In between building a homemade speaker for a junior year physics project, Isaac Townsend had time to squeeze in important unofficial visits last weekend to Oregon and Nebraska.
The Arvada, Colo., native made the two-school swing with his mother, first checking out the Ducks before heading to Lincoln.
At Nebraska, the 3-star defensive end watched practice and spoke with strength and conditioning coach Zach Duval, defensive coordinator Erik Chinander, defensive line coach Mike Dawson and inside linebackers coach Barrett Ruud. He even spent some time with coach Scott Frost.
“I liked what I heard,” Townsend said. “We talked about how they plan to [replicate] what they did at UCF. I just had a really good day of talking with them.”
But Townsend’s favorite part of the day was watching the coaches in action. He had only positive thoughts about the practice on Saturday he observed.
“I liked it a lot,” he said. “It was very up-tempo. They used their time wisely. The get after it — very energized.”
Townsend paid attention to the defensive line unit throughout the day. The Huskers like Townsend as a defensive end in their 3-4 scheme, he said.
Ruud has been Townsend’s primary recruiter. He visited him at his school, Ralston Valley, in January. Townsend said he and Ruud talk three or four times a week.
“We have a really good relationship,” Townsend said. “We talk about life, football, what it would be like at Nebraska, what we got going on over the weekend. We have a pretty good relationship going.”
During his Oregon visit, the Ducks offered him, and he called the trip “also really good.”
“Oregon and Nebraska are some of my top choices,” Townsend said. “It was nice to have them right next to each other so I could compare notes.”
He would like to return to Nebraska sooner rather than later, but does not know when another visit will take place. The drive from his home to Lincoln would take about seven hours, but flying from Denver to Omaha is much more reasonable at a 90-minute flight time.
Boise State, Iowa State, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington State are other schools that have extended Townsend an offer. The 6-foot-6, 235-pound recruit said he has no other visits planned, but will probably see Virginia at some point. He said the Cavaliers, Notre Dame, Washington and UCLA are the other schools recruiting him the hardest right now.
As for what the Huskers need to do to maintain their position as one of Townsend’s top schools, he said the communication line between he and Ruud must continue and that he’d like to see the coaches “keep bringing the program up.”
Townsend wants to commit before his senior year, likely during the summer.
“Just whenever’s right,” he said.
Outside of loving the practice and having productive conversations with the staff, Townsend enjoyed his first trip to Lincoln. The city surprised him.
“Usually, you think not a lot of people are out there [in Nebraska],” he said. “But it’s actually a pretty active town.”
Could he imagine himself as part of the Lincoln community one day?
“I could see it,” Townsend said. “I was thinking about it. I liked it a lot.”