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Huskers QB Adrian Martinez likes tough love, but many college kids don’t. What’s a captain to do? | Football

“I don’t think there’s as much tough love for a lot of kids when they grow up (now),” Frost said. “Our program is going to be about love first, and the toughness has to be built in along with that. That’s how you reach players today, in my opinion, is if they know you care about them. And if you genuinely care about them, they’ll do about anything for you.”

It doesn’t have to always be warm and fuzzy. Take senior safety Deontai Williams, for example. He’s a Florida native and spent time at junior college before coming to Nebraska in 2018. He wasn’t steeped in Husker football history and lore before he arrived on campus, but he said Monday that he feels a responsibility because of it.

“They got five national championships, and you see that every day when you walk into the building, so you have you have a set standard that you have to play (to) when you wear this uniform,” he said. “… It’s supposed to resonate with you, because this is the school that you chose to play for.

“You chose a tough-nosed school like this or a great program like this.”

There are tough and disciplined teams across college football, of course, and those characteristics can be built and developed in different ways. Whatever method is used to get there, it can have staying power.

Finding that recipe continues to be an ongoing pursuit in Lincoln. Frost said Monday that, “It’s gotten better and better and better, but it’s still got to come from the locker room a little bit, and we’re trying to train that.” 

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