Don’t Expect Next Frazier or Gill to Emerge for Nebraska

By Todd Neeley

It would be nice to think that Nebraska football history will repeat itself in 2010.

The Huskers start the season with a seasoned, reliable guy starting at quarterback, only to find out the young guy behind him was a future star — a guy that can step in run the offense at a national championship level.

Sorry folks, don’t expect the second coming of Turner Gill, Tommie Frazier or Keithan McCant to emerge from the shadows.

No offense to the guys on the roster right now, but there just isn’t that kind of guy in the wings.

Honestly? Zac Lee is a solid player that lacks flash. Cody Green is big, strong arm, but doesn’t seem to be as fast as advertised and lacks that flash that Frazier had when he leaped Missouri defenders and into the end zone in his first start.

Taylor Martinez has no experience, has an awkward throwing motion, is very fast with big-play ability, and he hasn’t played a down of big-time college football.

With all due respect, Nebraska just has a lot of guys at the position.

All of them come into camp this week with high expectations and a renewed sense of purpose. Coaches have said all of them have an equal shot to win the job.

Fostering competition is key to getting better play out of the quarterback spot in 2010, but to be in the national picture Nebraska will need one of these guys to step to the forefront and be a difference maker.

Is a solid Zac Lee enough to win a conference title and be in the national hunt? Maybe.

Is Taylor Martinez all-around good enough to make this offense better? Probably not.

Is Green, the guy with more physical skills than any other QB at Nebraska, ever going to see the light bulb go on? Who knows.

If you step back and really look at what Nebraska has at the position, just in appearances only, Green should be the guy to emerge — the Vince Young in the wings ready for a chance.

Problem is, Green had that shot last season as a true freshman, and he wasn’t ready to play.

He played tentatively, made freshman mistakes and never really did anything on the field that gave the impression he was going to explode as the new star on the Husker scene.

Sure, in the spring Green made progress in overcoming some of those mistakes, and he played well. Still, it was hard to come away with the impression that the big guy had arrived.

Martinez became a fan favorite in a big hurry, in part because of the press he received with Zac Lee shelved with an injury. But let’s face it, Martinez faced a vanilla defense in terms of scheme, and was clearly running just a handful of plays all game long.

So, does Nebraska turn its offense over to a very young guy with an average arm and fast feet? I don’t think so.

Does NU give Green the rock because he made far fewer mistakes in the spring? Doubt it.

Then again, the jury is still out on whether Zac Lee can be more than just a field general. NU needs a big-play guy behind center, someone who will make a handful of big plays in the big games.

The press coverage of the first day of Nebraska practice/fan day was thoroughly cliche’.

One popular columnist wrote a brief blog on impressions from NU’s first day of practice, saying that players seem to have a swagger, confidence or whatever you call it.

Yeah, I bet even 0-12 Western Kentucky has a whole new outlook on the first day of a new season.

It would be a good idea to let the jury get the case before we render a decision.

When one guy at the quarterback spot can step in, make the offense go like a well-oiled machine, blow out the teams Nebraska should and lead NU to a win over Texas, then we’ll start talking about confidence and swagger.

The jury is still out.

Posted on August 8, 2010, in Husker Quarterbacks. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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