Nugent: The portal strikes again, a growing problem for Scott Frost and the Huskers

Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Scott Frost talks to players during the second quarter of a...
Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Scott Frost talks to players during the second quarter of a NCAA Division I football game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. (Joshua A. Bickel/Pool via Ohio State Athletics)(Joshua A. Bickel | Joshua A. Bickel/Columbus Dispat)
Published: Jan. 26, 2021 at 6:36 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - This offseason is the most important in years, and it’s not going to be a good one on offense. Now that Luke McCaffrey has joined Wan’Dale Robinson in believing somewhere else is better than Nebraska. Add Kade Warner and Will Farniok to it, they too are also in the transfer portal.

Sure the additions of Markese Stepp from Southern Cal and Samori Toure from Montana are good, but ideally, you want them to come in and complement a strong offensive roster. Instead, it feels like they need to deliver. Luke is a playmaker, Wan’Dale is a playmaker. Who’s left that’s going to make plays?

There are several capable young players that can take that step but we have not seen it. Many of the receivers struggled to get on the field, ideally, a full offseason will help as they try to get up to speed.

Toure and Omar Manning just might be the Huskers best offensive weapons at receiver, two men who have not caught a pass at Nebraska.

As far as the portal and how it’s playing out for the Huskers, it feels like the team is hemorrhaging. You have the four offensive players who have left in the past month plus the five players from Florida in the 2020 class. It’s not as if you want to bring a player in from the portal every time you lose one, because many of the players on the portal rather be there than overcome adversity, but man it’s tough on Nebraska.

The coaches work so hard to put together a recruiting class and the moment things don’t go right players choose a different path. It’s almost as if re-recruiting your own players, who know your systems/schemes and can bring stability is just as important today as recruiting players outside your program.

You could feel that the Monday after the Illinois game, the one where Luke started and did not play well. Two days later Scott Frost said this, “There’s no doubt in my mind Luke McCaffrey is the future around here but right now to help us win we gotta play the guy who gives the best chance.” Treacherous waters, trying to balance a very challenging situation.

Not only are the Huskers looking to develop playmakers on offense but now the team needs someone to push Adrian Martinez. Luke filled both of those roles. Maybe Logan Smothers can push Adrian and it will be important because last year Adrian improved dramatically after watching Luke start two games. By the way, it won’t be McKenzie Milton, he joined Florida State a week ago.

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