Husker football players are about to get tested in a big way by some sources from the outside.

Nebraska will call on the services of The Program, a form of intense training and leadership-building run by former military personnel, who will work with players this upcoming Sunday through Tuesday, according to tight ends coach Sean Beckton.

The military-style training program was also used multiple times by Bo Pelini when he was the Husker head coach, and was something Scott Frost's players at UCF went through the past two years.

"They're going to put our players in a tough environment. They're going to put them in an environment where physically they have to do a lot of demanding things, and mentally they have to do a lot of demanding things," Beckton told some Husker fans in Blair as part of a 26-city tour by coaches. "We're going to find out who our leaders are. We're going to find out who's going to quit. We're going to find out guys we can depend on.

"Those freshmen guys, see which of those guys have the mentality to help us as a true freshman."

Those who run the training program describe their mission as so: "The Program is not concerned about talent or winning individual games. We care about competing for championships — and to compete for a championship, we must make a commitment as individuals and as a team to getting ‘that much better’ every single day. We do this by being good team leaders and good teammates and by preparing ourselves every day to fill either role."

Beckton noted that last year coaches discovered a player who could help immediately through his impressive work in The Program.

"He came through it like he was an up-and-coming senior, and he ended up starting as a true freshman at receiver for us," Beckton said. "So this is a critical week for our team, and where we're going to go through 2018. The formula we've used the last two years, we're going to do the same thing. Once all the freshmen get in, we bring The Program in.

"It gives us a chance to see where we need to go, and where we really need to put our stamp on, and who we need to depend on to hold kids accountable. It really forces a lot of players to basically buy into the system that we're trying to implement."

In a stop this week in Ogallala, running backs coach Ryan Held said that while some players are stepping forward as leaders, Nebraska's coaches need to see more from the players. 

"Every time we’re together, there are opportunities to lead," Held said. "We want to put our guys in a position to do that. We don’t want fake leaders. We don’t want false leaders. We don’t want to force a guy to be a leader. We do leadership training. We’ll have a deal starting Sunday night into next Tuesday where the Program comes in — leadership group, military guys that they used at Oregon, we used at UCF to help teach these guys what it means to be a leader, what qualities there are to being a great teammate. We help facilitate that process as well." 

I think we have a good start. That will be a work in progress.

When the work with The Program finishes, the work is just getting started.

Beckton said Husker football strength coach Zach Duval "is going to turn it up a bit as far as conditioning and what we're doing in the weight room" after getting a gauge of where this team is at physically and mentally.

Earlier in the day, defensive coordinator Erik Chinander spoke about the importance of players establishing themselves and their work ethic not just at practice, but through their training.

"I'm tired of hearing about these 'gamers,' who rise up to the level of their competition. 'No, you don't. You sink to the level of your training,'" Chinander told fans. "If you can't train the way I want you to, the way we want you to, then you don't need to be part of what we're doing. Because you're only holding us back and there will be some addition by subtraction if you can't do that."