LINCOLN — Should four-star receiver Desmond Fitzpatrick commit to Nebraska at his high school announcement ceremony Monday, there is one Husker coach who should get the lion's share of the credit.
Wide receivers coach Keith Williams.
Both Fitzpatrick's dad, Greg, and his coach at Waterford (Michigan) Mott High School said Williams, going into his second year at NU, played a key role in wooing Fitzpatrick to even consider the Huskers.
"Coach Williams has an incredible love and passion for coaching the position and leaves no stone unturned when it comes to making his players better," Greg Fitzpatrick said.
Said Waterford coach Chris Fahr: "He's as good as anybody I've ever seen. If Dez picks Nebraska, I could see why he'd fall in love with playing for Coach Williams."
"Everything about the guy is just real," Fahr said. "There's no coachspeak. He is who he is, and it's refreshing."
If Fitzpatrick picks Nebraska — he's also considering Louisville, Indiana and Arizona — he would be NU's third wideout commit in the 2016 class.
Williams has already landed Stockton (California) McNair star Derrion Grim, who had 96 catches for 1,928 yards and 34 touchdowns during his senior season, and Eden Prairie (Minnesota) athlete J.D. Spielman, who scored 26 touchdowns five ways — rushing, receiving, and kick, punt and interception returns — en route to being named Mr. Football in Minnesota.
Grim and Spielman are projected to be slot receivers. Fitzpatrick, at 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, is more suited to play outside. Ditto for Olathe (Kansas) North athlete Isaiah Simmons, who returned from an official visit to Clemson and will pick between NU, Clemson and Michigan on signing day.
Simmons is listed at 6-3, 212 pounds but appears taller, at least 6-4.
The commitment of Fitzpatrick and Simmons — who prefers wideout in college, and would be given the chance to play the position at NU — would make Nebraska's 2016 corps of wideouts perhaps the best and most accomplished in recent history.
Already in 2015, Husker receivers enjoyed strong seasons, as Jordan Westerkamp, Brandon Reilly and Alonzo Moore established season highs in catches, yards and touchdowns while freshman Stanley Morgan had an auspicious start to his career.
Players agreed that they liked Williams' hands-on, at-times-humorous approach to the job.
Fahr has seen the strength of Williams' personality in the recruiting process with Fitzpatrick, who took one final visit to Louisville this weekend.
"You could be in a room without any lights in it and you could see Coach Williams," Fahr said.
Fitzpatrick is scheduled to make his decision at 1 p.m.