It’s Enunwa Business
Two years ago, Quincy Enunwa made a simple grab along the sideline, then just shook off the corner trying to tackle him and made a nice gain. My wife (ever the football lover) asked emphatically, "who is THAT guy?" My reply: it's Enunwa business. That was just a preview of coming attractions. Quincy Enunwa doubled his production the next year, to 42 catches from 21 as a sophomore. According to coaches and teammates, he's apparently in position to make a similar improvement in his senior campaign. The first week of the season brings rave reviews and good opportunities for the Husker senior.
Media and fans aren't allowed to watch practice. So, everyone has to pay special attention to statements from players and coaches. When a player gets an endorsement from another player, it's significant. From a coach? That's even bigger. So, look for good things from the ever-physical Enunwa this fall.
Quarterback Taylor Martinez says people will be "shocked about how good Quincy's going to be this season." He also said he has never seen one or two people take him (Enunwa) down, and referred to one run Enunwa made in a scrimmage as "ridiculous".
Offensive coordinator Tim Beck echoed those sentiments, and thinks the difference for Enunwa may be mental. "Something about Quincy this year in fall camp really stuck out, in everything he did," Beck said recently.
So, why would fans be "shocked" by a returning starter having a break out year? It's not like Enunwa was in hiding last season. He caught 42 passes. Part of it is that NU has a ridiculous wealth of talent at wide receiver this season. Enunwa brings something that headliner Kenny Bell and highlight-maker Jamal Turner do not - power. At 6'2'' and 225 pounds, Enunwa is a load to bring down. He is also a fantastic leaper who is willing to go over the middle. Will this result in more than 42 catches this season? Possibly.
The opportunity for Enunwa may come from NU's lake of depth at tight end. Coaches don't seem to be all that concerned that two starters from a year ago are now in the NFL and that the incumbent (Jake Long) missed nearly all of fall camp with an injury. The only buzz-worthy tight end right now is a true freshman (Cethan Carter). Maybe that means the Huskers will turn to Enunwa to control the space between the hashes.
Is that unrealistic? Consider that Kyler Reed played tight end at 6'3'' and 230 pounds. Reed was never a great in-line blocker, but could serve as the "adjuster" in the Husker offense - motioning across formations to block on the edge. And, when he got lined up against linebackers or strong safeties, it was advantage NU. Make no mistake, Enunwa is a wicked blocker. He too would be a matchup nightmare if they find ways to get him against strong safeties and linebackers.
Even if he doesn't fill some of the role played by tight ends, Enunwa's performance boost could be the result of simple confidence and urgency. It's his senior year. He's been named a captain for good reason. Bell may streak down the sideline for a long TD. Turner may dash and dart and make people miss. But, it's Enunwa who is the bell cow in the NU wide receiver group.
Big catches over the middle, de-cleating blocks, leadership in the huddle and on the sidelines - that's Enunwa business.