A.J. Jimmerson grew up watching Nebraska. The option teams, the running back tradition and of course, "O-line" U. It's a team that even as a youngster he envisioned himself a part of, if only in a dream. "That's who I grew up watching all the time." Jimmerson stated. "I wanted to be that running back behind those linemen."
The tradition of the "pipeline" isn't all that wooed the Missouri standout over to the Husker-side of thinking. All that Red certainly didn't hurt. "I've never actually been to a college game myself." A.J. said. "But, you see all that Red on T.V. and you hear about their fans, it's something you really want to see."
That's not going to be possible on A.J.'s unofficial to Lincoln either on the 25th or 26th. But, that's not diminishing the excitement behind other expectations he has or things he's hoping to see.
It's like anything or anyone you idolize or follow growing up. If you have that chance to see them in person, you hope that it lives up to this image you've built up in your mind. Jimmerson is no different as he's got some hopes built up already for he'd like to or even expects to see once he makes it onto campus. "I'm hoping that I just hit it off with the coaches." he said. "I'm hoping that it just feels like a place that I'll fit in. You know, the atmosphere, the players, how I get along with everyone, I'm just hoping that I see everything I think I am going to see."
And if A.J. Jimmerson does see all that he's imagined to actually be true? Could this Hazelwood high star leave Lincoln a future Husker? "There's a good chance of that." he said. "But, like I said, it has to be right. I mean, I wouldn't mind taking visits during the season and going to see a few games, but if everything feels the way I hope it feels and everything else is the way I'm hoping it will be, who knows what can happen then."
What will happen in Lincoln isn't known, but as for Jimmerson's Senior year, if you just base your expectations on what he did as a Junior, you'd have to smile at the possibilities. It's not uncommon for a running back to have 1,500 plus yards like A.J. did last year, but to add over 600 yards receiving, that IS uncommon and clearly illustrates just how versatile Jimmerson is.
He's the ultimate dual-threat out of the backfield. "I like to think that I can do it all." A.J. said. "You know, whether it's coming out of the backfield to catch passes or just running it, I don't want to do just one thing good, but everything."
At 5'10" and weighing in at over 200 pounds, Jimmerson brings a mobile but physical package to the fray. And, running a 4.45/40, it's a pretty fast package as well. For A.J. though, he's just building on what he thinks his potential could be. "I'm not anywhere near where I could be." A.J. said. "I think I do a lot of things well, but there's always room to improve. You see guys play at the level you want to be and that's what you have to do. You can't ever be satisfied or you just stop getting better."
As the camps are about to roll around, A.J. will have yet more opportunities to do just that. But, for Husker fans, they want to know if he'll be doing that with the title "future Husker" by his name as early as next week or will they have to wait out the entire recruiting process to find out?
A.J. obviously doesn't know the answer to that question, but again, one can hope. "You always want to get that feeling that whatever place you are at, everything says that's where you should be." he said. "If I get that at Nebraska, that's great and it makes my decision easier. If not, I'll just take a look at everyone on my list and figure it all out when I can."
Steve Ryan can be reached at SteveRyan@bigredreport.com or 402-730-5619