If you think Markese Stepp has won Nebraska's starting running back job outright, think again.
Huskers coach Scott Frost said he liked what Stepp did (18 carries, 101 yards) against Fordham, but during his hourlong radio appearance on "Sports Nightly" on Thursday night, Frost also said he's planning on the pecking order in the backfield to be a weekly proposition going forward.
"A lot of guys played well in that game and they’ve all had extremely good weeks of practice," Frost said. "They’ve all stepped their game up and I think part of that is due to the competition there. We’re going to keep going with the hot hand and the guy that practices the best. I think it’s going to be a week-to-week thing until somebody establishes himself."
Freshman Gabe Ervin has started each of the first two games and Stepp has been the most productive from a yardage standpoint. Against Fordham, freshman Sevion Morrison scored two touchdowns, Marvin Scott scored, too, and Jaquez Yant rumbled for 25 yards on five carries late in the game.
Of Yant, Frost said, "We’re trying to have the big fella be not quite as big. He’s done a good job with that and he’s definitely got a bright future and I think he can be a weapon if he’s in shape and we’ll keep bringing him along."
A couple of other notes:
* Frost reiterated his trust in Cam Taylor-Britt as the punt returner and said Taylor-Britt will get chances on Saturday. Whether anybody else does likely depends on how the junior defensive back handles the job after causing a safety against Illinois and losing a fumble against Fordham and whether NU's other preferred option, wide receiver Oliver Martin, is back from a minor injury that prevented him from playing against Fordham.
* Frost talked about a trip he took to visit Turner Gill, who was his quarterbacks coach at Nebraska, when Gill was the head coach at Buffalo.
"I have no doubt that they’re still enjoying some of the things that he led them to," Frost said when told that folks at UB still hold Gill in very high regard. ... "He’s a better man than he is a coach and he’s a great coach."
* Frost said he thinks the big dirt patch where construction work has been ongoing for months on NU's $155 million football training facility project will soon be a big dirt patch with some structure starting to rise out of the ground.
"This is the most valuable piece of real estate on the campus," Frost said. "It doesn't just need to be for football. We need to be able to have all our student-athletes have the access to campus and being right here in the horseshoe. They're going to be able to eat and study and have all those resources right here next to campus."
The building is expected to open in the summer of 2023.
"We're about a year and a half away and it's going to be exciting. We were talking, it's going to be fun to see some structure go up and I think that will be happening soon."
One oddity of having a giant construction project directly adjacent to where the Huskers practice every day: "We can't kick balls north to south or the PATs and field goals will end up on an excavator," Frost said.
* On opening night of the NFL, Frost said the Huskers have to continue to recruit and develop more talent of that caliber.
"We've been in a little bit of a dry spell, so it's good to see some guys from last year's team making it and doing well," Frost said. "We need to have the type of team where we're putting several in every year and I think we're going toward that."
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