Defensive end recruit Josh Williams alleged theft and assault puts defensive coordinator Bo Pelini in a difficult position. It seems almost a rite of passage as an NU head coach to deal with a recruit that gets in legal trouble before ever arriving on campus. Frank Solich had Josh Davis. Bill Callahan had Byron Smith and Major Culbert and now Pelini has Williams.
Davis and Culbert were given the green light to come to Lincoln while Smith had his offer rescinded. If Williams’ offer were to be withdrawn, that would definitely be a blow to the defensive line. The Huskers have decent options for the 2008 season, but in 2009 the Huskers have only four scholarship defensive ends set to return (aside from Williams and if you count 2008 recruit Cameron Meredith). It won’t be as though they can borrow from the interior line as there are only five scholarship players set to return in 2009 (including 2008 recruit Quentin Toailoa).
Perhaps things won’t look quite so dire for the d-line if the Huskers borrow talent from the offense (e.g. 2008 recruit Baker Steinkuhler). But they’d certainly benefit from having a talented player like Williams in the mix. For what its’ worth, Williams would be the most highly regarded defensive end on the roster in 2009 in terms of how he was ranked by recruiting services.
So while walking away from Williams might seem best in terms of discipline and preserving the program’s image, it certainly comes at a high cost. Which is why it wouldn’t seem all that surprising to see Williams given a second chance. It’s not just the youngster that may need it, but the team as well.