By Tommy Rezac
Scott Frost’s first National Signing Day as Nebraska’s head football coach is in the books. The Huskers had 11 signees put pen to paper Wednesday to end with 24 prospects in the 2018 class; a class that ranks 22nd nationally on 247 Sports and 21st on Rivals.
““I don’t really care about the ranking it matters on one day and that’s today,” Frost said. “I’m not here to win February, I’m here to win football games in the fall.”
The Huskers had many positions of need to fill, particularly in the receiving core and in the secondary. Nebraska signed five defensive backs, four wide receivers, three linebackers and two linemen for both offense and defense. They also signed two running backs, a place-kicker, a quarterback and a tight end.
A closer look at all those who signed Wednesday can be found here.
Receivers and DBs are what Frost believed his team needed most.
“In general, we feel good about every player that we got,” Frost said. “There were some glaring needs. We needed a young quarterback. Our depth and numbers at receiver and DB were nowhere near the number we’d like to carry, so we definitely needed to get some guys in the defensive back field and out wide on offense.”
The top get in the secondary had to be safety Cam’ron Jones; a consensus four-star from Mansfield, Texas. Jones is ranked as the 23rd best safety in the country. He’s a versatile player that could also play corner and nickel. Frost said on the Big Ten Network on Wednesday morning that he feels like Nebraska got some of the better safeties in the nation with three-star C.J. Smith also signing.
“We definitely had some needs and some holes we needed to fill,” Frost said. “Safety was one of them. We feel like we signed as good of a class at safety as anyone in the country.”
Nebraska also signed three-star safety Deontai Williams from Jones County Junior College in December.
With a dozen signees already in place and eight of those already enrolled, Frost said the pressure on this National Signing Day was less than in years’ past.
“There wasn’t as much drama this year as most years in the past, because of the early signing day,” Frost said. “There weren’t as many kids out there. There weren’t as many spots at schools, so there was a little less drama than a normal signing day, but there were still some kids we were waiting on until the end, and we feel really good about how we finished out.”
The early signing period may have been especially convenient for Frost’s staff, who while trying to get the Huskers’ class pieced back together, also prepped and coached UCF to a 34-27 win over Auburn in the Peach Bowl on New Year’s Day.
“Yeah, it’s been a difficult couple of months,” Frost said. “It’s been exhausting for me and the coaching staff. We were basically doing two jobs for awhile. I really like the early signing period. I think it helps alleviate a lot of the strain of February and a lot of the drama in February.”
Exhausting might be an understatement for what Frost and his staff have undergone since being hired at Nebraska on Dec. 3. Of the 24 signees in Nebraska’s newest class, only five were recruited by Mike Riley and his staff.
As stated earlier, Frost (supposedly) doesn’t really pay attention to recruiting rankings, but he was proud of his staff’s efforts, considering where the class was ranked when they came in.
“Our guys wanted to go back and help those kids in Florida win a football game. Then, to win it was pretty special. To do all that while taking a class that was ranked, not that I pay attention, 94th or something like that, up to a top 25 or 20 class. It’s unprecedented what these guys have done. Really, it’s been less me than the group of ten guys that are working in the football office, and I can’t wait to watch what they accomplish here.”
Nebraska also finished this class with 17 walk-on commits; all of them coming from in-state. Frost admitted 17 is a little bit on the high end, but he felt that more walk-ons were needed this year to reestablish their presence and importance within the program.
“I think we wanted to introduce more this year to get the ball rolling,” Frost said. “We want to make sure we have the right guys in the program, the right walk-ons in the program and guys that we feel like can eventually be on the field and help this football team. That’s what has happened at Nebraska in the past, and I want that to happen again.”
Nebraska’s full class can be viewed here.
You can contact Tommy at 402-840-5226, or you can follow him on Twitter @Tommy_KLIN.