Nebraska got the weekend started off with a bombshell as wide receiver prospect Tyjon Lindsey verbally committed to Nebraska via Twitter on Saturday. Lindsey had initially committed to Ohio State over the summer, but recently decommitted from the Buckeyes after the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Lindsey is coming off of a dominant high school career at Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, as he averaged 25 yards per catch and one touchdown every three receptions for the Gaels.
Lindsey is listed as a 4-star recruit with a 95.9 rating by Hail Varsity’s composite. Lindsey is considered a 4-star recruit by Rivals, Scout and 247sports recruiting services. 247 currently lists Lindsey as the No. 5 wide receiver prospect in the nation and the No. 29 overall prospect in the nation. Both Rivals and Scout lists Lindsey as a top 50 overall prospect and the No. 2 overall prospect in the state of Nevada.
Who Else Was Interested?
Lindsey finished had more than 25 offers, including tenders from recruiting powerhouses such as Alabama, Michigan, Notre Dame and USC. Nebraska first offered Lindsey on March 1 and hosted the talented wide receiver for its spring game last April. Despite a tremendous relationship with coach Williams, Lindsey committed to Ohio State along with Trevon Grimes. Coach Williams continued recruiting Lindsey, and his hard work was rewarded when Lindsey flipped from the Buckeyes to join the Nebraska class.
Lindsey measures in at 5-9 and 175 pounds. Lindsey has an extremely athletic build, as he has a powerfully built lower body and little to no bad weight on his frame. Lindsey’s frame likely won’t allow him to grow a whole lot bigger, but I do think he can add some more muscle and strength to his upper body. When Lindsey is finished filling out I would expect him to measure in at 5-9 and around 185 pounds.
1. His speed/explosiveness. Nebraska has not had a skill position player with Lindsey’s speed in a LONG time. Lindsey has been electronically timed at 4.5 in the 40, but that doesn’t begin to describe the speed and explosiveness that he plays with. Lindsey is able to explode out of his stance and reach top speed quickly and leave opponents in the dust. Lindsey has also shown the ability to hit another gear once the ball is in his hands, helping him be extremely effective after the catch. While Nebraska has experienced solid wide receiver play over the past few years, they have struggled to find players that can consistently get separation against top defensive athletes. Lindsey gives the Huskers that type of p[layer, as he has the speed to consistently get separation against college defensive backs.
2. His open-field running ability. Lindsey is absolutely dynamic when the ball is in his hands, as he has quick feet and is able to stop and start quickly in the open field. This made him extremely effective in Bishop Gorman’s Air Raid offense, as he was able to turn t-yard outs and quick screens into 50-yard gains with relative ease. Danny Langsdorf absolutely loves small wide receivers that can make things happen in the open field, and Lindsey gives him that type of player. Watch for Lindsey to become a constant target on quick screens and under screens from either Tanner Lee or Patrick O’Brien next season.
3. His onfield mentality/swagger. Lindsey plays angry on the football field, as he goes out on every play looking to dominate his opponent and prove that he is the best football player on the field. Usually by the end of the game Lindsey proves that point, as he brings impressive intensity whether he is playing wide receiver or defensive back. Lindsey’s game also has a cocky edge to it, as he has the “no one can cover me” mentality that all great wide receivers seem to possess. Lindsey’s cockiness/swagger is picked up on by his teammates and they tend to follow suit.
4. His special teams potential. Nebraska has been looking for a spark on special teams the past two seasons, and Lindsey may be the guy to give them that. Lindsey is one of the finest pure athletes in the nation, and he brings an instant upgrade to Nebraska’s kick and punt return units if he is placed there.
1. His size. You know a kid is pretty good if the only issue I take with his game is his size. Lindsey has everything you look for in a wide receiver (speed, hands, competitiveness, etc.), but he is on the small side at just 5-9 and 175 pounds. This means that Nebraska will have to get creative with Lindsey and find ways to take advantage of his skill set and limit the pounding he takes from bigger defenders. Langsdorf and Riley have had more success with undersized receivers than just about anyone, but it is still an issue worth watching.
2. Expanding his route tree. Lindsey is used in two ways in Bishop Gorman’s offense. He either runs a quick screen and gets the ball in open space or he runs a deep post/fly pattern and tries to outrun defenders. Both play types have worked tremendously for Lindsey and the Gaels in recent years, but he will need to expand his route tree to continue to be effective at the collegiate level. Watch for James Rodgers to take Lindsey under his wing at Lincoln and really work with him on how to attack the middle of the field in Nebraska’s offense.
I asked a couple weeks ago if Keith Williams could close on any of his top wide receiver prospects; well, Coach Williams, I salute you. Lindsey is a top-five wide receiver prospect that could start for just about any college football team right now, and he provides a huge talent boost to Nebraska’s 2017 class. Lindsey also may serve as the pivot point to Nebraska’s “Calibraska” movement, which had been losing steam over the past couple months. Watch for Lindsey to immediately contend for playing time next year along with Stanley Morgan Jr., Demornay Pierson-El and J.D. Spielman to form an undersized but dynamic receiving core. Huge win for Keith Williams, who also got to stick it to his old buddy Zach Smith in Columbus.
College Comparison: Smaller version of Washington wide receiver John Ross
Pro Comparison: Smaller version of Buffalo Bills wide receiver Percy Harvin