Graduate transfer Tre Neal is expected to start at safety for the Huskers in the season opener with Akron on Saturday.
Photo by John Baker/

Tre Neal Quotes

By NU Athletic Communications

Nebraska Football
Weekly Press Conference
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)
Monday, Aug. 27, 2018

Tre Neal
Senior, Defensive Back
On his transition from UCF to Nebraska
“I’ve adjusted I think pretty quick. It was a little different in the first three practices seeing so much red out there. I’ve never really seen that much, you know, in high school we were green and gold. And in college my first few years we were black and gold. This red is just throwing me off a little bit. But I’ve adjusted pretty well to it.”

On his position on the depth chart
“It’s one of those things where as a personal goal for me I was excited to be the number one safety. As far as our team, it doesn’t really matter. This week it might just be me and Antonio (Reed) out there starting with the ‘ones’. Next week it could be Antonio or Deontai (Williams) or Antonio or Aaron (Williams). Or any of those guys. The good luxury we have in that room is that we have a lot of safeties that can play. All of us are interchangeable. We all have strengths, different weaknesses. We can all play with each other. We all work well with each other. Same with the corners also.”

On Scott Frost’s defensive approach
“The thing is, offense goes really fast. I remember last year we’d be on the field probably seven or eight minutes and they’d go out there and score in 30 seconds. That’s a short recovery. Guys are on special teams. So you have to be able to have that depth behind you and have guys that can go in rolling and get a good amount of reps. It’s not really just one. Yeah we have ones. But our twos are ones also. And even some of our threes, they’re ones also. They've got to be ready for it. We kind of game plan with everybody just coming up and being ready to play.”

On being at UCF and Nebraska with Frost
“The thing that I’ve noticed the most is it’s not even the players it’s the coaches. The first year, that was the first year they were together and kind of worked together. It was a little bit them trying to feel out each other while also feeling out the players and how to run practice and stuff like that. Now being it’s year one here and year three for them working together. So there’s a smoothness and a calmness about their demeanor that carries over in practice and that’s something that helps us as a group. Some of these guys are new to it. Seeing them so calm and positive and how they’re attacking everything it rubs off on the players and it allows us to do it.”

On Scott Frost being back at his alma mater
“I think I first saw it when Grant Wistrom and Jason Peter came to talk to us. At UCF he talked about those guys but we didn’t really know too much about them, just from being down south. But he spoke very highly of them there. But actually getting to see when they came and to see the fire that they brought. You could see that passion in his eyes. I sit in the back so he sits kind of next to me and I looked over at him and you could see the fire in his eyes when those guys were speaking. It was just different. That was the first time I saw how much it means to him to be back here.”

On what to expect from Frost at the Akron game
“They should expect that he’s a very calm guy in those situations. I wouldn’t be surprised if in the first drive he brings some crazy play out there. Just to let everybody know that he’s back. That’s just the kind of guy he is. I wouldn't be surprised if he comes out there and he’s excited and he’s going for it. That’s the great thing about him, he’s not afraid of stuff. He attacks everything full speed. He doesn’t care what’s going on about the situation.” 

On the offense

"These guys are moving fast. As far as year one at UCF, or year one here, they're ahead of the curve. I wasn't expecting that getting here. There's a very talented group of guys, especially in those skill players - the quarterback, the running backs, the receiver and the tight ends - they're really skilled guys. It's taken them a little bit to get in the system and get in the system as far as the speed of things. They don't really understand how fast it really goes. Coach Frost is trying to get them thinking that this thing goes fast, so I think that's the only thing. As far as talent-wise, these guys, we have a lot of talent on offense."


On freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez

"His poise. It's hard. He's an 18-year-old kid. He's actually my locker buddy so I try to give him little tips here and there. Just the poise he keeps as far as his demeanor throughout practice. 18-year-olds with 22-year-old guys, 23-year-old-guys, running around, yelling, barking at each other, that can overwhelm guys. It's similar to how [UCF Quarterback] Mackenzie Milton was. It doesn't bother them and I think that's what makes him special. Adrian is going to be a really special player here, but just kind of keeping him under control on Saturday and I tell him it's a totally different beast when there's 90,000 people and you can't hear anything. As far as practice is going, he's been very calm and very, very poised for an 18-year-old."


On the defense

"There's a lot of talented guys. We have six safeties that can play right now and I know we have four or five guys that can start at [cornerback]. The linebackers are very deep. I know you saw on the depth chart, there's a whole bunch of 'ors.' There's honestly a lot of guys that can do it. That's the first time I've seen so many 'ors' on the defensive depth chart, but a lot of those guys have the ability to be ones. That's what I've been trying to tell them. It doesn't really matter if you're a one or a two. You're going to play. You're going to be out there with the ones. You're going to be out there mixing and matching, so you just have to know your stuff and attack it like you're the best out there."


On safety Antonio Reed and safety Deontai Williams

"They're very physical players. That's one of the first things I noticed about them. They're very physical and they move very well for their size. Antonio, he's 215 [pounds] and he moves like a little guy. Deontai, he's around 200 [pounds] also and he moves pretty well also. That's the first thing that popped out to me. Then, just their knowledge of the defense. They've only been at it for eight months and they're already making checks that, honestly, in our first year at UCF, people weren't making those checks. I think that speaks to the volumes that they put in over the summer, just trying to get in the playbook and stuff like that."


On Defensive Coordinator Erik Chinander

"Playing in this defense, the no fear of failure, it kind of focuses you to take chances. Of course, there's going to be times when you get beat, but that's just the nature of the game. Sometimes you're going to get beat and sometimes you're going to make a spectacular play. I think that he's a very smart guy. The odds he puts you against, he wants you to take that chance. You'd rather take that chance than be afraid to not do it because when it's time to make that play, you're not going to do it. That's why we preach so much to attack and make plays."



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