Nebraska’s junior day started off with a bang, as Jaevon McQuitty committed to the Cornhuskers early Saturday night. McQuitty, a native of Columbia, Mo., has held a Nebraska offer since junior day of the previous year. McQuitty’s commitment gives Nebraska its second commitment of the 2017 class, joining Willie Hampton.
Here is Hail Varsity’s early profile of wide receiver commit Jaevon McQuitty.
Who Else Was Interested?
While Nebraska was the first team to jump in on McQuitty’s recruitment, they certainly weren’t the last. McQuitty currently holds 11 FBS offers, including tenders from Michigan and Missouri. Despite holding 11 offers, it appeared that McQuitty had narrowed his choices down to Nebraska and his hometown Missouri Tigers. Despite a strong push from Missouri, McQuitty joined the Huskers class on Mar. 12.
McQuitty measures in at 6-2 and 195 pounds. Its hard not to like McQuitty’s growth potential going forward, as he possesses a lean and athletic frame that carries very little bad weight and has plenty of room to fill out as he matures. McQuitty has a powerfully-built lower body. In his upper body, McQuitty has broad shoulders and still has room to fill out his chest and arms as he matures. When McQuitty is finished filling out I expect him to be 6-2 and in the 205-210 pound range.
Strengths on Film
1. His speed. You can’t teach speed, and McQuitty has it in spades. McQuitty is an effortless runner as he is a long strider that eats up a lot of yardage with each step and allows him to pull away from opposing defenders when in the open field. McQuitty will fit in well in Nebraska’s offense as a guy that can take the top off the opposing defense and provide a true home-run threat on the outside.
2. His hands and ability to win 50-50 balls. Speed is always nice to have, but it doesn’t mean a thing if a guy can’t catch the football consistently. McQuitty is a natural hands catcher as he does a tremendous job of going outside his frame and attacking the ball in the air instead of allowing it into his chest and trying to smother it. McQuitty also shows tremendous concentration and strength when going after contested passes. He does a solid job of muscling his way into position against smaller defensive backs. When going up for the pass, McQuitty does a good job of high-pointing the football and attacking it while it is in the air.
3. His burst and acceleration after the catch. Sometimes you see speed receivers that are tremendous when running in a straight line but struggle to stop and start effectively when the ball is in their hands. McQuitty isn’t one of those receivers as he shows tremendous burst and acceleration in the open field. This trait will serve McQuitty well in Danny Langsdorf’s offense as he can serve as both a vertical threat on the outside or move inside to the slot to work the middle of the field.
1. His route running. Right now McQuitty is pretty much a straight line burner as he is asked to run mainly vertical routes or skinny posts that take advantage of his impressive speed. While this has worked for both McQuitty and Battle High School — McQuitty had over 1,000 yards receiving and Battle won 11 games — he will need to expand his route tree to see the field consistently at Nebraska. I would particularly like to see McQuitty work on his intermediate route running to take advantage of his after-the-catch ability and game-breaking speed.
2. His release off the line of scrimmage. This is usually one of the tougher things to get a read on with young receivers as high school defenses rarely come up and challenge receivers with press coverage. McQuitty is no different as opposing teams prefer to give him considerable cushion instead of coming up to meet him at the line of scrimmage. In the rare cases that teams do come up and press him, McQuitty shows a tendency to release off the line of scrimmage with high pad level instead of exploding out low. This makes McQuitty play from a less athletic position and gives opposing defensive backs a bigger target to strike with their press technique. McQuitty will really need to work on staying low off the snap and knocking defensive backs’ hands off of him to continue to be effective against the bigger and more physical defensive backs he will see in the Big Ten.
Huge recruiting victory for the Cornhuskers, as they nabbed the top wide receiver prospect in the all-important “500 mile radius”. McQuitty is a perfect example of why establishing relationships early in the process is so important in the world of college football recruiting. Nebraska identified McQuitty as a target worth chasing and offered him all the way back in April then watched as the rest of the college football teams scrambled to try to catch up. McQuitty gives them a much needed vertical-speed presence that will help replace the outside receiving presence of Brandon Reilly and Alonzo Moore in 2017. As he continues to mature and expand his route tree, McQuitty will become an even more dangerous receiver that can be moved all over in the Nebraska offense.
Comparison: Bigger version of former TCU Wide Receiver Kolby Listenbee.