Matt Rhule, ironically enough, had the line of the spring on Tuesday when he was talking about not needing to talk.

The question asked of the Nebraska head coach was, in effect, whether he looks to get soft-spoken or quieter players out of their shells. Reporters on hand for Tuesday’s availability also met with Rahmir Johnson, who isn’t the biggest “rah rah” guy in front of the cameras.

“One of the best players I’ve ever coached is Stephon Gilmore. One of the quietest guys I’ve ever been around,” Rhule said. “One of the benefits of playing for our staff is we don’t try to change who you are. A lot of coaches want you to fit into this cookie-cutter mold. I think it’s really affecting young people.

“I’ve got guys on this team that are into photography, they’re into cooking, they’re into this, and then they go to these other places that want them just to be a football player. These guys aren’t just football players, they’re young people who play football. I want them to be themselves.”

That authenticity is important to the first-year Husker coach. He wants a team that’s about the right things, and one that won’t just provide flash without substance.

“I don’t need spokespeople, I need leaders,” he said. “I don’t need people who are great in front of the camera. A lot of people talk about our videos. If you notice in our videos we post — and I’m proud to post those — they’re always of us working, they’re never of us talking.

“The program is built on work, it’s not built on hype.”

Added Rhule: “Rahmir doesn’t have to change anything about himself personality-wise. He just has to play loud and make plays.”

Same goes for everyone else who puts on the red ‘N.’