Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibility
MENU

On stacked offense, feisty OL Aaron Frost is Nevada football's hidden NFL prospect

Aaron Frost
Aaron Frost has emerged as a leader on the Wolf Pack's offensive line. (David Calvert/Nevada athletics)

If Nevada football gave out an award for its nastiest player, there’s no question who’d get the honor.

“If I go down a dark alley and need somebody, Aaron Frost will be there,” running back Devonte Lee said.

“If you threw a dime down in the parking lot, he’d fight you for it once he puts that helmet on,” offensive line coach Bill Best said of Frost.

“I honestly think his goal is to mess up anybody who lines up against him,” fellow offensive lineman Jermaine Ledbetter said.

Off the field, Frost has a reputation as a mild-mannered gentleman with a great sense of humor and a love of jumping jacks.

“He’s a chill guy,” Ledbetter said. “Definitely funny.”

But once puts on the Wolf Pack silver and blue and straps on the helmet, a flip is switched.

“That’s a different person,” Ledbetter said. “It sure is.”

Or as Lee puts it: “Aaron Frost is the most physical, nastiness person you can have on your team. You need guys like that.”

On a star-studded offense that boasts potential NFL draft picks Carson Strong, Romeo Doubs and Cole Turner, Frost is the Wolf Pack’s hidden pro prospect. At 6-foot-5 and 310 pounds, he has excellent size. He’s the Wolf Pack’s most athletic offensive lineman. And when you consider his relative newness to the position, having moved from defense to offense just three years ago, his upside is sky high.

“They’re hard to find where they’re that big, that strong, that quick and that aggressive with that competitive nature,” Best said of Frost.

While Wolf Pack fans might most recognize Frost for his propensity for penalties, a result of his on-field aggressiveness, the Nevada coaching staff watches every snap in the trenches. They see all the pancake blocks, the play-to-the-whistle hustle (evidenced here) and the flat-out dominance he’s displayed early in his college career.

“Frosty is old school,” head coach Jay Norvell said. “He’s a classic old-school lineman. He’s going to play until he hears glass break. When I was coming up, the linemen took a lot of pride in making their block and then making a second block and then running down field and picking the running back up and taking him back to the huddle. That’s Frosty.”

Frost blossoming into one of the Mountain West’s best offensive linemen – he earned second-team all-conference honors last season – is a mild surprise. A three-star recruit out of Long Beach, Calif., Frost held scholarship offers from Arizona, Arizona State, San Diego State, Colorado State and Fresno State. But he was being recruited as a defensive tackle, his primary position in high school (he didn't play any offensive line until his senior season).

During Frost's true freshman season at Nevada in 2018, then-Wolf Pack offensive line coach Angus McClure talked Norvell and Frost into switching positions. Frost was open to the move for one big reason.

“I just wanted to play,” Frost said. “Coach Angus said, ‘If you come to O-line, I can get you to play.’ I got to play, did my thing and stuck with it.”

Frost’s rookie season wasn’t smooth sailing. He started two games on the offensive line, but penalties and inconsistencies led to him being removed from that role after a win at Air Force. The move made sense. After all, Frost was playing a foreign position as a true freshman in the toughest spot – the trenches – to make the jump from high school to college. But that season didn’t sink Frost's confidence, and Nevada's staff remained positive about his long-term outlook on the Union.

In 2019, Frost started all 13 games at guard. Last season, he kicked out to tackle and started all nine contests. Frost’s 22 consecutive starts is the second-longest active streak on the team. Frost admits he likes the defensive line more than offensive line, but realizes his future is on offense.

“I really liked D-line,” Frost said. “I like the recognition I get on the offensive line. I feel like I’m a lot better offensive lineman than D-lineman. On offense, I kind of understand I’m not the guy who’s supposed to make the play. On the defensive line, when you make the play, you make the sack you say, ‘It’s all me.’ On offense, I have to put myself out of the way so the other guys make the play.”

The Wolf Pack running backs are happy to have Frost paving the way. He is Nevada's top run blocker and looking to improve in pass protection in his second season at right tackle. In addition to his high quality of play on the field, Frost's personality is infectious.

“With Aaron Frost, you know what you’re going to get," Lee said. "Every day, every night, no matter if we’re here at 4 in the morning, he’s juiced, he’s wide-eyed."

Given his aggressiveness, the Wolf Pack has worked to try and reign Frost back a little to curb his propensity for penalties. Nevada obviously doesn’t want to strip him of that nastiness and physicality. That’s his greatest strength. But it could do without the 10- and 15-yard mistakes.

“Definitely penalties,” Frost said of his offseason focus. “I’m working on my penalties. My pass protection and my penalties. Being more disciplined and being more consistent with my set.”

With three years of eligibility left at Nevada, Frost has time to improve before trying to jump to the pro level. He’s one of the Wolf Pack’s most beloved players among his teammates thanks to his combination of physicality, his love of the game and his seemingly endless energy. And his goal when he hits the field is simple.

“I really try to mess somebody up,” Frost said. “I don’t want my guy to make the play. I know if I finish the guy he can’t make the play. I try and leave myself in the dominant position.”

Sports columnist Chris Murray provides insight on Northern Nevada sports. Contact him at crmurray@sbgtv.com or follow him on Twitter @ByChrisMurray.

Offbeat News

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER