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Red Report: Frost says it's unclear if juco WR Manning will make trip; Culp wins kicking job
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Red Report: Frost says it's unclear if juco WR Manning will make trip; Culp wins kicking job

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Photos: Nebraska football head coach Scott Frost

Nebraska's football coach Scott Frost talked with reporters Thursday before taking his team to Columbus, Ohio for the Huskers' season opener against Ohio State on Saturday. 

Nebraska coach Scott Frost said Thursday that he doesn't yet know if junior college receiver Omar Manning will make the trip to Ohio State for Saturday's opener. 

"We're still working through that," Frost told reporters. "Omar's had a few setbacks, too. Feel good about his progress, don't know if we'll have him this week or not. 

"But hopefully it won't be very long." 

Manning, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound transfer from Kilgore (Texas) College, has missed some time during preseason camp due to minor injuries and also for personal reasons, Frost said earlier this month. 

Kicking assignments: Frost said LSU graduate transfer walk-on Connor Culp will handle the placekicking for Nebraska and William Przystup will do the punting. 

"It's better, it had to get better," Frost said of the kicking areas. "Connor Culp is going to kick for us and he's done a really good job." 

Culp handled placekicking for LSU in 2017 and then was passed up in favor of younger options each of the past two seasons before joining the Huskers this summer as a walk-on graduate transfer. 

Culp was 11-of-16 on field goal tries for the Tigers in 2017 and 20-of-23 on PATs. 

Przystup transferred to NU before the 2019 season from Michigan State and handled some kickoff duties — an area the Huskers struggled in — while serving as the punting backup to senior Isaac Armstrong. 

Freshman punter Daniel Cerni, Nebraska's lone scholarship specialist, is injured, but Frost said it's not season-ending or serious. The Australian arrived on campus late this summer. 

The other name in the conversation is likely freshman Tyler Crawford, who Frost said earlier this month was challenging Culp for work in placekicking and on kickoff duties. 

Young WRs can help: Whether Manning plays or not, Nebraska will undoubtedly have to lean at least some on newcomers at wide receiver. 

Frost said Thursday that he thinks the group is making progress under first-year receivers coach Matt Lubick, but it will still be a work in progress Saturday and moving forward. 

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"I think they could all go to the game. There's various degrees of being ready. You're ready to run some of the plays, you're ready to operate efficiently in some of them or all of them or somewhere in between," Frost said. "Certainly a lot of new guys that we're trying to bring along. Alante Brown has done really good things, Marcus Fleming, Zavier Betts and others. 

"So we're going to have to just use a mix of all those new guys as much as they're ready as well as some of the veterans that have been in the program longer." 

Travel time: Frost said he didn't think traveling would feel much different for Nebraska this week compared to past years before the coronavirus pandemic.

"I hope pretty similar, I hope as close to what we're used to as possible in regards to a lot of things," he said. "We have to test again, we test twice tomorrow: Once in the morning before we get on the plane and once when we get to Ohio. So that's certainly a wrinkle that we haven't had before, but I don't think the travel will feel much different." 

Nebraska typically has a "fast Friday" walk-through practice on Friday mornings before getting on the charter. Earlier this week, the head coach said overall the daily antigen testing had been "less onerous" than he originally expected it to be.

That, he said, won't be the weird part of the weekend. 

"Gameday is going to feel different, I would imagine, with empty stadiums, these giant, cavernous stadiums with no people in them is going to feel a little different," Frost said.

Parker Gabriel

Why each Husker football game is must-see TV

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

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Husker football reporter

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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