LINCOLN — Nebraska coach Scott Frost thought Tristan Gebbia took the news “really well” when he learned he lost the starting Nebraska quarterback job to Adrian Martinez.
That was Saturday. By Monday Frost was telling reporters Gebbia didn’t practice with the team. NU began its game-week preparations with a drama that hasn’t been resolved.
“We want guys who want to be here,” Frost said. “Hopefully everything lands in a good position. I think that’s to be determined ... Tristan’s a great kid. There have been several players who have chosen not to be a part of the program and some of the decisions I agreed with, some of them I didn’t. No matter what, these are good kids, and we want what’s best for them.”
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Registrar’s office said Monday that Gebbia was not enrolled in classes. Gebbia did not respond to a request for comment from The World-Herald. His father, Rich, declined to take a phone call.
Frost said Nebraska preaches “team before me.”
“I want players on the team that are actually about that,” Frost said. “And whatever kids are on the roster come first game, those are the brothers that I’m going to roll with.”
As of Monday afternoon, that was Martinez, a true freshman, sophomore walk-on Andrew Bunch and true freshman walk-on Matt Masker. Another quarterback, Noah Vedral, has to sit out a season, per NCAA rules, after transferring from Central Florida.
“I think Matt Masker’s taken a live football snap more recently than anyone we have,” Frost quipped. That’s sort of true. Though Martinez did miss his entire senior season of high school rehabbing a shoulder injury, he did play in the Under Armour All-America Game.
Frost declined to speak in-depth on Bunch’s strengths. The situation with Gebbia, a four-star recruit in the 2017 recruiting class, remained “fluid.” Frost called Gebbia “a really good kid and great teammate.”
“We want what’s best for him,” Frost said. “At the end of the day, I hope he’s here.”
Martinez won the job, Frost said, because of his “athletic ability.”
“At the end of the day we’re more dangerous — if the throwing is close — if we have a quarterback that’s a threat to run it,” Frost said.
Quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco and other offensive assistants agreed, Frost said, when he took a “straw poll.”
Generally, Frost’s philosophy on transferring players is to let them announce their departure. But several — Will Jackson, Avery Roberts and Bryan Brokop — went silent after they left.