High-profile University of Nebraska assistant football coach Keith Williams, who joined the Cornhuskers in 2015 as something of a wide receiver whisperer, was arrested on DUI charges over the weekend, but the prep recruits he had enlisted for future seasons are coming to his defense.
Wearing wristbands from multiple downtown bars, Williams registered a 0.15 blood-alcohol content level — almost twice Nebraska’s 0.08 legal limit — after rear-ending an Uber driver early on Sunday, according to police in Lincoln, Neb. And while Huskers head coach Mike Riley said the school is weighing punishment options, Williams’ recruits are remaining by the coach’s side.
“People make mistakes, but I won’t make on by de-committing,” Nebraska wide receiver commit Keyshawn Johnson Jr., son of the three-time Pro Bowl wideout by the same name, said on Twitter. “We’re FAMILY. If I dropped one ball would he stop recruiting me? People make mistakes.”
Likewise, fellow Class of 2017 wide receiver commit Jaevon McQuitty embraced the “family.”
The arrest marked Williams’ third for driving under the influence, reports said. The two previous charges occurred in 2004 and 2009 during a pair of coaching stops in Northern California.
Five-star wide Class of 2017 wide receiver Joseph Lewis was visiting Nebraska over the weekend.
Still, if the Huskers were concerned potential recruits would waver in the wake of Williams’ arrest, an unofficial Twitter poll of would-be prospects reveals otherwise. Uncommitted Class of 2018 cornerback Bookie Radley-Hiles and rising senior wideouts Tyjon Lindsey and Jamire Calvin all appeared unfazed by the coach’s legal troubles, even using the hashtag “#FreeDUB” in support.
Radley-Hiles stuck to his guns when questioned about the hashtag. “I personally started the movement myself,” he wrote. “My reasoning is because I know the true character of the man.”
Williams pled not guilty on Monday, according to the Omaha World-Herald. The 45-year-old coach faces up to a year in jail and a 15-year suspended license if convicted of a third DUI offense.