Husker assistant football coaches Ryan Held, left, and Frank Verducci talked to Husker fans Tuesday during a stop in Imperial as part of the 26-town Husker Nation Tour by coaches around the state. (Johnson Publications photo)

Cooper Dillan, left, and Malachi Christensen, behind, watch as assistant coach Frank Verducci autographs posters for the boys. (Johnson Publications photo)

Fans turn out for Husker Nation coaches tour

    Husker fans throughout Chase County turned out Tuesday morning to hear Husker football coaches speak during their Husker Nation Tour around Nebraska.
    Imperial was among 26 Nebraska communities hit on the two-day blitz by Husker coaches to introduce themselves to fans and speak about preparations for the 2018 season.
    Running backs coach Ryan Held and senior offensive analyst Frank Verducci spoke to about 40 Husker fans assembled for the event, held at the fair’s expo hall.
    Defensive coordinator Erik Chinander was scheduled for Imperial but Held, a former Husker player, stepped in for him.
    Both coaches assisted Husker Head Coach Scott Frost at the University of Central Florida. All of Frost’s assistants joined him in the move to Lincoln.
    In two seasons, Frost took a winless team to a 12-0 regular season record in two seasons, including a 34-27 over Auburn in the Peach Bowl.
    Held said it was difficult to tell their UCF players, right after they had won the American Conference championship, that the staff would be leaving for Nebraska.
    But unlike many head coaches who leave a school high and dry before a season-ending bowl game, Frost and his staff didn’t do that.
    After a cross-country recruiting trip after the conference championship, Frost was back in Florida at 7 a.m. Monday morning to begin preparing UCF for the Peach Bowl.
    Held said that extra effort has raised Frost and Nebraska’s status with high school coaches and recruits.  He said many coaches have told him what a class move that was by Frost.    
    Both Held and Verducci said their team has worked extremely hard during the spring and in summer conditioning.
    Verducci said the summer is where the real progress is made conditioning and weight-lifting wise.
    He feels strength coach Zach Duval is one of the best in the nation in preparing during the offseason.
    Not only does he build his players bodies but also works at conditioning to avoid injury.  That’s especially key during the season, Verducci said.

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