Williams calls NU receivers group ‘one of the deepest’ in Big Ten
They know who will be doing most of the throwing to them, especially following Monday’s news that Tristan Gebbia was leaving the Nebraska football program after Adrian Martinez was named the starter.
Now, Nebraska’s receivers can focus on living up to their own lofty expectations.
“We definitely have one of the deepest corps, I’d say, in the conference,” junior Mike Williams said Monday. “Because if someone goes down we’ve got another man that’s just as good and can do the same things.”
Williams has seen that depth up close and was one of three starters listed at receiver on the NU depth chart released Sunday morning.
How did he find his edge at a position group that goes seven-deep on the official depth chart and a few more than that on the entire roster?
“I would say just learning the playbook, staying in it at night,” Williams explained. “They (the coaches) would give us a practice script of what we were going to do the next day, so I would study that, get it down so I wouldn’t have many missed assignments the next day. So kind of a studying-type thing.”
His natural ability probably didn’t hurt either. Williams said shortly after he arrived in Lincoln in the winter that he’d run a 4.37 40-yard dash. Four weeks after arriving in Nebraska at 160 pounds, he had put on 11 pounds of muscle.
The transfer from East Mississippi Community College led that squad with 30 catches for 669 yards and seven touchdowns as the Lions went 11-1 and won the 2017 junior college national championship. The previous season, Williams was at Georgia Southern.
“It was definitely relieving because it’s been a long journey,” Williams said of seeing his name on the depth chart. “I came from a small D-I school to the juco, now I’m here. So it’s definitely been a journey and now I’m just appreciative of these coaches for giving me the opportunity to showcase my talents.”
Williams has quickly gone about making a name for himself at perhaps the most crowded position on the team.
How crowded? Consider that Tyjon Lindsey is listed as a second-stringer. And Jaevon McQuitty isn’t even on the two-deep.
That doesn’t mean the depth chart won’t change throughout the year. And it certainly doesn’t mean some guys won’t see the field.
“We really don’t worry about who’s starting,” Williams said. “We have a lot of depth.”