The recruiting machine churns all week. Join us Sunday through Thursday nights when we recap Nebraska recruiting news, offering analysis and context.
Keith Williams non-recruiting recruitment
Nebraska wide receivers coach Keith Williams told me last fall that he’s always thinking about recruiting.
I asked him if, during a game when a wide receiver makes a nice grab, how quickly he goes from “that was a nice play” to “that will work well on the recruiting trail.”
“Almost immediately,” he said. “I’m always thinking about it.”
Which is something to consider when looking at his current training of former quarterback Tommy Armstrong.
Armstrong is working out with Williams up to four times a week to try to become a receiver, Armstrong recently told Land of 10’s Sean Keeler.
That in and of itself isn’t shocking. Armstrong is trying to get to the NFL, he’s trying to keep his options open, and if he wants to try out as a receiver, Williams is an obvious choice to help him.
But there’s also a small underlying message Williams is sending by working with Armstrong: He can make anyone into a receiver.
You have to assume that’s something Williams can now use to recruit.
I don’t mean this in a disingenuous way. Williams isn’t using Armstrong for personal gain on the recruiting trail. But one of the main draws to Nebraska for high school receivers is Williams, and one of the main draws of Williams is the players he works out in the summer.
Last year, Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver De’Anthony Thomas came up to Lincoln to work with Williams. Recruits often point that out as a selling point, and I’ve heard that Williams touts that to recruits as well.
Now, working with Armstrong, Williams can sell the NFL more to non-receivers as well as receivers. If Nebraska has a dual-threat quarterback who wants to make the league (like Armstrong) as a receiver, or a running back who wants to make the league as more than just a running back, Williams is a key to that.
With Williams, recruits can now see a potential route to the NFL as a receiver, even if that’s not the position for which they were recruited. You have to think Williams will sell that to recruits in 2018 and beyond.
Huskers offer 3-star DE Joseph Ossai
Nebraska offered 3-star defensive end Joseph Ossai on Tuesday.
— Kevin Deon Goodwin (@goodwin_kevin14) February 21, 2017
Ossai, from Conroe, Texas, is the No. 18 weak-side defensive end in the 2018 class and has 21 total offers. He recently got offers from Texas, Ole Miss and Arkansas.
Nebraska’s last four offers have gone to weak-side defensive ends, which is becoming a point of emphasis for the 2018 class and beyond for new defensive coordinator Bob Diaco’s 3-4 defense.
Another Elite 11 invite
Justin Fields was the second quarterback in the 2018 class to receive an invitation to the Elite 11 quarterback camp this summer.
— Elite11 (@Elite11) February 19, 2017
Fields, a 4-star dual-threat quarterback, joins Tanner McKee, who was the first to receive an invitation at the Houston Regional. McKee is one of Nebraska’s top targets.
Fields also has an offer from Nebraska but is a Penn State commit.
Shout-out from Rich Eisen
We talked briefly last week about why the commitment of Kurt Warner’s son, Kade, was a big deal for Nebraska.
The main reason: his name.
Here’s an example: Michigan alum and NFL Network anchor Rich Eisen congratulated Kade on Twitter to Eisen’s 1.1 million followers.
— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) February 21, 2017
Some nice publicity for a 2-star wide receiver announcing he’ll be walking on at Nebraska, no?