LINCOLN, Neb. - The combination of Nebraska receivers Kenny Bell, Quincy Enunwa, and Jamal Turner caught 124 balls for 1,780 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2012. With the departure of two senior tight ends, one might think the three receivers numbers will go up in 2013.
It might not be the case.
The wide receiver position is loaded with talent this spring and should prove to be the deepest position this fall – meaning younger guys might get opportunities to play and rack up numbers of their own.
“We are a strong group. The cool thing about our group is we got three veteran guys who have played a lot of football in myself, Quincy and Jamal,” said junior receiver Kenny Bell. “Some would say it's a drop off to the young guys who haven't played, but in my mind, the way I learned was watching the guys who did it before me. I watched Niles (Paul), BK (Brandon Kinnie), Prince (Amukamara). Those guys really taught me the game. It's more experience to gain from them than listen to Coach Fisher over and over again.
“We have a lot of talent in the room, now we just have to find a way to develop it. The three of us can really help to develop that talent and help develop a culture in the room.”
Bell was asked out of the younger receivers, who was pushing the older guys?
“You can go down the line,” said Bell. “Alonzo Moore has been having a good camp. Brandon Reilly has been doing great. Sam Foltz has been really good. Westy (Jordan Westerkamp) is having a good camp. I think all of those guys are buying in. They saw the success some of the older guys have had and they want to imitate it. Not to be cocky, but when you look at a guy like Quincy who has played a ton of football, you see how he practices and plays the game. People want to imitate it. I think they are really coming along.”
While Bell and Enunwa are both going on their fourth-year with the program, this is only Turner's third-year in college. Throw in the fact he was a converted high school quarterback and his transformation from young guy to leader is even more impressive.
“I've noticed a shift in his dedication, hard work, and attention to detail. That's a thing that comes with maturity. Jamal should really be what I was last year, a redshirt sophomore. That's not being disrespectful, he got to play some his freshman year, but probably not as much as he would have liked,” said Bell. “It's been interesting to see him come into the role of leader. He's far ahead of where I was last year when it comes to leadership and what he's capable of. I'm looking forward to see the year he can have.”
The trio also benefits from working with a fourth-year starting quarterback, who has put hundreds of hours in with the group.
“The chemistry grows everyday with Taylor (Martinez),” said Bell. “There was a play today where I was running a fade. I looked back and I knew what he was going to do – he threw back shoulder and I caught it and converted a first-down. It's a good feeling to see what you have been working on for three years show up on the field. We have put a lot of work and passion in to it. We come out here and work hard.”