You’ve heard the story about former USC and NFL wideout Keyshawn Johnson catching passes for then-Trojan coordinator Mike Riley. Now Nebraska’s coach, Riley has Keyshawn Johnson Jr. in the fold for NU’s 2017 recruiting class.
The USC quarterback primarily throwing the ball to Johnson during that 1995 Rose Bowl season was Brad Otton. His dad, Sid Otton, is the coach at Olympia (Washington) Tumwater High School, where his grandson, Cade Otton, is a 6-foot-5, 223-pound tight end prospect who is visiting Nebraska this weekend.
Sid will make the trip and, in doing so, will see Riley again. He’s known Riley for more than 50 years.
That’s because Riley’s dad, Bud Riley, was Sid’s high school coach.
Sid first met Mike as an 8-year-old ballboy working with his father.
“Mike’s dad always had a passion for the game, and Mike has the same thing,” Sid said Wednesday night. “I think the world of Mike.”
Which is why Cade, who has offers from Oregon State, BYU, Hawaii and several others, will be making the trip to the Midwest. Utah, USC and Washington are intrigued by Cade, too, his grandpa said.
But Nebraska will get a long look, Sid said. In return, the Huskers have a shot at a prospect with college football in his family history and an impressive highlight tape. Cade caught 26 passes for 500 yards and nine touchdowns as a junior, but he perhaps played better on defense, where he had 138 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, four sacks and a couple interceptions. It was the first year he’d played linebacker for Tumwater, and Utah is interested in him at that position.
In back-to-back games — a Class 2A Washington state semifinal game and the 2A state title — Cade forced late fumbles on sacks. Tumwater won the semifinal game but not the state final. Both plays are on his tape.
“He’s the kind of kid who never gives up,” Sid said.
Cade can line up as an in-line tight end, an H-back, or as an “adjuster” wideout-tight end. Nebraska wants at least two tight ends in the 2017 class. The Huskers have one — Aurora’s Austin Allen, who injured his knee in a basketball camp last weekend and tore his meniscus. There’s another in-state prospect — Norfolk’s Logan Strom — whom Nebraska should see at one of its June camps.
Otton's highlight tape is below: