The Nebraska men’s basketball team has its first recruit from the Class of 2020, and the Huskers didn’t have to look far to find him.
Lincoln North Star junior Donovan Williams announced on Twitter on Tuesday evening his commitment to Tim Miles and Nebraska. It is believed Williams will be the first Lincoln native to be on scholarship with the Husker basketball team since Lincoln Southeast’s Jake Muhleisen was at NU from 2001-02 to 2004-05.
“It’s special, man. It’s been my dream just to be playing college basketball, let alone be at a high major, because you never know. You could stop playing basketball any day,” Williams said Tuesday night. “So I’m just very thankful and blessed to be in this position right now, and we’ll just have to see where it goes.”
If it goes as well as Williams’ summer has gone, Nebraska will have picked up a steal.
Williams started the summer with no offers, and ended the AAU circuit with six. Nebraska was the first power conference school to offer Williams a scholarship when Miles reached out to the 6-foot-5 guard after watching him play for the Iowa Barnstormers’ 16U AAU team in the Adidas Gold Gauntlet Finale in New York City in mid-July.
Williams chose NU over offers from Omaha, South Dakota, Missouri-Kansas City, Bradley and UT-Rio Grand Valley.
“You know, it was crazy, because I kind of blew up a little later than most players at my level, and it wasn’t a bad thing at all. I kind of took people by surprise, and gathered up six late offers and one high-major offer from six good programs,” Williams said. “And it was good just being able to play against the best players in the country, and play my best and show schools that I’m worth taking that chance for.”
Williams had made a pair of unofficial visits to Nebraska, and had also unofficially visited Creighton and Iowa on top of attending Wisconsin’s elite camp.
Williams is the younger brother of Bryson Williams, a Super-State defensive tackle at Lincoln Southeast who signed with Wisconsin as a defensive tackle after a late charge from Nebraska shortly after Scott Frost was hired.
Unlike the previous football staff with Bryson Williams, Nebraska’s basketball coaches, led by Miles and top assistant Michael Lewis, homed in on Donovan Williams early.
“I just felt like they were making me their number one priority, and they believed in me when other schools didn’t, so why not? I felt at home, at my home, so why not? What am I waiting for?” Williams said. “The opportunity came when they offered me, and I took a couple weeks to think about it, and I just got that feeling in my heart that it was time to make it right.”
Williams, listed as a three-star recruit by Rivals, averaged 18.3 points and 2.7 rebounds per game as a sophomore last season for the Navigators on his way to earning first-team all-city honors.
Now, he’ll play his next two years of high school basketball just up the road from his college home.
Williams’ commitment continues a strong run of in-state recruiting for Nebraska. Freshman Brady Heiman signed with the Huskers last summer, becoming NU’s first in-state signee since 2002. Creighton Prep senior Akol Arop holds an offer from the Huskers, as does Bellevue West sophomore Chucky Hepburn.