A Battler and Competitor
Photo Credit: Eric Francis

A Battler and Competitor, Armstrong Never Quits

November 14, 2016

When senior quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. was asked if he would play against Maryland, he had a quick response.

“No doubt,” Armstrong said.

Makes sense. At this point, nothing Armstrong does is surprising. Just ask his roommate and senior wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp.

“I say it every single time I get asked about him, he is the most competitive person I know and he just battles and battles and battles,” Westerkamp said. “I think it is great to see that out of your quarterback, out of one of your leaders.”

Offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf agrees. When asked about what makes Armstrong special, Langsdorf is quick to reply.

“I think his competitiveness,” Langsdorf said. “He comes to play every Saturday. I love that about him.”

In his second year as Armstrong’s coach, Langsdorf admits that the two had some growing pains at first. It didn’t take long for Langsdorf to figure out who Armstrong is though.

“We’ve had to learn a lot about each other and get to know each other and how we tick, what we’re comfortable with,” Langsdorf said. “It’s better and better each week. I love that he just comes to play. I think he’s doing a good job. He’s continuing to grow in what we’re doing every week and making better and better decisions so it’s fun to see that improvement every week.”

Armstrong has found a buzzword with the Huskers, too. It’s ‘battle.’ Just ask a player or a coach about him and you’re guaranteed to hear it.

“He’ll battle,” Langsdorf said. “He continues to battle even when he’s banged up. He’s been able to fight through it. We all appreciate that about him, for sure.”

Sophomore offensive tackle Nick Gates finds Armstrong’s ability to keep fighting – or battle, if you will – impressive.

“He’s always ready to go and always going,” Gates said. “He doesn’t like to sit on the sideline and not play. I love his attitude and his effort that he puts into the game. I’ve never played with someone like that before.”

As Armstrong’s senior season has marched on, he’s faced his fair share of injuries. He suffered a head injury against Ohio State that kept him out of practice for a couple of days. Against Minnesota, he went down twice – once with an ankle injury and again with a hamstring injury.

After hurting his ankle against the Gophers, he left the game briefly to get taped up. It’s something about Armstrong that people notice – all the tape.

“He does have a lot of tape,” Langsdorf said. “I don’t know how long it takes him to get taped up every game but he’s got a handful of rolls all over the place. Even under his pads.”

Is anyone else on the team quite as taped up as Armstrong?

“Me, a couple of weeks ago,” Gates said. “I had a lot of tape on my ankle, so I get it.”

Armstrong left the game for good against Minnesota after hurting his hamstring. Of course, he didn’t leave until he scored one final touchdown with his legs. He was helped off the field by his teammates, including Gates, but he walked himself into the post-game press conference.

It makes sense that Armstrong would say there’s “no doubt” he’ll play against Maryland. That’s just who he is.

“He keeps bouncing back,” Langsdorf said.

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