When Nebraska hit Arizona last year, they didn't mess around, Nebraska safety coach Bill Busch pulling out six future Huskers. Of those, five were preps (Armando Murillo came out of Eastern Arizona JC), and of those five, four (Eric Hagg, Prince Amukamara, Jaivorio Burkes, William Yancy) were ranked in the state of Arizona , in the top 13.
It's hard to believe even for someone who covers the team, but for Sierra Vista (Buena HS), AZ running back, who was just offered by the Huskers three weeks ago, he was as shocked as anyone. "I already knew a little about Nebraska , but even before they offered me, I saw that class they got and I was thinking that, that was a place I had to check out," Womble said.
Since the offer from Nebraska , his interest has obviously grown, but he's still no less surprised. "From what my coach told me, Nebraska asked for film on two players from the school, so we sent them my film and Jake's (Muasau) too," Jamal said of his highlights along with that of teammate and best friend, wide receiver Jake Muasau, who also was offered by Nebraska . "The next thing I know, coach Busch is calling my coach and now both Jake and I have offers.
"I haven't even met coach Busch, but my coach has, and he said that he has a real passion for the game."
The passion is something that will be mandatory for any coach of Wombles, because the kid has a little himself. Even with a hamstring he's been icing for over a week, he's got combines and camps he has and still plans to attend.
The most recent was the Scout.com L.A. Combine, and while nobody ever comes out of their completely satisfied with what they do, Jamal said that considering his hamstring, he's pretty chipper about the final results. "I'm real happy about the 4.2 shuttle I ran, but my hamstring limited me to running just a 4.5/40," Womble said. "But I was VERY satisfied once we got to the one-on-one drills. That's where I really got it going."
With a mix of both physicality and elusiveness, Womble describes himself as a versatile back, who has the luxury of going through you or over you, even at under 5-11 and weighing just a bit over 200 pounds. It's about leverage, strength and mind-set, and you discover Jamal's real quickly once you are facing him on the field. "I like to dominate just like anyone else, so I usually mix it up when I am on the field," he said of his style. "But if you are standing there in front of me and I have the choice to go around you or through you, I'm coming straight over you."
Womble's style and ability netted him 1250 yards on 180 carries in a year where he missed one game with strep throat, and in another he suffered some broken ribs. But much like his mind-set going into a Purdue camp he has scheduled for this weekend, still nursing the sore hammy, it isn't about what he can't do, but what he can, which he wants everyone to see. "You can't always play healthy. Sometimes you have to just roll with it and go," Womble said. "I know I could run faster if I stayed off it for awhile, but it's times like these where you have to show people what you've got."
It's obvious Nebraska likes what he has, along with Arizona State , Oregon State, Purdue and Boston College – the five teams to offer him thus far. And if there are other offers coming, Womble sees Louisville as a likely team, because along with the Beavers, he has had a ton of contact with the Cardinals.
An unofficial visit to visit Louisville , Womble says is hopefully in the future, but with this recent offer from the Huskers, he says they now obviously are added to the list. "You have to know about their tradition, because it's Nebraska ," Womble said. "And I know they put running backs into the NFL. Tradition is important to me as is fan support, and when it comes to Nebraska , everyone knows they have both of those."
Womble also said of his main criteria that graduation rate, having his major (business, sports management or journalism) and a presence in the NFL doesn't hurt.
As for leaders, at least right now, Womble says he has none. He puts all of the teams who have offered him up there, but adds teams like Louisville , North Carolina , Tennessee , LSU, Florida State and others. That's quite a variance for a kid, geographically speaking, no matter where he's from, but if there is one thing that Womble doesn't care at all about, it's where the school is.
"I came over from Germany , because my dad is in the Air Force. We were there for two years," Womble said of his team before he moved to Arizona . "So, location means absolutely-completely nothing to me."
In regard to when a decision could come, Womble isn't worried about that either, because he plans on taking all of his official visits, wherever those may be. "It's a long ways to those, and I am just thinking about the schools I can visit now," he said. "I am going to try to get to see as many as I can. I don't know. We'll just have to see how it works out."
Stay tuned to Big Red Report as we will be staying in touch with Jamal, but we'll have something soon with teammate Jake Muasau. Nebraska is his only offer right now and even Womble said that they have talked about playing together at the next level "all the time." We'll get Jake's take on the Husker offer and fill you in on the big picture as Nebraska goes after another talented group out of the state of Arizona .Check out Jamal's Junior Highlights