LINCOLN, Neb. — Scott Frost and his assistant coaches are about to get a well-deserved break.
Signing day marked the end of the two-month whirlwind that followed their hiring at Nebraska. Part of time they spent preparing for and coaching Central Florida in its Peach Bowl win over Auburn that completed a 13-0 season. The rest of the time they picked up the pieces of a recruiting class that imploded before Mike Riley’s firing and assembled a group that on Wednesday stood No. 22 in the 247 Sports composite team rankings.
“The job they’ve done in the last two months, I don’t know if it’s ever been done in college football and I don’t know if it will be done again,” Frost said of his assistants.
Frost added, “To do all that while taking a class that — not that I pay attention — was ranked 94th or something when we got here up to a top 25 or 20 class, it’s unprecedented what these guys have done. Really, it’s been less me than the group of 10 guys who are working in the football office. I can’t wait to see what they can accomplish here.”
The day started and ended on bright notes. Four-star defensive end Caleb Tannor of Lithonia, Georgia, picked the Cornhuskers over four Southeastern Conference schools in the morning. Four-star running back Maurice Washington of Cedar Hill (Texas) Trinity Christian, the most valuable player of the Under Armour All-America Game, announced an hour before Frost met with reporters that he was coming to Lincoln.
Those additions highlighted the class of 24, including 13 players who signed in December. The top December recruits were four-star quarterback Adrian Martinez of Fresno (California) Clovis West and five junior-college players.
“They were able to hit the ground running, do it quickly, and make some headway with the first signing period, which was not easy to do for any of the 11 new Power Five coaches,” ESPN analyst Tom Luginbill said. “When you’re trying to prepare a football team to play in a bowl game, as Scott Frost and his staff were doing, and at the same time pulling double duty and recruiting and trying to lead up to an early signing period, I thought they did a remarkable job.”
Now Frost and his staff can breathe. He’s giving his defensive staff next week off and his offensive staff the following week off. Frost will return to Orlando for a few days next week to see his wife and infant son.
“It was hard work for us,” he said, “but it was really rewarding when it worked out the way it did.”
Some things to know about signing day in the Big Ten:
BUCKEYES LEAD BIG TEN
Ohio State led the Big Ten team rankings again and was No. 2 behind Georgia. The Buckeyes’ big “get” on Wednesday was five-star offensive lineman Nicholas Petit-Frere from Tampa, Florida. The Buckeyes also have one of the nation’s top defensive line prospects on board in Taron Vincent out of the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
PENN STATE’S PUSH
Penn State ranked No. 5 nationally and second in the Big Ten. Fifteen of its 23 signees are rated as four- or five-stars. Coach James Franklin was a big winner on the East Coast, but he also opened the door in Texas with the signings of safety Isaiah Humphries and cornerback Trent Gordon. They already have offers out to nine Texans for 2019.
Purdue landed its top wide receiver prospect in more than a decade in four-star Rondale Moore of Louisville, Kentucky. Moore de-committed from Texas in December and picked Purdue over offers from Alabama, Ohio State and Florida State.
Coach Jeff Brohm can use the 5-foot-8, 175-pound Moore in a variety of roles. His 109 receptions for Trinity High last season were second-most ever by a Kentucky prep player. He also will be a candidate to run jet sweeps and return punts.
Michigan, which had the No. 5 class in the nation last year, slipped to No. 21 after going 8-5 last season. The Wolverines don’t have a top-100 player after losing out on two of their top targets on Wednesday.
VALKOMMEN TO RUTGERS!
Rutgers, whose recruiting footprint has long been New Jersey and bordering states, went all the way to Sweden to land three-star defensive end Robin Jutwreten. He’s friends with countryman Sam Vretman, a rising sophomore offensive lineman at Rutgers.
Unlike Vretman, who was recruited out of a prep school in Connecticut, the 6-foot-5, 235-pound Jutwreten took an unconventional route to Rutgers. He comes out of the Swedish national team program. His recruitment started after he contacted Premier Players International, a European-based service that helps players connect with U.S. college programs.