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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Nebraska
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  A week after Nebraska fired head coach Scott Frost, the team's defensive coordinator is out. Interim head coach Mickey Joseph said Sunday that defensive coordinator Erik Chinander was fired a day after Nebraska gave up 580 yards and 49 points in lopsided loss to No. 6 Oklahoma. Chinander had led Nebraska's defense since Frost took over the team in 2018, but his unit floundered this year as the Cornhuskers fell to 1-3. A week before the 49-14 loss to Oklahoma, Nebraska gave up 642 yards in a 45-42 upset by Georgia Southern that preceded Frost's firing. "We appreciate Erik and the work and dedication he has given to our football program," Joseph said in a statement. "At this time, I feel that it is in the best interest of the Nebraska football program to take the leadership of the defense in another direction." Special teams coordinator Bill Busch was promoted to defensive coordinator. Athletic director Trev Alberts said after Joseph was named interim head coach that he would have the power to make any changes he thought were needed. Alberts fired Frost after he went 16-31 in a little more than four seasons. - AP College Football

rSr/2023 DE Ochaun MathisNebraska
News Source: AP College Football
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  Nebraska fired Scott Frost on Sunday, the situation so dire in the once-proud football program that athletic director Trev Alberts made the move only three weeks before the coach's contract buyout would have been cut in half. The Cornhuskers lost 45-42 to Georgia Southern as a three-touchdown favorite at home Saturday night, and the student section chanted “Fire Frost" at the end of the game. Frost was 16-31 three games into his fifth season, and his .340 winning percentage was second-worst among Nebraska coaches who lasted more than four years. Associate head coach Mickey Joseph was named interim coach for the rest of the season. The Huskers play No. 6 Oklahoma at home this week.

Joseph, 54, is the first Black head coach at Nebraska in any sport and among four new members of the staff this season. Like Frost, he is a former Nebraska quarterback, having played from 1988-91. "Earlier today I met with Coach Frost and informed him we were making a change in the leadership of our football program, effective immediately," Alberts said in a statement. "Scott has poured his heart and soul into the Nebraska football program both as a quarterback and a head coach, and I appreciate his work and dedication. After the disappointing start to our season, I decided the best path forward for our program was to make a change in our head coaching position." Joseph returned to Nebraska as wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator after coaching receivers at LSU from 2017-21. He also was LSU's assistant head coach his last two seasons there. Alberts made a surprising move last November when he announced he would bring back Frost after what turned out to be a 3-9 season. Frost fired four offensive assistants, had his pay cut from $5 million to $4 million and agreed to having his buyout drop from $15 million to $7.5 million on Oct. 1. - AP College Football


rJr/2024 QB Casey ThompsonNebraska
News Source: AP College Football
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  SEPT 5 BIG TEN CO-OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Anthony Grant, Nebraska, RB - Jr. - Buford, Ga. - Buford,...Posted the highest rushing total for a Nebraska player since 2020 in the Huskers' 38-17 win against North Dakota..Scored touchdowns on the opening drive of each half, rushing 19 yards for a score to open the game, and adding a 46-yard touchdown to open the third quarter scoring...Scored two touchdowns for the second straight game, the first Husker running back to do that since 2018, and became the first Nebraska player since 2010 to crack the century mark in each of his first two games as a Husker...Earns his first career Offensive Player of the Week award...Last Nebraska Offensive Player of the Week: Devine Ozigbo (Nov. 12, 2018). - Big Ten Football

rJr/2024 RB Anthony GrantNebraska
News Source: Big Ten Football
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  Anthony Grant ran for 189 yards and two touchdowns, with the second one breaking a tie late in the third quarter and helping Nebraska go on to a 38-17 victory over North Dakota on Saturday. The Cornhuskers (1-1) bounced back from their loss to Northwestern in Ireland last week and ended a seven-game losing streak with their first win since Oct. 2. Nebraska scored on its opening possession for a second straight week but not again until the third quarter. Boos rained down on the Huskers as they jogged to the locker room at half tied at 7 with their opponent from the Football Championship Subdivision. The Huskers were up 17-7 in the middle of the third after Casey Thompson's 19-yard pass to Nate Boerkircher and Timmy Bleekrode's 46-yard field goal, but the Fighting Hawks (0-1) scored twice in just under four minutes to tie it again.

Isaiah Smith broke a 63-yard run to the Nebraska 6 before Brady Stevens kicked a 23-yard field goal. The Hawks got the ball right back on Wyatt Pedigo's interception, and Tyler Hoosman scored two plays later from the 3. Thompson then drove the Huskers 75 yards in five plays, with Grant breaking a 46-yard run to give them the lead for good. The Huskers scored two touchdowns in the last six minutes to put away the Hawks. The Hawks punted on their first four possessions before going 80 yards in 16 plays to tie it 7-7 at half. Tommy Schuster converted a third-and-12 and a fourth-and-1 before flipping a 1-yard touchdown pass to Adam Zavalney just before half. - Nebraska/AP College Football


rJr/2024 RB Anthony GrantNebraska
News Source: Nebraska/AP College Football
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  2022 PRESEASON WUERFFEL TROPHY (COMMUNITY SERVICE) WATCHLIST: Ethan Piper, Nebraska, Jr., OL,... Big Ten Distinguished Scholar (2021, 2022)...Academic All-Big Ten (2020, 2021)...Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll (Fall 2019, 2020, 2021; Spring 2020, 2021, 2022)...Sam Foltz 27 Hero Leadership Award (2021). - Nebraska Football

rSo/2025 C Ethan PiperNebraska
News Source: Nebraska Football
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  All of the pieces were there for Nebraska's offense early in the game against Northwestern. A clean pocket? Check. Quick, accurate passes from Casey Thompson? Check. Tough yards on the ground when they needed it? Check. But, the challenge in all of those arenas is doing it consistently for all four quarters, something that failed Nebraska's offense in a 31-28 loss to Northwestern on Saturday. Head coach Scott Frost turned over play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Mark Whipple, and a pass-heavy opening drive might have been the result of Whipple's typical offensive system. However, second-half struggles led to an interesting response from Frost after the game. "I think we're going to have to learn as an offensive staff that you have to be a little creative in this league," Frost said. "So, we have some things that we can work on. I thought we did a lot of good things, but it's got to be more of a complete game."

In the run-heavy Big Ten, creativity can mean finding the right moments to pound the rock and the right moments to air it out. When the pocket held up, Thompson showcased the arm talent that helped him land NU's starting job in the offseason. Thompson completed eight passes to Trey Palmer and six to tight end Travis Vokolek, who would have played a big role in the second half if he wasn't forced from the game due to an injury. Thompson's pair of fourth-quarter interceptions were certainly game-changers, but so was a controversial fumble call on Isaiah Garcia-Castaneda. The wideout appeared to have a knee down at the same time a Northwestern defender ripped the ball out, and a video review upheld the call of a fumble on the field. - Lincoln Journal Star


rJr/2024 QB Casey ThompsonNebraska
News Source: Lincoln Journal Star
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  To a man, the Huskers swear that Northwestern didn't wear out their defense on Saturday. The Wildcats did not run for 214 yards because NU got tired. Chris Kolarevic says the Huskers struggled to defend some of NW's "tricky" concepts. Motions, shifts - "We did a good job preparing for them," Kolarevic said, "But that's something that's a little difficult (to defend)." Ochaun Mathis said NU struggled with communication. Not all game, Mathis said. But in a few key moments, the Huskers didn't call plays fast enough. Nelson had no explanation. "That just can't happen," he said. "That's not how you win Big Ten football." - Lincoln Journal Star

rSr/2023 DE Ochaun MathisNebraska
News Source: Lincoln Journal Star
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  2022 PRESEASON ALLSTATE AFCA GOOD WORKS TEAM NOMINEE: Ethan Piper, University of Nebraska,...Piper played in five games in 2021, including starting the first three games at left guard. Against Fordham, Piper helped Nebraska total 300 yards rushing and 300 yards passing in the same game for only the third time in program history. - Nebraska Football

rSo/2025 C Ethan PiperNebraska
News Source: Nebraska Football
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  Casey Thompson will start as quarterback for Nebraska's season opener in Ireland, NU coach Scott Frost announced Thursday night on his monthly radio show. "Casey's going to be the guy," Frost said on the Huskers Radio Network while complimenting the other four scholarship QBs on the roster including backup Chubba Purdy and Logan Smothers. Frost said he "wouldn't be surprised" if more than one plays. But it's the high-profile transfer from Texas who will get the first rep overseas against Northwestern. Thompson threw 24 touchdowns last season for the Longhorns. He's the most experienced QB on the roster, and he's had the edge since arriving for spring camp. His accuracy and velocity improved after a surgery on his hand this summer; Thompson played the last half of UT's season with torn ligaments. "There's no substitute for having played a lot of college football and there's been fewer mistakes from him," Frost said. "It really was a big jump too from spring ball to fall and I think that thumb was probably bothering him worse than he let on. He's throwing it way better now in fall. He threw it well in spring but he's got a lot of zip on it now." - Lincoln Journal Star

rJr/2024 QB Casey ThompsonNebraska
News Source: Lincoln Journal Star
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  Most players on Nebraska's roster have no doubt about which position they play. Rahmir Johnson has played both running back and slot receiver during fall camp. The question posed Thursday: What position is he? Johnson said he's a wideback. In other words, a positionless offensive weapon who can line up in the backfield or out wide like what Deebo Samuel did for the San Francisco 49ers a year ago. Johnson draws on different players for inspiration, though. He mentioned Tavon Austin, De'Anthony Thomas and Christian McCaffrey as the players he envisions his role being like - short, agile runners who can take quick carries and catch passes all the same.

Add in some work as a gunner on the special teams unit, and it's clear Nebraska is setting Johnson up to be a do-it-all player for the 2022 season - a role he's completely embraced. "It's definitely different from running back and I have a lot to learn but I'm adjusting well," Johnson said. "I'm a fast learner so I'm kind of catching on but there's still some stuff I have to pick up on. I have two good coaches that are helping me do that and I'm enjoying it." The idea of working Johnson in at slot receiver was born earlier in camp when NU had a few receivers unable to practice. - Lincoln Journal Star


rSo/2025 RB Rahmir JohnsonNebraska
News Source: Lincoln Journal Star
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  Nebraska plans to fly all 110 of its training camp participants to Ireland. Since it's a Big Ten game, some of those players won't suit up. That means hard choices for playing time - none tougher than the one Scott Frost and Bryan Applewhite face with NU's running backs. But it's a good problem to have for a program that has struggled to keep backs healthy and productive since Frost's arrival. Through three weeks of camp, Frost said he's thrilled with their progress. "Our running back room has really made a giant leap," Frost said Saturday. "It's going to be tough to separate yourself from that group with the guys that we have in that room." Returning backs Rahmir Johnson, Gabe Ervin and Jaquez Yant are better than they were, Frost said, and they've been pushed by new additions Anthony Grant, Ajay Allen and Emmett Johnson. "The competition has spurred them to play harder," Frost said. Applewhite, the Husker running backs coach "demands a lot" of them, too. "He's coaching them hard," Frost said. "And he's getting a lot out of them."

Asked specifically about the 6-foot, 215-pound Ervin, Frost said the redshirt freshman from Buford, Georgia, is better than he was in 2021, when as a true freshman he started several games before tearing his ACL in the loss at Oklahoma. Ervin sat out Saturday, Frost said, because his knee was "flaring up a little." "He looks, bigger, faster," Frost said. "Hitting holes really hard." Johnson, Frost said, has done a "great job" of developing his skill set after the 5-foot-10, 185-pounder had 690 rushing and receiving yards last season. Johnson, better in an open space than the phone booth of the tackle box, has also been working as a slot receiver. - Lincoln Journal Star


rFr/2026 RB Gabe Ervin Jr.Nebraska
News Source: Lincoln Journal Star
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  Injuries in fall camp can sink a season before it ever begins. Nebraska's avoidance of any serious injuries ended with Scott Frost revealing Saturday that freshman wide receiver Decoldest Crawford will be out "for an extended period of time" due to a knee injury suffered in a team scrimmage. Frost said Crawford was having a strong fall camp. Other receivers name-dropped by Frost include Alante Brown, Omar Manning, Oliver Martin, Ty Hahn, Brody Belt and Wyatt Liewer. "I think we're deeper there than we've ever been with guys that are capable of going on the field," Frost said. "I think we're going to be able to keep our best on the field when we need to and (when we) rotate, feel like there's not much of a drop-off." - Lincoln Journal Star

Fr/2026 WR Decoldest CrawfordNebraska
News Source: Lincoln Journal Star
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  Even Ochaun Mathis, one of the country's top-rated transfers who spent last winter being wooed by college programs, was impressed by Stephon Wynn's credentials. When Wynn, the former Alabama defensive lineman, committed to Nebraska in May, Mathis had the same thought as most Husker fans. "He came from Bama," Mathis said. "We got a guy. We got a stud." With such pedigree comes a bevy of questions. Wynn said "everybody" on his new team wants to know what it's like to play for Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide, what it's like to win a national title. And the big one: What's the secret to Bama's success? "Consistency," Wynn said when asked that question Monday. "If you come in and have a bad day, you're gonna lose your job. So it's about always being competitive, always trying to get better, never settle."

Wynn learned that lesson the hard way during his four seasons in Tuscaloosa. Despite arriving on campus as a high-end four-star recruit, Wynn appeared in just 12 games under Saban. Why? Wynn says injuries played a role. His ankle, his knee, a torn labrum. "Every camp I (participated in) there, I was hurt," Wynn said. "That caused a lot of issues with my playing time." It also tested Wynn's mettle. While waiting four seasons for limited opportunities, Wynn had to remind himself that he "wasn't doing this (work) for nothing." He summoned internal motivation from outworking his teammates. And he remembered the slogan his parents taught him growing up. "If you can be more, do more," Wynn said. - Omaha World-Herald


rSr/2023 DT Stephon Wynn Jr.Nebraska
News Source: Omaha World-Herald
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  When Nebraska got together for a full-pad scrimmage, Ochaun Mathis was surprised at the intensity of the practice. So far, Chinander said fellow edge rushers Garrett Nelson and Caleb Tannor have moved around defensively for certain packages due to their knowledge of the system, while Mathis has primarily played as a defensive end. There's been a slight adjustment from his TCU days to Nebraska's defensive system, where Mathis has operated on the boundary to ensure he can rush the passer as much as possible. But, as is the case with most challenges that come his way, Mathis has been quick to attack it head-on. "Ochaun's done a great job," Chinander said. "(There's a) different structure to the defense, he was off the ball a lot last year it seemed, so he's had to play a little more true defensive end for us, which he's done a great job responding to coach Dawson. He's picked up everything, he's a big-time effort guy and he showed up at the scrimmage." Mathis' practice success is another reason why Nebraska's coaching staff is expecting a lot from the defensive line.

Nelson, Tannor, Jimari Butler and Blaise Gunnerson are all likely to contribute at edge rusher, while the likes of Nash Hutmacher, Ty Robinson, Colton Feist and Stephon Wynn Jr. have stood out along the interior of the line. The defensive line is likely to be a strength for Nebraska, and it's something the entire coaching staff is counting on the lead the defensive effort. "Those guys up front are working as hard as my guys in the back end and we all know that stuff works hand in hand," defensive backs coach Travis Fisher said. "If my guys can cover for a half a second extra, it helps those guys up front to get to the quarterback. If those guys up front can fluster that quarterback up top, it helps my guys as well." Mathis said his fellow edge rushers welcomed him with "open arms" early in the process and are easy to work with in practice or while watching film. - Lincoln Journal Star


rSr/2023 DE Ochaun MathisNebraska
News Source: Lincoln Journal Star
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  Nebraska football added yet another transfer to its secondary just two weeks before its trip to Ireland. On Monday afternoon, NU announced the addition of former Central Florida and Florida State defensive back Brandon Moore, who played for current Husker defensive backs coach Travis Fisher in 2017 at UCF. Moore started 21 games for the Golden Knights, then tore his ACL early in the 2019 season. He transferred to Florida State, then left that school in August 2021. He did not play last season. He'll arrive at NU for his sixth-and-final year, presumably. The 6-foot, 180-pounder had 77 tackles and two interceptions over the 2017 and 2018 seasons with UCF. The Huskers' have strong competition at all four defensive back spots, Fisher said on Monday. - Lincoln Journal Star

rSr/2023 CB Brandon MooreNebraska
News Source: Lincoln Journal Star
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