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Nebraska Cornhusker wide receiver Samori Toure runs with the ball against Nebraska Cornhusker linebacker Nick Henrich and Simon Otte during practice
Photo Credit: Eric Francis

New Husker Wide Receiver Samori Toure Wants to Show He Can Play With Anyone

April 17, 2021

When you’re a one-and-done kind of guy, it’s harder to leave an impact. Samori Toure doesn’t want to walk in the door and start getting in his teammates’ faces. But the former FCS All-American wideout and NFL hopeful has a clear goal for the upcoming season. 

“Why not just go out and just ball out?” he said this week. “I want to be remembered for someone who came in, acted like a professional, did everything the right way, and when it came to game time, he made plays and helped the offense.”

Toure figures to help the Husker offense immensely. 

A 6-foot-3 grad transfer from Montana, Toure picked the Huskers in part because of the offensive potential with Adrian Martinez at quarterback. Martinez, Toure felt in watching Husker film from 2020, needed a big-play guy. 

How’s about a 1,495-yard receiver who caught 87 balls the last full season he played and took a single-game yardage record held by the great Randy Moss in the process? 

“So far it’s been everything I was kind of hoping for,” Toure said. “Really smooth transition.”

Levi Falck has been helpful. Falck transferred from South Dakota last offseason, making the jump from FCS ball to day one Husker starter. 

“That was definitely a natural connection right away because we played him first game back in my junior year,” Toure said. “He gave me some advice, I’d pick his brain about how it was making that transition. He’s been helpful.

“I felt like I picked (the playbook) up pretty fast. It was kind of tough at first because all the plays at Montana are still embedded into the back of my head, but now I feel like I’ve picked up the playbook really well.”

Martinez calls Toure level-headed. Offensive coordinator Matt Lubick and head coach Scott Frost have called him a professional. Teammates have universally spoken glowingly of the newcomer. 

“His mindset is impressive,” Martinez said. “I think that’s the most impressive thing about him. He really wants to be great here and we could tell that pretty early on.’

Toure could have gone and tried to make the jump to the NFL this offseason, with FCS schools opting to play their 2020 season in the spring of 2021. Instead, he chose to spend his last year of college testing himself. For a former 2-star recruit from Portland, Oregon, it’s always sat with him that he wasn’t offered by nearby Portland State when he was coming out of high school. He had a tuition scholarship to Montana and an offer to play football at Georgetown. At Montana, he had a chance. And Toure has always been one to bet on himself.

“There’s only so much you can do playing against FCS corners,” he said. “That was part of it. It was half wanting to improve my draft stock and half just the competitor in me wanting to go against the best of the best.”

With Toure in tow, Nebraska’s offense has been more combustible in practice. 

“You can tell the massive step they took,” said outside linebacker Garrett Nelson. “I think it’s just mentality.”

An improved passing game is something Martinez has called a need. When Toure watched the Huskers last season, he identified that as an area that was lacking as well. So far, Lubick has been encouraged by the play of both the quarterback and the receivers. 

“Happy with them,” he said. But. . . “We’re a work in progress.”

That’s why Toure was so appealing to Nebraska as well. A player who has been there and done that who can come in and, if not immediately provide a trusted voice, at least offer a steadying presence to an inexperienced room. 

Perhaps Toure’s professionalism wears off on a youngster like Alante Brown or Zavier Betts. Perhaps the workmanlike approach sets the bar for the group. He might only be around for a year, but Toure wants to make the most of it.

“When you’re not playing against the best of the best, there’s only so much you can do to improve as a player,” Toure said. “I’ve always had that chip on my shoulder coming out of high school. I knew I could play against the best of the best at a big school. 

“Now I’m here, and I’m excited to show that I can.”

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