If you can summarize Mikell Simpson up in one word, it's "versatile". On offense, Simpson averaged apprx. 10 yards a carry last year from the running back position. He also caught 23 balls for over 500 yards, scoring a total of 23 touchdowns on the year. Not enough? Ok, on defense, Mikell had 57 tackles and 5 interceptions.
Oh, he also runs a 10.8 100.
Not bad for someone over 6 foot tall, weighing close to 200 lbs.
That kind of versatility makes Mikell's first question to schools recruiting him pretty easy. "I have to ask them what position they want me to play." Simpson stated. "I'm being recruited for a lot of positions, but mostly it's at running-back or on the offense somewhere."
While the list of those teams recruiting him is long and getting longer by the week, the list of offers is obviously what Simpson looks at the most. He's got 7 right now, the most recent one coming from a childhood favorite of his. "Nebraska offered me this last Wednesday." he said. "I like Nebraska because of the way they run the ball."
That might have been true of the Huskers before, but head coach, Bill Callahan's west coast system is a bit different from the option. Simpson said that based on his communication with running backs' coach, Randy Jordan, he's confident that though this isn't the run-heavy Nebraska of old, the run won't lose it's luster in Lincoln. "I talked to him after their game." Simpson said of talking to Jordan following Nebraska's annual Spring game. "They were throwing to the running backs a lot which is something I really like and that's something they didn't always do before."
Not hard to understand why Simpson wants an offense that can exhibit everything he does, because even being a little modest, he admittedly doesn't see much that he can't do from the I-back position. "I like to think that I can do it all." he said. "If you want to be a successful running back, you have to be more than just a runner. You have to be able to run, catch, block, everything and I think I can do that."
Of those teams that have offered him, you can forget about any real early favorites. As Mikell stated, the early attention isn't any sort of pressure to get the decision done, rather it's a chance to see where it all leads and he plans on taking the long road before deciding where he wants to go. "I'm not even really thinking about any of that right now." Simpson said of declaring a leader. "I'm really enjoying just taking it all in, will play my senior season and after that I'll figure everything out."
Steve Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-730-5619