Catching a glimpse of Frost is the hot thing to do in Chicago
CHICAGO — Phillip Anthony was beaming like a child who just caught a foul ball. He saw him. He saw Scott Frost again.
“It’s crazy,” Anthony said, leaning against a wall amid the ruckus of the autograph portion of Big Ten media days. “It’s so cool.”
On the fourth floor of the Marriott Downtown on Tuesday morning, all 14 Big Ten coaches sat at tables and managed the assembly line of fans with hats and tiny helmets they wanted signed. Frost sat at a table in the corner of the cramped ballroom. He sat next to former Husker Aaron Taylor, the 1997 Outland Trophy winner, who was in town to be honored at the Big Ten luncheon Tuesday afternoon. Herbie Husker watched over Frost’s shoulder as he signed Sports Illustrated covers and footballs, even a miniature UCF helmet.
“Thanks for coming,” Frost would say with a smile, handing back a hat.
Frost’s line was, by a wide margin, the longest on Tuesday for autographs. Because people like Anthony wanted a glimpse at the new Husker coach.
Anthony, a Nebraska graduate and native of Lexington, Nebraska, drove with a friend, Harrison Schneider, two hours to Chicago to see Frost. Anthony was a freshman at Nebraska when the Huskers rolled over Florida to win the 1995 national title. He was on campus when Frost first started in 1996, was in the stands when Frost was booed against Central Florida in 1997 and remembers that national title speech in Miami.
He’s thrilled to have Frost back in Lincoln.
“It’s been a long time sort of wandering around, not doing much,” Anthony said of the Nebraska football program. “And you know, even if (Frost) doesn’t win a national championship, it’s still nice to have him back.”
Schneider has been coming to this event at Big Ten media days for years. His brother used to be the football media contact for Michigan. Schneider owns season tickets to both Wisconsin and Michigan. But the Nebraska table was the first stop for the duo.
“I think it’s exciting,” Schneider said of the Frost hire. “Certainly it’s exciting because you want to have a competitive conference. And Nebraska, obviously, one reason the Big Ten was interested in Nebraska is because they have a great program. And so they’ve been down a little bit, but everyone has their ups and downs.”
Anthony moved from Nebraska to Wisconsin in 2008. He’s stayed a Husker fan since. He’s taken some heat from Gopher and Badger fans for years, especially during the Mike Riley era.
But now Anthony finally feels good about his program. Feels like it’s headed in the right direction with his former classmate at the helm. He plans on taking good care of the scarlet hat he got signed on Tuesday. He certainly doesn’t plan on wearing it.