LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska has lost promising freshman Jaevon McQuitty to a season-ending knee injury and two other receivers have missed practice time, blows to a position that already was a concern entering the season.
Coach Mike Riley said Thursday that McQuitty was hurt during a blocking drill this week. Riley said Keyan Williams had a “good hamstring pull” and would miss two weeks. JD Spielman is day-to-day with a pulled muscle.
The Cornhuskers lost three of their top four receivers from 2016. Stanley Morgan Jr. and De’Mornay Pierson-El combined for 53 catches and are the top returnees. No other receiver had more than five receptions.
McQuitty, the top-ranked high school player in Missouri coming out of last season, enrolled in January and was competing for playing time this season.
“For a true freshman who has been here for a short time, I was really pleased with how he was progressing,” offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf said. “I didn’t think he was going to go in there and start, but he was in the conversation of playing. That’s unfortunate. We’ll have to hope for the best and get him back quickly. He was having a good camp.”
Spielman and Williams are the top two slot receivers. Spielman redshirted in 2016 and was the scout team’s most valuable player on offense. Williams sat out last year after transferring from Fresno State.
“It’s always the receivers every year,” Riley said, referring to preseason injuries. “We try to do everything we can to prevent it. Jaevon’s deal has nothing to do with that. It was a real freaky blocking drill. I don’t know what happened.”
Riley also said that Tre’ Bryant, one of four running backs competing for playing time, was taking some time off to rest a knee.