Nebraska players received an immediate boost in our college fantasy rankings when Scott Frost decided to become the Head Coach. They have 2018’s 28th toughest schedule, and they’ll be exciting to watch with the new offense along with the possibility of starting Freshman Adrian Martinez who excelled in the spring game.
CFBDynasty met with Zach Hall, writer for CFFChamps.com, and he provides some great insight to what we should expect from the Nebraska offense in 2018. Check out their website and also follow them on Twitter @CFFChamps.
What are your general expectations for the Nebraska offense in Scott Frost's 1st season?
Nebraska had one of the worst rushing attacks last year (121stoverall) and fell towards the bottom half of the FBS in total offense and scoring offense. On the other hand Scott Frost was rolling at UCF. The turn around won’t happen overnight but there will be offensive improvement this year. The fact that they will be starting a new QB and running a new offensive scheme against some of the best defenses out there (Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan State, and Iowa to name a few) leads me to believe they are going to have some rough weeks this season but I also think you are going to see flashes of what this offense will be in the years to come and it’s going to be exciting for Nebraska fans and CFF fans. Inconsistent but improving. They have some playmakers on this team. Adrian Martinez, Stanley Morgan, JD Spielman, Greg Bell and a healthy Tre Bryant.
Will Adrian Martinez be the starter? How do you see the QB position playing out this year?
Scott Frost held a Peach Bowl practice one morning. After that practice he answered questions at a news conference for close to an hour about their upcoming game against Auburn. Immediately after the presser Frost boarded a plane with QB coach Mario Verduzco where they flew out to see 4 star QB Adrian Martinez. After an in-home visit that evening Frost was back on a plane and made it back to Orlando just in time to get to practice. Martinez was the QB of the future according to Frost.
After missing his senior year due to a shoulder injury he enrolled at Nebraska early and from the sound of it he had some rust to shake off. By the time the spring game rolled around though Martinez looked the part. He was 10-13-0 with 114 yards and 1 TD. He also ran for 60 yards and 3 TDs. Tristan Gebbia also performed pretty well in the spring game and you hear great things about his leadership but Martinez is the guy they needed for this offense (which is why Frost made a cross country trip on little sleep while preparing for a huge bowl game for UCF). We saw why during the spring game.
We also saw what Frost did at UCF in 2016 when he took over. He had 2015 starter Justin Holman back at QB but gave the nod to Milton because Milton was the future of that offense and that program. While Gebbia isn’t a returning starter, Martinez is the future and I see no reason why Frost doesn’t go the same route we saw in UCF. It would not surprise me one bit though if Gebbia got some time early but this will be Martinez job by the end of the season.
We were at the Under Armour All-American game and watched Maurice Washington ball out. Nebraska has Greg Bell and Tre Bryant who likely will battle out for the most carries. Who will win the job? How will the carry distribution break down?
I was watching that game on TV and knew that Nebraska was in the running with Washington and couldn’t help but get excited about the possibilities if he committed. It was a big commitment for this rushing attack but he isn’t even on campus yet (academics) and from everything I’ve seen he isn’t expected to play this year.
I think this battle is going to come down to Greg Bell and Tre Bryant regardless of Washingtons status and I’m giving the edge to #1 JUCO RB Greg Bell. He improved as the spring wore on and was the best RB in the spring game. Averaging 6.8 yards per carry and easily the best playmaker at RB they had.
Tre Bryant was the ONE bright spot in that rushing attack last year though. I actually had quite a bit of hope for that offense the first 1.5 games. Then Bryant went down with that knee injury and we didn’t see him again the rest of the season or this spring. It’s still unclear what the specific injury actually is so I don’t have real high hopes at this time for Bryant. But if he can start fall camp healthy he will challenge Bell and take some carries away.
They also have a few guys in Devine Ozigbo, Mikale Wilbon, and Jaylin Bradley who could get some carries. I actually think Bradley could be the guy that emerges out of this group as the third option.
Right now though it feels like it will be Bell’s job. A healthy Bryant and I see them splitting carries. Similar to what Frost did at UCF. (Keep in mind they’ll be splitting carries with the QB as well). I think you’ll see close to a 60/40 split (RB carries) with a healthy Bryant. If Bryant isn’t healthy though Bell’s stock rises quite a bit in my mind and turns into a RB with good CFF value.
Who are the key pass catchers this season for the Huskers?
You have to start with Senior Stanley Morgan. As crazy as this sounds, Stan had the best single season in receiving at Nebraska ever last year. Hauling in 61 receptions for 986 yards and 10 TDs. All the talk this spring and summer has been if Stanley will be the first 1,000 yard single season receiver in Nebraska history. He was out some this spring but will once again be a go-to guy in the offense this year. He will be the Tre’Quan Smith of this Husker team (59-1171-13 LY at UCF).
Next is a guy I really like in JD Spielman. He made plays all over the field last year. Receiving 55-830-2, rushing 10-73, and had 27 kick returns averaging 24.8 yards per return and 1 TD. He was one of their best playmakers as just a redshirt freshman. He’ll only get better and he should excel in this offense.
The third option will be Tyjon Lindsay. He came to Nebraska with a lot of hype during and after his recruitment and while he did see the field as a freshman he didn’t make a real big impact. He is a great athlete though and should be better in this Frost offense. Production will be less than Stan and Spielman, but definitely a guy to keep on your radar especially if you are in a dynasty league.
For Dynasty Leaguers, who are the top young players to watch?
Top guy is obviously QB Adrian Martinez. He’s being drafted in re-draft leagues and I imagine he’ll be one of the young QBs taken early in dynasty drafts (I just saw him go in RD 4 in a dynasty draft). Much like Milton I think he’ll have an average freshman year and have a chance to really break out his sophomore year.
WR Spielman is the next guy I like quite a bit.
A freshman to keep your eye on is Miles Jones. He is a guy that has been working with both the Running Backs and Receivers this summer learning at both positions. He is a guy they want to use all over the field.
A few more to keep in mind…
RB Maurice Washington
TE Austin Allen (big target, good spring)
WR Jaevon McQuitty (stepped up with Stan and Spielman out of spring game)