Spring break is often a time to relax and kick back for students of all ages. For the Nebraska football team, it’s an entirely different story.
The Huskers kicked off spring football practice last Friday. The one practice prior to spring break allowed Nebraska coach Scott Frost and his staff to set expectations for the players. He hoped seeing what would be expected upon their return would curb any potential problems.
“I think it’s going to also be beneficial to have them get a taste of what it’s like and then be able to go on spring break and come back with a little bit of an idea of what they have in front of them,” Frost said during his spring football press conference. “I think we’ll be able to accomplish more in spring because of that.”
With Nebraska now on spring break, many players are using the time to prepare for spring football and beyond. How exactly are some key Huskers spending their spring breaks? Let’s look at a few that have shared their plans.
QB Patrick O’Brien
With the quarterback position expected to be one of the bigger battles before fall, sophomore quarterback Patrick O’Brien is leaving nothing to chance. He’ll compete against redshirt freshman Tristan Gebbia and freshman Adrian Martinez.
“We’re not really worried about who’s a 1 or who’s a 2 right now,” Frost said. “Every competition is back open. Guys are going to get plenty of reps in practice the way we practice and I think it will probably figure itself out, and work itself out. Usually by the time you get as many reps as we get in in spring ball and fall camp it’s pretty obvious who the best guys are.”
And if the reps make all the difference, O’Brien is making the most of his time off. He is spending his spring break in Southern California training with Armed and Dangerous Football. Alongside NFL wide receiver Keenan Allen, O’Brien has been working through a series of drills as shown in videos shared on Twitter.
Light work today with @oneandonlyPOB working on throwing a 2 ball over a outside LB to @Keenan13Allen versus a 1 high safety! #armedanddangerous @adidasFballUS @dangerousdozen @HuskerFBNation @Huskers #areuarmedanddangerous #yoda #jedi pic.twitter.com/C8qnpLyvOz
— Armed&Dangerous QB (@ArmedDangerQBS) March 19, 2018
@oneandonlyPOB 2 @Keenan13Allen !! These guys had great chemistry all day today’s! This is a great start to spring break! I’m looking forward to the rest of the week, with more of my College Jedi’s in https://t.co/GGTncaNVAA for break! @HuskerFBNation @Huskers #armedanddangerous pic.twitter.com/sBujy9KFAM
— Armed&Dangerous QB (@ArmedDangerQBS) March 20, 2018
The extra time is sure to impress Frost, who was already pleased with what he’d seen from O’Brien and Gebbia during winter conditioning.
“Tristan and Patrick have been great,” Frost said. “They’ve been good teammates, they’ve been working hard to learn. I haven’t got to see them do much with a football yet but have been really impressed with how they’ve handled everything and how they’ve gone to work trying to learn the new offense. I’m excited to see what those guys can do.”
QB Adrian Martinez
Speaking of quarterbacks, Martinez is also using his spring break to get more reps. Elon Paige, a former division I and professional athlete, shared photos of Martinez in action on Tuesday.
Spring break drift with my lil bro @MartinezTheQB.
We leave no room for complacency.
We take none of the blessings God has given us for granted.
— Élon Paige (@ElonPaige) March 20, 2018
WR Jaevon McQuitty
Redshirt freshman wide receiver Jaevon McQuitty had a chance to play as a freshman, but a fall camp knee injury changed plans. With spring practice beginning, McQuitty is ready for another shot at making a splash in Nebraska’s offense.
In high school, McQuitty impressed with 147 receptions for 2,649 yards and 31 touchdowns. He was ranked the No. 1 player in the state by ESPN and No. 2 in the 247 Sports composite ratings.
— Breakthrough Sports (@Breakthrough_SP) March 21, 2018
OL Boe Wilson
One area that needed significant improvement during winter conditioning was the offensive line. Frost was pleased with the gains that group made over the last couple of months, and the differences in their bodies and strength is apparently very noticeable. Enough so, Frost is ready to see them in action this spring.
“I’m anxious to see them be stronger and be able to move people,” Frost said. “I’m anxious to see them be in better shape and be able to play at a fast pace. We got some athletic guys up there that Coach [Greg] Austin has to work with. This system does a lot of favors for offensive linemen. The tempo that we play at helps to wear out the defense. It keeps people on their toes. There’s a lot of things that can help an offensive line and I think those guys will learn to appreciate those things as we go forward.”
After a successful winter conditioning, sophomore Boe Wilson isn’t stopping now. He’s trading in sandy beaches for sandbags this spring break.
— Boe Wilson (@boewilson56) March 19, 2018
RB Greg Bell
Frost’s offense is known for its speed, but there’s another area he wants to work on at Nebraska: the run game.
“Our offense is always going to be committed to the run first. To varying degrees we’ve thrown it and run it depending on our talent,” Frost said. “We can’t go as an offense and really no offense can go if we can’t establish the run. I’ve been part of this offense for a long time and we’ve had guys like LeGarrette Blount, LaMichael James, and Kenjon Barner, De’Anthony Thomas, Royce Freeman, Adrian Killins [Jr.], and Otis [Anderson] down in Florida and those guys all became big-time players and players people recognized because of the style of our offense.
“So there is great opportunity here for running backs, today and in the future. We’ll let those guys battle it out and determine who the best guy is and see if we can fix the 1,000-yard problem.”
That’s music to many Nebraska fans’ ears. It’s also a great sign for players already on the Huskers roster and those incoming. For junior college transfer Greg Bell specifically, he’s putting in the work to hopefully earn a starting spot this fall.
— Greg Bell lll (@GregBell_) March 18, 2018
As Bell captioned his tweet, “no spring break.” He’s not the only Huskers player taking this approach.