Nebraska football mailbag: Are Will Honas and Greg Bell as good as advertised?
Have Nebraska football questions? We’ve got answers. Join us every Wednesday for the Land of 10 Nebraska mailbag to talk all things Huskers. This week, we discuss linebacker Will Honas, running back Greg Bell, coach Scott Frost’s offense and more.
Just how good is Will Honas?
— Craig Gill (@steingiller) April 9, 2018
Having only had 30 minutes to watch practice during Week 2, I wouldn’t say I’m able to appropriately judge any player’s performance at this point. What I can say is that junior college transfer Will Honas was running with what appeared to be Nebraska’s top defense at practice during that time.
Beyond that, Honas has received nothing but praise this spring.
“We’re lucky to have Will Honas,” coach Scott Frost said following a spring practice. “I love him as a kid and as a player. His biggest challenge, I think, is talking louder. He’s kind of a quiet guy, and he’ll hit you, but we gotta get him running the defense and speaking up and barking out the commands to everybody and being a floor general. Everything else is going to come really natural to him.”
Sure, he may need to speak up a bit. When he met with reporters following a practice, he was fairly soft-spoken but was still very commanding in his presence. Part of his soft-spoken nature may be his adjustment to a new school and program.
Regardless, the 6-foot-2, 225-pound linebacker has plenty of potential.
“If we didn’t think he had a lot of raw skills, we wouldn’t have went so hard after him,” defensive coordinator Erik Chinander recently said, per the Lincoln Journal Star.
To answer your question, from the little I’ve seen and plenty I’ve heard, I’d say he’s pretty good.
Sounds like Greg Bell is the real deal. Do you think Zig and Wilbon will get much of a chance this fall with Bell and Washington and Jones coming in the summer?
— David (@thawildbunch) April 9, 2018
You are right about running back Greg Bell being the real deal. Everything I’ve heard points to him being a pretty spectacular player for Nebraska and running backs coach Ryan Held. And while your first point was not a question, I wanted to reiterate that.
With Bell, Maurice Washington and Miles Jones adding additional competition to the running backs room before the season begins, players like Devine Ozigbo and Mikale Wilbon are going to have a lot to prove for playing time. But Held will give the veteran players every opportunity to make their case.
“Early on, what I believe in is you give the seniors [the first opportunity] since they’ve earned the right, they’ve been here,” Held said following a spring practice. “Then everybody else kind of works their way up. Now once we get a scrimmage under us, we might look to change it throughout, and I’ll mix it up and mix different combinations of stuff.
“But I think the seniors have earned the right early on to get kind of first cracks at it since they’ve been in the program the longest.”
And then there’s Ozigbo, who does not lack any confidence.
“I feel like I can do this, no problem,” Ozigbo said recently. “This is basically what I did coming out of high school before these past three years. It kind of reminds me of that. It’s definitely something I can do, definitely something I want to excel in and I feel like I will be able to.”
So, I think Ozigbo and Wilbon will get their opportunities. We’ll see what they do with it, but I’m going to be particularly interested in watching both at the spring game on April 21.
How important is the spring game in the eyes of the Coaches, players and fans?
— Rob & Lori Files (@rflf092303) April 10, 2018
For coaches? I’ll let Frost speak for himself:
“Coaches usually go into that game hoping we get out healthy. I want the fans to get something for what they paid for so we’re going to play some football and we’ll make it look as good as we can and we’ll decide on the format this week.”
As for fans? Frost again:
“There’s 90,000 people coming. I want to put up the best show we can for them and show people the progress. Spring games are more for the fans than they are for the coaches.”
I think players fall somewhere in between.
OC coach Walter said new Huskers offense is the best offense he’s been part of. In fact this actual offense diffère from the one they used at UCF? Knowing that frost want to combine speed and power
— cedrick ceballos (@cedestas) April 9, 2018
I may have misunderstood, but I thought offensive coordinator Troy Walters meant Frost’s offense in general. When he made that comment, it didn’t seem specific to Nebraska like they’re changing too much. I think the Huskers’ 2018 offense will look a lot like the offense Frost and Walters ran at UCF.
@erinsorensen @Landof10Huskers I'm late/early for the mailbag. My bold prediction for spring is that Lamar Jackson gets moved to OLB. The more I hear from the coaches, the more I think it's possible. What do you think? His size/speed/athleticism/experience could be great at OLB.
— Bryce Coffendaffer (@BCoffendaffer) April 6, 2018
That is a bold prediction. While I can follow your train of thought, I don’t see Lamar Jackson moving from cornerback to outside linebacker. Long story short, they are overloaded at the linebacker position and they really do not need to take another player on.
Do you think they'll run the actual offense and defense in the spring game or will they pull a Diaco and run a pro-style O and 4-3 contain D for the sake of secrecy?
— David (@thawildbunch) April 9, 2018
I don’t believe there will be the secrecy like there was in 2017, but I’m sure we won’t see everything. I think it will be more about presenting what they believe best showcases the team where they are right at this moment. And it sounds like Frost feels the same.
While Nebraska doesn’t yet have a spring game format, the Huskers do want to “put up the best show” for fans. We’ll know soon enough what that means.
Can it be a question about the National Champion volleyball team? Huskers added Lexi Sun which is great, but doesn’t address the need for a setter. What’s the word on adding someone to the roster that can feed our outside hitters?
— O'Doyle Rules! (@gary_doyle) April 9, 2018
We can absolutely talk about volleyball. You bring up a good point about Nebraska not currently having a setter that will be on the team for the 2018 season. It’s a big deal, too. So much so, coach John Cook and his team can’t host a spring exhibition match in large part because of not having a setter available.
Freshman Nicklin Hames arrives this summer. She is the top-rated setter recruit in the nation according to PrepVolleyball.com. Cook wants another setter, and the Huskers will likely find that person via a transfer at the end of the spring semester. Cook has previously confirmed that two potential setters have already made visits to Nebraska.
More to come.
Have a question about Nebraska football? Tweet us @Landof10Huskers, and we’ll try to answer your question in a future mailbag. Check to see if your question already was answered by reading previous Nebraska football mailbags here.