Who did it better?

I imagine Scott Frost never calls in sick, let alone goes to see a doctor.
In my mind, he’s that tough.
Frost doesn’t mince words. He looks at reporters and makes eye contact. His demeanor is calm and confident. He is serious about the way he goes about things.
Now that his first recruiting class is in the books, I thought it would be interesting to compare and contrast his national signing day press conference with that of Mike Riley’s, exactly three years later.
Both had just around 60 days to put together a class, with the clear difference that Riley didn’t coach his former team in a bowl game.
Frost, much to the delight of Husker Nation, signed 24 players including six 4-stars. Riley signed just four 4-stars his first year, and just one, cornerback Eric Lee, has seen much playing time. Running back Jordan Stevenson left the program, while offensive linemen Christian Gaylord and Jalin Barnett have ridden the bench.
Frost’s class is ranked 21st by 247Sports, while Riley’s 2015 class came in at No. 30.
Frost was very matter-of-fact from behind the microphone and didn’t smile or crack a joke until over nine minutes in. Riley started out his press conference by apologizing for his cold.
Frost comes in and takes over a program that many considered too soft. Riley came in and took over a program that many considered too hard.
Frost said, “I’m not here to win February. I’m here to win football games in the fall,” promising to then develop those players. Riley was content with getting a few highly ranked recruits and talking about their potential.
Frost could sell Nebraska right away because he grew up here and played here. Riley had never been to this state until he was hired as the head coach.
Frost said he wants to change Nebraska’s offensive linemen body shapes, making them more physical, the way Nebraska’s championship teams used to look. Riley said he was really excited about having an offensive line that is really good and has good depth (something in three years he never accomplished).
Frost said the goal for spring football is to simply get better, “Day by day.” To work hard in the weight room, in the classroom and on the field. Riley mentioned numbers, that in 2015 he had 120 guys working out here in Lincoln prior to spring practice, comparing that with his Oregon State days when he might have access to about 70 guys. Nothing about improvement. Nothing about building chemistry. Nothing about the process.
Frost said he is placing an emphasis on walk-on players, noting their high success rate under Tom Osborne. Riley said he needed to hire someone to be in charge of the walk-on program, but that he “might have to take some time with it.” Seems as if it never really got going.
Frost added that a certain amount of toughness needs to come back to this program, one that used to pride itself in owning the fourth quarter.
“Usually a team takes on the quality of its leaders,” he said. “I want a tough quarterback. Nebraska football used to be built on being physical, being tough and working harder than the other team, and there’s some pieces that have been missing here that we’re going to try to get back.”
Twenty years ago, the Husker football program was the envy of college football. We were the Alabama of the 90s.
Hopefully, Frost’s ‘back to the future’ approach will be just what the doctor ordered.
DAVE BRADLEY can be reached at advertising@hamilton.net.

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