NORFOLK — Scott Frost said the new additions to Nebraska’s running back room continue to trickle in.
The second-year Husker football coach expects freshman Rahmir Johnson to join soon, and freshman Ronald Thompkins will follow.
A big piece of the equation is already on campus. Dedrick Mills is eager to get going.
“He’s ready to go to work,” Frost said during Thursday’s Big Red Blitz Tour stop. “(He) looks great, was in good shape, got right in with the guys and did a great job in the weight room the first day. I’m anxious to see what he can do on the field.”
Mills graduated from Garden City (Kansas) Community College in December, but the former Georgia Tech transfer needed to take additional classes this spring to bring his cumulative grade-point average up to 2.5, the benchmark for transferring from a junior college to a four-year school.
Mills’ transcript received the green light from Nebraska on May 21. He was on campus one day later.
“I don’t know (if) my confidence level varied with getting Dedrick here, but there (were) ups and downs and that happens in every recruiting cycle,” Frost said. “There’s a handful of kids that still have work to do, to completely qualify and get to campus.
“It worked out with him. He worked hard this last semester and it’s good to have him here, because our running back room needed some depth and some additions.”
Nebraska running backs coach Ryan Held played a key role in getting Mills to NU, staying in constant communication with the junior-to-be. Frost added that it was a team effort.
He pointed to the efforts of player personal staffers Ryan Callahan and Sean Dillon, and the school’s academic support team.
“Dennis (LeBlanc) and his crew did a lot of work with us to make sure he was in the right classes,” Frost said. “It was really a team effort to get him to Lincoln.”
Frost and his staff now turn their attention to getting Mills ready for the upcoming season. Getting Mills to Lincoln checked off a critical offseason need as the Huskers look to replace 1,000-yard rusher Devine Ozigbo.
“We’re hopeful to get the same sort of thing out of Dedrick,” Frost said of the 5-foot-11, 220-pound back. “He’s a bigger kid. When we need to get a tough yard, I think he’s going to get some yards after contact. And there might be some unique things we can do with him because of his past and his versatility.”
As for finding future Huskers, Frost said the Husker staff is wrapping up work on the road for the spring contact period. Last year, the Huskers were playing catch-up in Year One under Frost. That’s not the case in Year 2.
“When we first got here a year-and-half ago, we were in such a big hurry to try to get the ’19 class ready, that we weren’t able to look at the ’20 class as much,” Frost said. “With our staff being here longer, we have a better start on all of those things. We’ve had more good players on campus than we did a year ago, and I think that will continue through (summer camps) and we’ll have a lot of good players on campus.”
During a Q&A session with fans, Frost was asked about the health of junior wide receiver JD Spielman.
Frost said Spielman is training with the team and is good to go after dealing with a concussion in the spring.