NU football vs. Minnesota, 10/20/18

Nebraska recruit Bryce Benhart (left) smiles as he watches the pregame warmups before the Huskers take on Minnesota at Memorial Stadium in October.

During the NFL’s offseason, there is a small cadre of former Nebraska offensive lineman that regularly work out on campus.

It includes guys like Brent Qvale, Zach Sterup, Spencer Long and Jeremiah Sirles, the type of players who dwarf even coaches who stand 6-foot-3.

“Those are great players and what a great bunch of guys, too,” NU head coach Scott Frost said Thursday evening on the Husker Sports Nightly radio program. “... Whenever we have these dinners with the former players I look at the (offensive) linemen that are back and they make me feel like a small person.”

One such dinner took place just before Saturday's Red-White Spring Game. In the mingle of former players and future ones over the course of the weekend, though, Frost thought perhaps he glimpsed a little bit of that mammoth Husker past in the school’s future up front.

“I saw a couple pictures of our incoming freshmen offensive linemen next to them and thought to myself, ‘OK, these guys are going to look like those guys someday,’” Frost said.

Those four offensive linemen that are set to join the program this summer are Bryce Benhart (6-9, 305), Michael Lynn (6-6, 300), Matthew Anderson (6-6, 250) and Jimmy Fritzsche (6-7, 255).

NU also gained a verbal commitment on Saturday from four-star 2020 offensive tackle Turner Corcoran (Lawrence, Kansas), who checks in at 6-6 and 280 with one year of high school still to go.

Physical development, particularly in the trenches, can take years before it fully takes root — though Benhart will immediately be among the more physically imposing players on the roster — but the Huskers and offensive line coach Greg Austin have clearly set out a particular body type that they generally want to recruit.

That quartet is part of a big group that joins the program this summer. In all, and including recent junior college defensive lineman and verbal commitment Jahkeem Green (Highland C.C.), 20 more scholarship players will get to campus between now and the beginning of fall camp. Most will arrive in late May after high school graduations, while some may trickle in more toward June or July.

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“We’re kind of waiting for some of the cavalry to arrive a little bit with some of the newcomers to campus that might give us a little more depth and hopefully will plug a couple of holes, but we’re getting closer to a more complete team than a year ago,” Frost said.

Quick Hits

*** Frost made an interesting comment when he said that the Husker coaching staff isn’t afraid to show just how many more fans showed up at NU’s spring game than anywhere else in the country.

“We don’t negative recruit, I don’t want to blast other people, but we will show (recruits) photos of other schools’ spring games compared to ours,” Frost said. “That’s just a testament to our fans. There’s other schools with 200-300 people. … I expect ours to be sold out for a long time here.”

*** Among the many players Frost had platitudes for during his hour-long appearance were veteran defensive backs Marquel Dismuke and Lamar Jackson.

“I’m really proud of some of those guys … a bunch of guys that at times maybe concerned us as a coaching staff if they were going to do things the way we wanted them to,” Frost said. “Now they’re models for our entire team to follow. I’ve seen some really drastic turnarounds from that standpoint.”

Contact the writer at pgabriel@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.


Sports writer

Parker joined the Journal Star as the University of Nebraska football beat writer in August 2017. He previously covered Montana State athletics for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2012.

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