CHICAGO — Nebraska quarterback Tanner Lee is the first to tell you.
True freshman Tyjon Lindsey, the 4-star signee from Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, just might be the fastest guy on the team already.
“That guy,” Lee said. “That guy can run.”
Lindsey and fellow true freshman Jaevon McQuitty have been working out with Lee extensively this summer, the redshirt junior quarterback said Tuesday at Big Ten Media Days. Both true freshman are overcoming injuries from their senior seasons, both have yet to put on a Nebraska practice jersey yet — and yet, both coach Mike Riley and Lee said the two freshmen could be a key part in Nebraska’s offense in 2017.
Riley said Lindsey is too talented to keep off the field, as he can help out in the return game and in the slot.
“He’s going to be a good one,” Riley said.
Meanwhile, the 6-foot, 195-pound McQuitty looks like a college receiver already, Lee said.
“He had a really good summer and got healthy and he’s gonna be an exciting player,” Lee said.
The two are being mentored by upperclassmen receivers — Lindsey by senior De’Mornay Pierson-El, and McQuitty by junior Stanley Morgan Jr.
“They’re taking pride in molding those guys and getting them ready to play,” Lee said.
Nebraska’s wide receiving group is not nearly as deep as a year ago. The Huskers return Morgan, Pierson-El and junior Bryan Reimers. Beyond that, experience really drops off.
Redshirt freshman JD Spielman, who was co-MVP of the scout team in 2016 with Lee, is a guy Riley likes.
But with a thin group, having freshmen who could contribute early is something Riley wants to take advantage of.
Lindsey was the Huskers’ highest-rated 2017 signee. He moved from Las Vegas to Lincoln this June, flipping from Ohio State to Nebraska late in the process.
“With his ability, we got to push him and coach him hard and try in every way to get him comfortable to play,” Riley said. “And whatever that means with packaging, whatever parts of that, we gotta get Tyjon involved in some fashion.”
Riley likes the idea of Lindsey catching punts, too, saying he could be successful in that role now.
“He’s a natural,” Riley said.
Riley also really likes McQuitty, saying he has the look of an outside receiver.
With Morgan Jr. facing a potential one- or two-game suspension because of a marijuana charge, Riley’s hopes might have to be put in Lindsey and McQuitty quicker than previously thought. But at least for now, he feels pretty good about that.