Jordan Westerkamp said he's "completely healed" from the knee injury that kept him out of Nebraska's bowl game and is training hard to make a positive impression on NFL scouts at pro day on March 14.
Westerkamp, who is currently training in Florida, joined "The Bottom Line" Friday to reflect on his NU career and discuss his preparation for pro day and the NFL draft.
Check out select excerpts from the interview and watch the full video below.
On his health:
“I’m completely healed. I had a little meniscus tear and I also had this thing called a chondral defect, which is a little bit of a chip off the bone on part of my knee. That was the part that held me out longer, because a meniscus, that’s about a two-week recovery, but when you actually have the chipping of the bone, bone takes a little bit longer to heal, so I’ve been pretty bummed with that, but now I’m pretty much 100 percent, back to normal. It’s been awesome. I’ve been running on the field on turf lately, so I’m making huge strides.”
On not being able to play in the bowl:
“That was horrible. Absolutely not the way I wanted my career as a Husker to end. It was a freak accident in practice, making just one little shuffle movement upfield, running a reverse, and all of a sudden my knee starts to click, and I’m like, ‘OK. What’s going on?’ I didn’t think much of it, and our head trainer said let’s get an MRI to make sure. We got that done and he hit me with the news later that day that I’d have to have surgery.
“And I was completely in shock. It hurt, obviously, it was horrible to hear that news. I had to get the surgery, and I tried to remain as positive as I could throughout the whole thing, because it’s life, it happens, it’s football. Injuries happen as I’ve learned this past year. You’ve just got to work through them, overcome that stuff, overcome the adversity, and now I’m back to normal. I just blinked, and I had an injury, and I blinked again, and now I’m healed. It’s been a rocky road, but a good one, and I’ve been remaining positive throughout the whole thing.”
On being one of three senior starters, along with Tommy Armstrong and Nate Gerry, not to play against Tennessee:
“The three starters that were out, you’re looking at a whole different Nebraska team. It was weird for all of us, looking at each other like, ‘Man, why aren’t we out there? What is going on? Why is this happening?’ You always ask the what ifs, and all those questions, but I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Still remaining positive, and I know Tommy’s been remaining positive, and Nate’s at the combine now. All good things for us moving forward.”
On coming close but not breaking several NU records:
“During the process, I didn’t focus on those records or worry about that stuff. Now that it’s done and I’m looking back, yeah I’m frustrated because I would’ve loved to have broken every single record. But things happen for reason. It was unfortunate I couldn’t break those records. But I had a great career at Nebraska. It was awesome. It was a fantastic experience to play with so many great teammates and coaches. I’m very fortunate to have had the career I did have.”
On the importance of his 40-yard dash time:
“Obviously the 40 is the most important thing at the combine, at the pro day, at your individual workouts, whatever it might be. And for me, that’s maybe the most important thing, because from scouts I talk to, they ask ‘What’s your 40?’ But I’m looking forward to it, because I know a lot of people have doubted me and they don’t think I’m fast enough, but I think people are going to be in for a shock when they see what kind of numbers I put up.”
On motivation from doubters:
“That’s what I’ve been hearing my whole career. It’s nothing new to me. I know I’m not 6-4. I know I don’t run a 4.2 40. But God gave me the talent and ability I have, and I’m blessed to be in this position I am and I know I’ll be able to make the most of it.”
On the Hail Mary catch against Northwestern in 2013:
“That kind of started my career out there. First touchdown catch was a Hail Mary. Not a lot of people can say that. It’s a great memory for me. It was awesome to have it against Northwestern, and I’m from Illinois so I knew a lot of those guys, gave me a lot of good bragging rights. I was actually real close with (Northwestern coach Pat) Fitzgerald. He recruited me pretty hard out of high school. But that was an awesome memory. It was great that I got the big dog pile, which was scary in the moment, but looking back now it was fun. It was a great memory for me and for our whole team.”
On Armstrong trying to play receiver:
“Tommy is so athletic that he’ll be able to adapt and pretty much play any position the scouts ask him to, which is great for him. He’s got such a big toolbox that he can work out of, and I know at the pro day scouts will be running him through all sorts of drills, but he’ll be ready. He’s been working with (NU receivers coach Keith) Williams back in Nebraska as a receiver, and as we all know Coach Williams is one of the best receivers coaches in the country, he’ll definitely get him right. Tommy will be ready for the pro day and all the drills he’ll have to do.”
On Senior Day:
“That was a very surreal moment for me. A very emotional time. It was just crazy, because I couldn’t believe I was literally standing there about to walk out for my Senior Day. It was just unbelievable how fast everything went at Nebraska. It was just so surreal for me.
“I was like, ‘I’m about to walk out and give my head coach a hug.’ I’ve literally watched the seniors do that for years and years, and now it’s my turn. Just thinking about it, waiting in line, I was getting emotional. I’m an emotional guy, so I’m not going to sit there and be Mr. Tough Guy. I was crying a little bit, and I hugged Coach Riley, then I saw Mr. and Mrs. Foltz there, and I gave them a big hug. It was just a special moment and a special day.”
On Sam Foltz’s lasting memory:
“Sam, as we all know, is one of the best people to ever play at Nebraska, to go through Nebraska. He was a great football player but an even better person. He was just unbelievable to have around. We were so lucky that the Foltzes would still attend these football games this year and we were able to really spend a lot of time with them. But we definitely carried him with us. We did so much stuff to honor Sam and we’ll continue to do that stuff throughout our careers, for the next bunch of years at Nebraska. He’s got such a strong legacy and no one will ever forget him.”