Nebraska Football 2011: Abdullah Sees Red; Will The Cornhuskers See Green?

Kraig LundbergAnalyst IIIJanuary 21, 2011

7 Sep 1996:  Quarterback Scott Frost of the Nebraska Cornhuskers looks on during a game against the Michigan State Spartans at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Nebraska won the game 55-14. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn  /Allsport
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

A string of hard luck has finally ended for the Cornhuskers.

After tight end recruit Damien Bryant and cornerback recruit Tevin Mitchel backed out of their commitments, Nebraska finally ended its recruiting drought.

Ameer Abdullah, a 5'9" 177 pound running back out of the state of Alabama, committed to the Huskers Thursday night, according to

He is officially listed as an athlete and could conceivably play a number of positions based on his athleticism.

His phenomenal senior stats suggest he could contribute immediately as a kick and/or punt returner, a position that needed to be addressed with the departure of Niles Paul.

Abdullah could be molded into a good receiver or cornerback, but chances are he gains a little weight and stays at running back. With the transfer of Dontrayevous Robinson and another failed attempt at enrollment by the talented Braylon Heard, he was probably recruited to fill that open spot.

Nebraska's pursuit of Abdullah begs an extremely important question: Where are the Huskers headed offensively?

Many rumors have been flying around about a move toward Oregon's spread/zone read style offense. That argument just got a little stronger with the commitment of Abdullah, who is in the mold of LaMichael James.

More evidence is found in the talks of a former Husker coming home.

This article by Brandon Cavanaugh, a Nebraska Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report, suggests that Oregon wide receivers coach and former Husker quarterback Scott Frost should return to Lincoln:

I, for one, could not agree more. With one coaching spot available on Nebraska's staff, the only questions are whether Nebraska is actually interested in bringing Frost in and if so, what responsibilities he will have.

Frost's coaching experience is very diverse, ranging from co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Northern Iowa to his current position as receivers coach at Oregon.

Whether or not Frost could be an effective offensive coordinator has yet to be seen, but one thing that's almost certain is that he could inject a youthful, confident vibe into an offense that has struggled to maintain an identity under Shawn Watson.

A solution?

Hire Scott Frost as co-offensive coordinator.

This would be an ideal situation in several ways. It would allow Frost to come into an already similar system (a version of the zone read) and give Watson a few fresh ideas to work with.

In turn, Watson would be able to show Frost the ropes, so to speak. He would be able to use his experience as an offensive coordinator to help Frost get his feet wet and get accustomed to running an offense.

Two minds are greater than one, and the combination of Frost's youth and Watson's experience could reap tremendous benefits.

Nebraska is already forking out over $500,000 to retain Watson's services, but that needs to change.

Based on the struggles of the offense for a second straight year, it seems appropriate that Watson's pay is decreased, which would help accommodate for the salary Frost would command.

In my opinion, Frost should also take control of the receivers. It is crucial for Taylor Martinez to develop his throwing accuracy and decision-making in order to run an effective offense, and having better receivers would certainly help his cause.

Unfortunately for receivers coach Ted Gilmore, he's the odd man out here. Frost did a great job with Jeff Maehl and the Oregon receivers, while Nebraska's receivers seemed to underachieve.

On top of that, Gilmore could never seem to figure out who he wanted on the field. Halfway through the season, walk-on Joe Broekemeier suddenly became a go-to guy.

Where was he at the beginning of the year? These types of questions haven't been new for Gilmore.

Frost seems to get more out of the talent he has to work with, and that's something we need in 2011 and beyond.

So, now that I've laid out a scenario for the offense, what about the linebackers?

Thanks to Sam McKewon of the Nebraska State Paper, we have our solution: Carl Pelini.

Carl's role as defensive coordinator and defensive line coach is a bit skewed, because Bo clearly has most of the control of the defense. Older Brother's job seems mainly to be development of the players in practice and substitions in games.

This is a great role for Carl, as he excels in the development phase of the game (see Suh, Ndamukong), and as Mr. McKewon points out, he could do just as well with the linebackers. 

In this situation, a pay-raise for Carl would be well deserved.

After a disappointing 2010, Carl and the defense must be getting tired of carrying the team, so what will the Big Bad Bo do about it?

Will Nebraska bring in Scott Frost and tweak the offense to mimic the blazing Oregon zone read? Only time will tell, but the commitment of Ameer Abdullah lays a stepping stone in that direction. 

Cross your fingers, Husker fans.