Nyan Boateng: And the leader is............

No season, no stats, no anything for wide receiver, Nyan Boateng. Well, other than a whole lot of rehab. That's how life has been since the ankle-injury at the beginning of the football season that has held him out up to even now. Nyan is closer, though, closer to coming back, closer to being back at full speed and yes, closer in deciding which college is the best fit for him.

For any athlete, dormancy is a fate worse than death. So active, so energetic, the last thing you want as one of those types of athletes is to not do anything at all. For wide receiver, Nyan Boateng, it's not like he's not doing anything, but it's certainly not what he wants. "It's just one of those things you have to do." Nyan said of rehabbing his ankle from an injury that occurred early on in the football season. "You have to do it to get back to playing again."

 

Of the rehab, Boateng did say that it wasn't a great experience, but the closer he gets to making it back, the more enjoyable it seems. "It's little by little you start to feel like you are back to where you were." He said. "When you first start, you don't know if it's ever going to end, but now, I'm starting to feel like I am almost ready to go back at it full speed."

 

Around early to mid-January is the hope as Nyan still clings to some thought that he could indeed play in the U.S. Army All-American bowl in San Antonio. Without an entire season to get in "game-shape", however, you might wonder if that's really what he wants. "Oh, it would be hard, no doubt about that." Boateng said. "But, I've been doing nothing but rehabbing for so long now, I'm just anxious to play."

 

Boateng may not end up actually participating in the All-Star game, but that won't stop him from getting the most out of his trip. Hearkening back to the tradition that was set by players like Chris Leak, Nyan figures to announce his future school down in San Antonio as well.

 

But, not like anyone else.

 

"I've got a little something planned." He said. "I haven't figured it all out yet, but I got something."

 

That's the showman in Boateng and he'll be the first to admit that he's got a lot of that in him. It's a by-product of where he grew up though and what he grew up doing.

 

If there is one thing that any young and aspiring basketball player from New York will tell you is that the "game" down on the blacktops in the inner-city is about two things; ability and will. Add to that the colorful jawing that is almost as trademark to leagues like "Rutgers", you've got some of the best basketball around.

 

That's what Boateng grew up in and that is why when you ask him about what he can do, especially in the basketball arena, he's not shy in a quick response. "You grow up playing in the leagues up here, you are either good or you're gone." He said. "You bring it and everyone here has game and there's a lot of jawing going on."

 

"That's how it is, but there's no place like this. If you are king here, there's no place you can't play."

 

And, Boateng can do that and then some. As a football player, Boateng is still rated as one of the top 15 wideouts in the country. And, that's with not playing for an entire year. As a basketball player, Boateng still managed to make it into the top 100 in the country before going down.

 

It's that versatility that makes him so intriguing and that makes his choice of schools a little more interesting in the end. "Basketball is what I grew up playing, it's what I love." Nyan said. "But, I've just always been good at playing football. I want to play both if I can, so when I look at these schools, I look at the ones that will give me a real shot to do that."

 

Schools like Michigan, who's tradition with both basketball and football are noted. Maryland, who's football prowess isn't extreme, but their basketball tradition more than makes up for that gap. And, then there's Nebraska, who's football team holds all the tradition, whereas their basketball program has never been beyond the first round of the NCAA.

 

Hard to think that the Huskers have any kind of shot here, but NU also has something that neither the Wolverines or the ‘Terps have.

 

Friends.

 

Will Harris and Jamel White, both are friends are of Boateng. Long-time friends, actually, the trio growing up and of course, playing basketball together. That's icing, however, as Boateng looks at them being at Nebraska as attractive, but when he sees the Huskers, neither White or Harris are anywhere in the picture. "Coach Callahan is a big reason why I like them so much." Boateng said. "I like his offense, but I also like that recruiting class they have going."

 

"When you see players like that coming in, you know they are building something down there."

 

The potential is what Boateng sees, but it also has to do with what he's seen at NU already. Having made an official to see the Huskers in an actual game, he's looking at Lincoln as ready for success. "They've got all that stuff other teams have like the facilities, coaches and whatever." Nyan said. "They are just trying to get in the players to make it work."

 

Part of all those things and perhaps everything put together is what Nyan says puts Nebraska as his leader right now. And, the Huskers are then followed by Michigan and then by the Maryland Terrapins.

 

Come January 15th, though, everyone will know where he's going and after that, Boateng will finally be able to put the recruiting process behind him and look for his hopeful future.

 

It's one where all he's concerned with right now is simply staying in one piece. "Now that I am getting closer to all the way back, I never want to go through that again." He said. "You grow from something like that, but it still doesn't make it any easier."

 

"I just want to play."


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