Westerkamps gets opportunity

The redshirt freshman calls a chance to play a humbling experience.

LINCOLN, Neb. - - Jordan Westerkamp was a four-year high school starter.

His senior year he was a USA Today first-team All-American.

He holds nearly every single state of Illinois receiving career record.

Jordan Westerkamp was the receiver so many guys wanted to be like for a long time.

That is until last year, when as a true freshman, he was asked to redshirt. Westerkamp admits he was mad and upset, but it didn't take long for him to realize it was for the best.

"I just took a step back and looked at the big picture and thought, I have all this time to put the work in and get better," said Westerkamp. "I wanted to follow the roles of Quincy (Enunwa), Kenny (Bell), and Jamal (Turner), all those guys and keep working hard.

"It was difficult, but you have to look at the big picture. Of course you want to come in and play right away, but when you get here, there is a lot more things than you think going into it. You want to play, contribute, and help the team, but have to know your role. You have to keep putting in the hard work and eventually it will come."

His first opportunity came this past Saturday, in a 37-34, Nebraska victory over Wyoming.

Westerkamp didn't play a lot of snaps and didn't record a catch, but was asked to be on the field in the fourth quarter – a sign the coaching staff trusts him in big situations.

"Coach Fisher is a great coach and he says that you get what you deserve," said the former four-star recruit. "Alonzo (Moore) and I have put in a lot of work and he put us out there. He's a man of his word. It was a great... I was glad that to finally get the opportunity to get out there, it wasn't much, but I was really glad to be able to get out there and do some things. Hopefully as the season goes on I will be able to get out there and do more. I just have to keep working hard. It was definitely a humbling experience."

When Westerkamp's name is often brought up after practices, it's usually by teammates or coaches raving about the redshirt freshman's sturdy hands. The Illinois native was asked about the subject on Monday.

"Being a wide receiver, catching the ball is a very important thing," said Westerkamp. "It's definitely something I take a lot of pride in. I get on myself if I drop a ball, so it's definitely take to heart. Drops are unacceptable in my book."

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Josh Harvey has covered college football and recruiting for Fox Sports & Scout.com since 2008. He is now the Publisher of Big Red Report, covering Nebraska athletics.
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