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Frost says Unity Council return is likely, Huskers stand by Washington

May 19, 2018 GMT

LINCOLN — Some of Scott Frost’s assistants knew Nebraska football inside and out.

“And some of them had no idea what they were getting into,” Frost said Thursday.

But when NU’s new coach and staff have gathered and reflected this spring about their wholesale move from Central Florida to Nebraska, they agree.

“Every single guy is thrilled to be here,” Frost said in an interview with The World-Herald, one of several media interviews he’s conducting this week. “The reception people have given our coaches, the warmth of the people, the facilities and the work environment, the resources we have to build the program the right way — we’re all glad we made the decision and looking forward to the process of building the program into a consistent winner.”

Ah, yes. The process. In various interviews, Frost offers a glimpse at his confidence in where Nebraska can go — “I don’t think there’s a scheme offensively that’s better than ours,” he said Thursday — but, prod him for an in-depth look at NU’s inner workings, and he defaults back to the standard on-the-record lines.

Player buy-in is high. Progress is being made. Every unit on Nebraska’s roster has “a long ways to go” on and off the field. Instead of identifying overarching strengths and weaknesses, Frost said the whole team needs development on and off the field.

Unlike spring practices, when he picked out a few, Frost identified no standout player leaders Thursday, saying the culture takes time to grow. Wins and losses aren’t his measurement right now or anytime soon. Set a new standard each day, then beat the standard. That’s the aim.

“When you’re following a process, wins take care of themselves,” Frost said. “Outside expectations don’t cross our minds at all.”

But Frost will eventually bring back a staple of the Husker glory days: the Unity Council, a player-led group within the team that helps manage problems and set the tone for the team.

“The Unity Council was really valuable for a long time,” Frost said. “When the time’s right, we’ll get that started. I don’t think it’s probably smart to elevate guys to the leadership Unity Council guys were given in the past until everybody understands our culture and what we’re expecting out of that.

“We might not have a Unity Council for a year. It might be sooner, it might be longer. When the time’s right and we have guys who are going to be culture-keepers around here, we’ll definitely get back to the tradition and making it an asset for a program.”

More notes from Frost’s conversations with The World-Herald and other media outlets:

» Nebraska is sticking by running back signee Maurice Washington, who’s finishing up high school back in California after being expelled from Trinity Christian School in Texas.

“When a kid commits to us, we’re committed to them,” Frost said. “Maurice has been through some real trials in the last couple years. We’re going to try and walk step-by-step with him and try to get him through this. Hopefully he’ll land in a good place.”

NU may not necessarily have to request an academic waiver for Washington, either.

“I don’t want to talk about waivers, I don’t want to guess on what the NCAA will do, I don’t want to guess on if we might file a waiver — we might not,” Frost said. “That’s assuming a lot, that we’d need to go to a waiver. Right now we’re trying to do what we can to get him eligible.”

» Frost doesn’t dish much about injuries unless a player is out for the season or taking a medical redshirt, so his injury updates on JoJo Domann, Michael Decker, Luke Gifford and Tre Bryant — all of whom missed spring football — weren’t in-depth.

”I can tell you I feel good about where everybody is,” Frost said. “There’s been a lot of progress. Trainer Mark (Mayer) has done a great job and we’re optimistic we’ll have all hands on deck this fall.”

Bryant has posted videos to social media that reflect he’s close to a comeback. He missed all but two games last season with knee pain and eventual knee surgery.

» Though “changes in the roster are inevitable,” Frost will generally not confirm players leaving the program. He’ll leave that for the players themselves.

“I don’t want to be presumptuous and say something about a kid,” Frost said. “I think it should be their opportunity to talk about their situation individually without us talking about it first.”

One player on the team, offensive lineman Bryan Brokop, has referred to himself as a “former” Nebraska football player on Twitter. NU has declined to confirm his departure because Brokop hasn’t announced if, indeed, a Twitter status reflects Brokop’s status with the program.

» Former Wahoo Neumann/UCF quarterback Noah Vedral, a walk-on for the spring, will be put on scholarship this summer. UCF had originally blocked Vedral’s scholarship release. NCAA rules would prohibit Vedral from playing this season unless Vedral is granted a waiver. Vedral becomes Nebraska’s fourth scholarship quarterback.

» Frost’s wife and son will move to Lincoln May 25. The family will live in south Lincoln.

“It’s hard for me to be away from my wife and my six-month-old,” Frost said. “I don’t think that unique to coaching. Anybody who’s in a business that moves, it’s hard to uproot families. I’ll be glad to finally get that over with.”