The dawn of new era is underway in Lincoln, Nebraska. The hiring of Scott Frost has breathed some much-needed new life into the Nebraska football program and the bar is being set high for the Cornhuskers as Frost attempts to build a team capable of pulling off similar feats he just achieved in Orlando with the UCF Knights.
Starting this spring, Frost will get a sense of how much work truly needs to be done to have Nebraska competing for a Big Ten title. He will have to work the recruiting pipelines in the coming years, but here are five names to watch this spring as Frost gets to work leaving his stamp on the program.
Adrian Martinez, QB
With Tanner Lee moving on to the NFL, Scott Frost already has to find a new starting quarterback for the program. Why not see if one of Nebraska’s first key recruits for Frost can stack up out of the gates? Martinez was a four-star commit to Frost and he was one of the early enrollees. The dual-threat option could get off to a quick start at Nebraska with a good showing in the spring.
Tre Bryant, RB
Nebraska is pretty solid at the running back position with Devine Ozigbo and Mikale Wilbon each back, but Bryant (above, right) had his promising 2017 season cut short after just two games due to a knee injury. How is he doing now and how much of an impact will he have in the offense under Frost? This spring could offer a glimpse into the future of Bryant if he is healthy and available.
Jake Stoll, TE
The tight end position will be a key one in the Nebraska offense under Frost, as it was at UCF. With Tyler Hoppes graduating, look for Stoll to step in to a more significant role this spring. As a freshman last year, Stoll caught eight passes for 89 yards and two touchdowns. That production should go up quickly if he can prove worthy of the starting job.
Deontai Williams, DB
With some open jobs in the secondary, Williams has a chance to jump right into a key role on defense this spring. The Jacksonville, Florida, native enrolled at Nebraska in January after playing at Jones County (Miss.) Junior College, where he was one of the top defensive backs in the junior college ranks.
Ben Stile, LB
As a backup redshirt freshman in 2017, Stile ended the season as Nebraska’s leader in sacks with 3.5. Not a bad debut for him after appearing in nine games. There will be good competition for starting jobs this spring though, so Stile will have to dig in and impress this spring if he is going to make a case for a starting job.
— Written by Kevin McGuire, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. McGuire also contributes to College Football Talk and The Comeback as well as hosts the No 2-Minute Warning Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @KevinOnCFB and Like him on Facebook.