all those other guys in that quarterback room," Frost said.
"He's been really accurate," Frost said. Quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco is working with Smothers to improve the efficiency and velocity of Smothers' throwing motion.
"I have higher hopes for Logan than I did when we recruited him," Frost said.
Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos said that, despite a tough schedule, Nebraska will turn the corner in 2021 because of Scott Frost’s development of the roster, the improved size and strength on the lines and quarterback Adrian Martinez’s full comfort in the up-tempo offense.
More notes from Frost's chat:
» Nebraska is "really close" to making some announcements on hires for special teams analyst and director of player personnel. NU has to adhere to certain processes from a university perspective — background checks and job postings, for example — before the Huskers can announce the position.
» Frost said he's made calls to former Husker players in recent weeks to remind them he and Nebraska want them around the program, in light of some criticism lobbed at the program.
"Sometimes it gets a little personal here — because it's my home state — but, listen, we want every former player involved in this. We've called a bunch of them in the last couple weeks to make sure they know we want them around. Winning takes care of almost all of that."
Frost in particular said his comments about NU's director of player personnel position were "twisted" in a way to make it seem like Ron Brown did a poor job in the role.
"That's just dead wrong, that's twisting words," Frost said, "Anytime you're in front of the camera, a lot of words can be twisted. Ron's an unbelievably valuable part of the program, we've just got to get him in the role where he can do the most good."
With most of the work done by December, the February signing day passed Wednesday without much news for the Huskers, who officially added one scholarship player and a handful of walk-ons.
» Defenders Myles Farmer and Javin Wright are on a "good track" to be available for spring camp after suffering injuries during the 2020 season.
» Frost said Nebraska has more talent and depth at running back and receiver than it has had at any time since Frost's arrival.
"It's far and away the deepest and most talented as we've had in that room," Frost said of the wide receivers, which are still looking for consistency and experience.
» The coronavirus pandemic has kept most 2022 prospects from making visits for the past 11 months. Frost is looking forward to getting those players on campus, perhaps as soon as April, as the NCAA tries to figure out when prospects might be able to visit.
"We'll be in a better position when we can have official and unofficial visits," Frost said.
» As for the Super Bowl, Frost likes rooting for the Chiefs "because they're a Midwest team" but it's hard not to root for the Buccaneers because of former Husker players Ndamukong Suh, Lavonte David and Khalil Davis.
"I've got to pull for them because of the Nebraska ties," Frost said.
Will the Huskers finish with another top-25 recruiting class? Here's the latest look at where Nebraska lands in the national and Big Ten recruiting rankings.