Nebraska vs. Minnesota, 11/11/17

Nebraska running back Devine Ozigbo (22) holds off Minnesota defensive back Jacob Huff (2) in the first half Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

ERIC GREGORY, Journal Star

As the Nebraska football players left Memorial Stadium on Sunday morning after meeting their new head coach for the first time, the message they shared was a positive one.

Scott Frost is ready to get to work.

"This is exactly what we needed and it's what the school needed," running back Devine Ozigbo said. "It's going to be fun and people are going to be excited, and it's just an exciting time right now."

Yes, the attitude was certainly different than it was a week ago, when the Huskers walked through the same doors on the north side of Memorial Stadium after learning Mike Riley had been fired. There was more bounce in several players' steps. A few players cracked jokes.

Those who stopped to speak with the media were ready for whatever lies ahead.

"He (Frost) told us to finish the semester out strong and stuff, and then we're going to hit the ground running when he gets back (from Central Florida's bowl game)," said defensive tackle Mick Stoltenberg. "I guess the consensus is, all of us are pretty excited, at least the guys I've talked to. I think we're all just excited to get rolling."

Frost arrived at Memorial Stadium around 8 a.m., and met with the players around 9 a.m. The meeting was quick — players began exiting around 9:15 — but Frost delivered a clear message in a short time.

"It was refreshing," said linebacker Mohamed Barry. "I'm just happy to finally have a coach at the helm and know which direction we're going. … I think it's exciting to know the direction you're going in and someone actually tell you, 'OK, this is what we're about to do, and this is what it's going to be like.'"

Players had yet to meet their position coaches, some of whom are already recruiting and some of whom haven't been hired yet.

That didn't lessen the anticipation of a new direction for Husker football. Several current Huskers attended Frost's news conference at Memorial Stadium, many looking over a fourth-floor railing down to the happenings one floor below as more than 500 people attended the event.

"He said he's going to lay down a foundation," said quarterback Patrick O'Brien. "Practice is going to be something completely different. Weight room is going to be something completely different, and we're all going to be working hard every single day, and we're going to get to the point where we're winning games."

The work has only just begun, but in the first few moments of the Frost era, there was a renewed emphasis on getting back to what the game of football is about.

"I feel like everybody has the same attitude that he has. Everybody wants to be that energetic team; that fun team," Ozigbo said. "That's one thing he wants to do, is have as much fun playing this game as possible, and we all feel like he's the coach that will help us do that."

Reach the writer at 402-473-7436 or cbasnett@journalstar.com. On Twitter @HuskerExtraCB.

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