The recruiting machine churns all week. Join us on Tuesday and Friday nights when we recap Nebraska recruiting news, offering analysis and context.
Keith Williams arrest, and recruits
There might not be anyone more important, other than Nebraska head coach Mike Riley, than receivers coach Keith Williams when it comes to Cornhuskers recruiting.
For starters, he helped recruit two 4-star wide receivers in Keyshawn Johnson Jr., and Jaevon McQuitty.
This weekend, he showed 5-star WR Joseph Lewis around the stadium after Nebraska’s scrimmage on Saturday. Lewis is the No. 2 wide receiver in the 2017 class, according to 247sports.
Williams has attracted the attention of 4-star WR Tyjon Lindsey from Corono, Calif., the No. 5 wide receiver in the 2017 class. Williams helped bring Lindsey out to the Friday Night Lights camp Nebraska hosted in June and is scheduled to announce his commitment on Aug. 22.
Williams has also put Nebraska on the map for 5-star CB/WR Darnay Holmes, the No. 2 cornerback in the 2017 class who plays wide receiver as well at Calabasas (Calif.) High School with Johnson.
Williams brings in a ton of talent to Nebraska, which is part of what will make the next few days so difficult for coach Mike Riley.
After Williams’ third DUI arrest early on Sunday morning, Riley said there will be consequences coming. He didn’t say what, or when, but they are coming. Some are calling for Williams to be fired, or to resign, or just be suspended.
Regardless of what will happen, it will inevitably have an effect on recruiting, for better or worse.
So far, recruits have showed nothing but unwavering support for Williams.
— Jaevon McQuitty (@YaboyJae19) August 16, 2016
We're FAMILY. If I dropped one ball would he stop recruiting me? People make mistakes.
— Keyshawn Jr. (@keyshawnnnn) August 15, 2016
In oceans deep
My faith will stand.
— Tristan Gebbia (@tgeb13) August 15, 2016
But rumors swirled that Jamire Calvin, a 3-star wide receiver from Los Angeles, wasn’t interested in Nebraska any more after Williams’ arrest.
“I might switch up (the official visit schedule),” Calvin told Rivals. “I don’t know any more especially after the news (Sunday) with coach (Williams) getting arrested. That affected my decision.”
Calvin visited Nebraska during the spring game in April but he later back-tracked on Monday and on Twitter.
Yes I'm still visiting Nebraska chill..
— Jamire Calvin (@jcalv6) August 16, 2016
247sports still gives Nebraska a 75 percent chance of signing Calvin.
So as of now, recruits have stood by Williams, which is a testament to the relationship he has with recruits. But, no doubt, that could change. The decision to keep or fire Williams by Riley and the Nebraska athletic department will surely make recruits determine if they are more loyal to Nebraska or to Williams.
Recapping Joseph Lewis’ visit
Joseph Lewis is the No. 2-rated wide receiver in the country, per 247sports, and the 5-star recruit took in Nebraska’s practice from the sideline Saturday afternoon.
This was the first visit to Nebraska for the 6-foot-1, 204-pound Lewis. He currently has another visit scheduled for Sept. 17. Lewis is considering USC, Arizona and Alabama, among Nebraska.
Lewis visited Arizona and Alabama this summer as well.
On Saturday, a few coaches wore red shirts with the number four on it, which is the number Lewis wears in high school.
After practice, Williams talked one-on-one with Lewis at the middle of the field. Senior WR Jordan Westerkamp also chatted up Lewis as the two walked from the field into the locker room after practice.
Lewis also stopped to take pictures with a few Husker fans afterward.
— Brooke Day (@BRODAY81) August 13, 2016
High praise for Darnay Holmes
Former Nebraska corner Fabian Washington gave 5-star recruit Darnay Holmes some of the highest praise you will ever see.
Washington, who was drafted in the first round of the 2004 NFL draft by the Oakland Raiders, insinuated Holmes would become the best Husker cornerback of all-time if he committed to Nebraska. Holmes plans on visiting Nebraska on Sept. 17 during the Oregon game.
Darnay is a 3 year guy. He could be the best Husker cornerback ever. I love his skill set. #Huskers
— FABIAN WASHINGTON (@FABEWASH31) August 15, 2016
Isaiah Hodgins back on the market
3-star WR Isaiah Hodgins decomitted from Washington State this week, opening up his recruitment again.
Weighing all my options pic.twitter.com/iW52wBhinB
— Isaiah Hodgins (@IsaiahHodgins) August 16, 2016
Nebraska offered the 6-foot-3, 194-pound Hodgins in April.
Hodgins is the No. 50 wide receiver in the 2017 class and No. 38 recruit out of California. He had committed to Washington State on May 2.
247sports is now predicting Oregon has a 60 percent chance of signing him.
2018 DT interested in Nebraska
5-star DT Taron Vincent recently told Rivals he’s interested in visiting Nebraska and has been talking with defensive line coach John Parrella.
“It’s been going good,” Vincent said of talking with the Huskers. He said he just needs to see if he can make it to a game this season.
“Yes, I want to visit them. I just know that Ndamukong Suh went there and he’s my all-time favorite player. I look up to him,” said Vincent, who plays at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
Vincent is the No.-1 rated defensive tackle in the 2018 class and has offers from Ohio State, Florida State, UCLA and Alabama. The 6-foot-3, 285-pound tackle visited Ohio State, Florida State and Rutgers this summer.
If I was a betting man
I’m not going to predict whether or not Keith Williams will be in Nebraska this fall or not, but what I will say is it does not seem like recruits are going anywhere anytime soon.
It’s hard to say whether the loyalty the recruits have are to Williams or the school, but the loyalty a handful of the 2016 commits have shown already is a good indication they won’t be decommitting. It’s too early to tell for certain, though, and it’s going to be something to watch closely between now and National Signing Day in February.