LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska coach Scott Frost didn’t think Day 2 of spring football was as good as Day 1, but that’s to be expected. The Huskers are returning from spring break and adjusting back to Frost’s “rise and grind” mentality.
While Frost isn’t surprised by the slight drop-off, it’s also not an expectation he wishes to uphold going forward.
“Every time we’re on the field, I want it to be better than the time before,” Frost said after practice Tuesday. “We want to set a new standard every time we’re on the field, and we’re competing against ourselves to beat that the next time.”
Nebraska’s Tuesday practice kicked off at 7:45 a.m. and ended just after 10 a.m. Some players were at the Hawks Championship Center as early as 5:30 a.m., which has been an adjustment for many.
“Honestly, I’m probably not the biggest morning person ever, but you get used to waking up so it becomes routine,” senior linebacker Dedrick Young II said.
Young’s not alone. Both senior wide receiver Stanley Morgan Jr. and junior defensive back Lamar Jackson admitted it’s been an adjustment.
“It’s taken me half of a meeting to get woken up completely but once you get out there and start competing, you have to wake up,” Jackson said. “You don’t have a choice.”
While it’s a work in progress, the players already have seen benefits to the early morning practices and workouts. Young, for example, likes the fact that he’s done earlier in the day with practice. That allows him the rest of the day for class or whatever else is on his agenda.
For Morgan, the early practices have allowed for more recovery time. The recovery aspect was one of the factors in Frost’s decision to move practices to the morning. Another was providing a schedule that would allow players to be the best versions of themselves on and off the practice field.
“None of these players will miss practice, so we’re going to get them up and get them moving,” Frost said before spring break. “We’ll have better attendance in classes. We’ll have better attentiveness in classes, and these guys are going to flourish better on and off the field because of it.”
So far, so good, too. Morgan talked about how the early morning practices have allowed him to prepare like a professional and come ready every day to lead. As for Jackson, he used spring break to get himself ready for spring ball and has felt he’s handled the changes well so far.
That doesn’t mean it won’t still take some work. Frost’s expectations are that Day 3 will be better than Day 2, and the players will be ready to go at 7:45 a.m. sharp.
And for those who are notoriously not morning people, it’s a shift in thinking for the better.
“I am [a morning person] now,” Morgan said.