The spring football game is less than a week away and the buzz of anticipation has already filled the air. The Nebraska Football team has a lot of new pieces to show off this year, including a whole new look at the wide receiver position. In my last piece, I covered the running back position and now I will introduce new and current faces that you will see at the wide receiver position this Saturday.
If you haven’t heard already, the Nebraska offense will have a new look this year. Much of that difference comes from the graduation of seniors such as Jordan Westerkamp, Brandon Reilly, and Alonzo Moore at the receiver position.
All three receivers had productive careers at Nebraska. It will be hard to replicate the behind-the-back catches by Westerkamp or the jump-ball snatches by Reilly in big games but the Huskers have a phenomenal receivers coach in Keith Williams, who has a way of developing a gorilla mentality in all his young receivers.
Coach Williams also has a knack for recruiting. Proof comes from within the 2017 cycle. The Nebraska Football fan base will see their first glimpse of new receivers Keyshawn Johnson Jr and Jaevon Mcquitty during the spring game on Saturday.
Johnson comes to the Nebraska program after starring in a potent offense at Calabasas High School in California. The son of former NFL wide receiver, Keyshawn Johnson, produced over 800 yards and 11 receiving touchdowns during his senior campaign at Calabasas. The young receiver won’t blow you away on paper but if you watch his film, you will see why Nebraska covets his talent. I won’t start comparing his catching ability to Westerkamp quite yet but he has the potential to be in that conversation down the road.
The other new face that you will likely see is Jaevon Mcquitty. The Missouri product racked up 50 catches for over 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns during his junior campaign for Battle High School. After reviewing the tape, Mcquitty displays the ability to make catches in traffic and break away from defenders after the catch. The Nebraska Football program will need production from both freshman receivers early and often if they are going to have offensive success during the 2017 season.
With all that being said, the Nebraska Football roster still has a few names at the position that you may be familiar with. The first is a guy by the name of De’mornay Pierson-El. You may remember Pierson-El as an electric special teams player but he also has been playing in the slot for the Huskers. Pierson-El started six games and contributed 20 receptions for 254 yards during the 2016 season. This is a big year for Pierson-El. If he can show growth in the position, the Huskers will be in a better place offensively.
The second guy that returns this year is a guy by the name of Stanley Morgan Jr. The Louisiana product heads into his junior season as a potential break out candidate for the Huskers. Morgan started nine games and accumulated 33 receptions for 453 yards and averaged close to 14 yards per catch during the 2016 season. There is a former Nebraska receiver by the name of Quincy Enunwa who is a good talent comparison with Morgan. Enunwa finished his career at Nebraska in the top ten for both receptions(115) and yards(1,526).
Other receivers that have been showing potential during the spring include guys like Keyan Williams, JD Spielman, and Conor Young. All three guys will be fighting for playing time and there is no better place to earn it then in front of 60,000 fans at Memorial Stadium.