Photo by Nebraska Communications

Vedral See Similarities In Year Two

By Brian Rosenthal

Whatever edge Nebraska quarterback Noah Vedral may have had over his counterparts in knowing Scott Frost’s offense has shrunk considerably.

As far as Vedral is concerned, that’s better for the team.

It means those around him, including incumbent starter Adrian Martinez, have caught up, knowledge-wise, as year two of the Frost era commences.

“Which is good,” Vedral said. “We need everyone to be there. We don’t really want to kind of have that stagger, where some guys are ahead and some are behind and you can get that miscommunication kind of stuff.”

Vedral, a sophomore from Wahoo, had a leg-up last season, in terms of knowing the offense, when he transferred from UCF, where he spent a season under Frost and quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco. He arrived as Frost was entering his second season there, and he’s already seeing similarities to what’s unfolding here this spring.

“When I got there, I didn’t get to see year one, but year two was really starting to pick things up and things starting to look a lot better,” Vedral said. “That’s the same here. This spring, just not having to start from zero is a huge, huge advantage.

“We’re getting to fine-tune things we weren’t able to last year. Our guys know what we’re doing. We’re faster with it. So it’s a lot better off.”

To say Vedral experienced an odd season upon his transfer would be an understatement. Vedral was initially ineligible because of NCAA transfer rules, but he received a waiver granting him immediate eligibility on Oct. 12, the day before the Huskers played at Northwestern.

Vedral made his career debut two weeks later, playing the entire second half of the Huskers' victory over Bethune-Cookman, a game that wasn’t even on the Huskers’ original schedule. That’s the only action he saw, as injury sidelined him the remainder of the season. However, under the first year of a new NCAA rule, he was able to preserve his redshirt.

“There’s a difference between knowing what you’re doing and being comfortable with what you’re doing,” Vedral said about last season. “I’m comfortable with saying I knew what I was doing, but was I comfortable with it quite yet? Maybe not. I’m still grateful for the opportunities for Coach Frost and Coach Verduzco for letting me play and giving me those chances.”

Now in his second spring at Nebraska, Vedral feels more comfortable.

“It kind of goes back to the way it was in Florida, where you just know I’m going to get my reps, I know my role, to be with the offense during team periods,” Vedral said. “A lot more stable. It makes it easier to learn again, to be able to pick up when I left off, continue to make those strides and be a better player.”

Also now healthy, Vedral joins junior Andrew Bunch, redshirt freshman Matt Masker and true freshman Luke McCaffrey in a battle for what everyone assumes is the top quarterback behind Martinez.

So how does a quarterback approach such a battle, knowing the starter is probably marked in ink?

“I’ve got to be better to make the team better,” Vedral said. “As good as Adrian is, if I can chase him and catch him, that makes our team better, regardless of who plays. As a competitor, no matter what, even if he’s starting – Bunch will say the same thing, Matt, Luke – we’re chasing him because he’s a good football player.

“That makes the rest of us better if we can get better or catch him. The more of us that can play like him, the better we are as a team.”

Vedral said everything is positive in the quarterback room, that if one player succeeds, they all succeed.

As for Martinez, Vedral sees a mature player who’s growing into his leadership role.

“I think Coach Frost had kind of talked to him about it growing into that role, and he’s done a really good job,” Vedral said. “Our guys respond to him. He does a good job of being a leader but not being separate from the rest of us. We’re still considered five equal peers.”

Part of the year two growth, Vedral said, is having quarterbacks who are self-motivated, who don’t have to be pushed by coaches to show up to practice every day, ready to compete. He saw that at UCF, and said he’s seeing the same thing evolve this spring.

“That’s where we’re going to be a better team,” Vedral said. “At UCF, that second year, you could see guys show up, like we were competing for something bigger than just that scrimmage that day or that practice or those reps.

“We’re starting to get that. They guys are really starting to buy in and things are starting to look a lot better.”

Reach Brian at brosenthal@huskers.com or follow him on Twitter @GBRosenthal.

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