Ron Brown discusses dealing with coaching change, Yant's status, and more – 247Sports

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Ron Brown has been through coaching change both as someone coming into the open job and also the guy leaving the chair for another.
The Husker assistant of many years, who is working with the Nebraska running backs to finish this 2021 season, made an appearance on ‘Sports Nightly’ on Wednesday night to talk about the recent events surrounding NU football, and how the guys in his room are dealing with the change.
“It’s been tough but Coach Frost I think has done a great job of communicating what he felt he needed to do, not only to the coaches but also to the players,” Brown said. “It’s never easy. I’ve been on both sides of this. But I think we’re ready to move forward in whatever direction it has to be in terms of making final personnel decisions.”
Brown has a link to some of the coaches who were let go a few weeks ago. He recruited Greg Austin out of Houston when Austin was a player. He coached Ryan Held when Brown was a receivers coach at Nebraska too. One of the toughest parts of the business, he said, is when change happens, and it sometimes includes those really close to you.
“One man’s meat is another man’s poison. For some, when you lose your job, and again, I’ve been on that side of it, it feels poisonous. For another guy who comes in, it’s meat,” Brown said. “So you have one person thinking it’s a great thing, another person thinking it’s not such a good thing. But isn’t that what life is for everyone? All the people who are listening today … you’ve all probably been through those things. It could be you that lost a job. It could be a child of yours who didn’t get a break. But another family says, ‘well, my child got a break instead of that other child’ … and for them it’s a break. … I think the Lord kind of balances it out as we go through life and the response is more important than anything.”
What about that response from players? Brown said that’s not easy either in a situation like this, but recalled a quote from former Husker strength coach Boyd Epley: “The great ones adjust.”
A few notes on the running backs room:
– It has been tough sledding with the injuries, Brown acknowledged, noting the loss of Gabe Ervin for the season and Rahmir Johnson being banged up. Frost hasn’t seemed optimistic on that front about Johnson playing against Iowa. So the Huskers may again be counting on the combination of Markese Stepp, Marvin Scott III, Brody Belt and, yes, Jaquez Yant.
There have been many questions about Yant, who has won some Husker fan hearts in his limited action this season.
“There’s a very good chance to see (Yant play) on Friday,” Brown said to a question about the back who was on the trip to Wisconsin but did not play. “You know, those who love you will discipline you when they need to. And I love Jaq. And we all do. And we did what we needed to do in terms of the protocol of this university and also our football team. He didn’t do anything like really drastically bad. But we have some team rules in certain things, so we needed to deal with that. We needed to pay rent on that. That debt has been forgiven and we move on.
“And I think that’s always been part of this program. And when you follow through on those kind of things, when you keep a 10-foot rim at 10 feet and don’t lower the rim, I think you’re going to get consistency from your players and that kind of consistency leads to championships later on.”
– As for those who did play last Saturday, Belt did “remarkably well” against Wisconsin, Brown thought, moving over from receiver to running back. Belt can play both. “He’s a heady guy. There’s a lot of things he can do.”
– Brown complimented his room in how they helped the Huskers move the ball against Wisconsin’s defense. “I said, ‘Look, it wasn’t pretty. It was tough. But we did a nice job with guys who haven’t played in several weeks.'”
– He said he’s proud of Marvin Scott III, who was in the game in the fourth quarter and scored a tying touchdown after being buried on the depth chart all season.
“I love him. He’s got a beautiful smile. And I think he really found something deep inside,” Brown said. “We talked about it all week long, ‘What’s under the hood?’ The car may look pretty on the outside. .. It may have the potential of going real fast, but if you check under the hood and the right stuff isn’t going on there, it isn’t going anywhere. It’s just going to sit in the driveway.”
– Brown said Friday’s starting quarterback Logan Smothers is a tremendous worker and has improved a ton in every phase of the game. “And he’s a guy that has a lot of resiliency himself.”
The coach also said he takes his hat off to Adrian Martinez. The coach told Martinez the other day that he’s been around here forever – “I’m as old as dirt around here” – and seen a lot of players at Nebraska, and for the quarterback to break the all-time yardage record is really saying something.
“He was a warrior in many ways. … He put his neck on the line every single game. We put a lot on him. The run, pass dual game of his. Remarkable in some situations, really. Was he perfect? No. Was anybody perfect? No. But I’ll tell you what, without Adrian, we wouldn’t have had I think the close games we had. He truly I think guided us to a lot of those.”
Brown said he’s proud of Scott Frost too and called him a tremendous man.
“I’m thankful to the Lord for another opportunity that he gets to lead the Huskers. And I’m looking forward to it.”
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