Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Matt Rhule reveres Nebraska football more than ‘failed favorite son’ – analyst

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When Scott Frost arrived as the new head coach of the Nebraska football team, it was supposed to be the move that finally changed things. He was supposed to be the guy who loved the program enough that he would do whatever it took to turn a school very down on its luck into a contender again.

And then Frost inexplicably did almost everything wrong. Worse than that, claims of laziness ran rampant after he was fired. People rightfully wonder why in the world someone who claimed to love the program did such a terrible job.

Now, as Mike Farrell Sports analyst Rock Westfall believes the Nebraska football team might finally have a head coach who really does revere and understand the Huskers’ culture, the program and what it takes to win.

Westfall laid out the case against Scott Frost quite convincingly:

“During his time at Nebraska, Frost did not establish good relations with the state’s high school coaches, especially in Omaha. Once upon a time, a Nebraska kid would never leave the state for another program. But they did in the Frost era.”

The analyst also built the case for why Rhule has better connected with Nebraska football and why it seems that he loves the program more than the man he followed.

“Rhule talked about such things as the importance and responsibility of giving the farmers a team to be proud of. Rhule said that in Nebraska, farmers listening to games in their tractors working the crops needed to feel good about their favorite football team and enjoy the program’s success. It was as if he were raised on a Nebraska farm himself. Most importantly, he connected with the state in a way that Frost never did.”

There’s definitely something to be said for the idea that Rhule loves the program better than Frost ever did. His exuberance has allowed him to mostly lock the state down again. There might be a mistake here or there, but the top in-state prospects aren’t going elsewhere if Rhule really targets them.

And then, of course, there’s Dylan Raiola. The 5-star quarterback soured on the Huskers in large part because of how Frost reportedly recruited him. The former Nebraska football coach seemed to think being friends with Dominic and hiring Donovan was all he had to do.

It took nearly a year to reverse that damage, but Rhule reversed the damage indeed. Now Dylan Raiola looks like the starter in 2024. One wonders where Nebraska football would be this winter, spring and fall, if Rhule hadn’t seemingly embraced the culture so completely.

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