Locker Room Leadership Becomes Key to Reversing Huskers Fortunes | University


LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska’s 7v7 drills went at the speed of play. The linemen exploded out of their positions.

Fueled by passionate monologues delivered in the locker room on Saturday night, the Huskers returned to training this week as a team ready to atone for their 28-23 loss to Purdue.

“No one has indicated they’re going to send it,” defensive lineman Casey Rogers said on Monday. “This is just not how the locker rooms work. The captains have done a very good job of setting this standard. “

Nebraska’s leadership in the locker room could be the last thread to keep this season from tearing itself apart. Since training this fall, coach Scott Frost has praised the Huskers for their preparation and commitment. He called them his favorites of the four teams he coached in Nebraska. And despite the heap of losses hanging over their psyche, Frost insists his players are too tightly packed to hit rock bottom.

“It’s the best team I’ve had,” Frost said Thursday when asked how 2021 Nebraska’s leadership compared to other teams he’s coached. “These guys, they love each other, and they’re going to keep playing for each other.”

Why? Look at the characters involved. The captains weren’t the only ones speaking after Saturday’s game. While Nebraska coach Scott Frost left Cam Taylor-Britt, Damion Daniels, Adrian Martinez and Austin Allen in charge of Saturday’s post-game pep talk, JoJo Domann also addressed the ‘team. “A good number” of older players have joined him, according to defensive lineman Ben Stille, which may explain why 3-6 Nebraska still believes it has a standard to meet.

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Players like Stille and Domann, both accelerating towards the end of their sixth season in Nebraska, have sacrificed too much time and body tissue to end their careers with a flop. Daniels and Taylor-Britt worked too hard to win their captain. Martinez weathered too many boo birds not to bask in a big win.

“He’s doing so many good things,” Frost said Monday. “I really want him to have the experience where he comes in and wins us a big game and gets redemption at the end of the ups and downs he’s been through.”

This season was meant to follow that redemptive arc. Many Nebraska leaders have taken a break from their professional lives – footballing or otherwise – to rewrite their tenure record. Martinez reshaped his body; Daniels ditched his nickname “Snacks” to increase his stamina. Travis Vokolek, another fourth-year junior, revamped his approach to training and mentoring after reading “The Mamba Mentality,” Kobe Bryant’s book on the successful habits that led him to become an NBA superstar. .

The reward ? Three wins, six losses and a familiar frustration every Saturday night. The Huskers have heard too many speeches reminding them to do one more play. They are tired of being tired of being close.

They’ve heard Frost recite these tropes so many times that on Saturday he decided not to. Instead, he let the players settle Purdue’s loss and decide the direction of Nebraska.

So with three games to go, he let the players set their own standard.

Maybe they can turn Nebraska’s fortunes around.

“It’s probably the boost for motivation that has to happen here at the end of the season,” said Frost. “The guys (have to) decide, ‘Yeah, we’re going to buckle up and finish some of these games at the end of the year. “


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