Published Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 12:00 am / Updated at 5:34 pm
Effort defines Husker receiver Quincy Enunwa

LINCOLN — When your true freshman season peaks with a 10-yard catch in the opener, there's plenty of time to think about the uncertain future.

Quincy Enunwa remembers it quite well, when a momentary ego boost was replaced by the reality of adjusting to Division I football. He was on the bench for most of 2010 (with one reception), but Enunwa refused to let his mind enter a dark place.

“You don't ever want to think 'maybe I'm not cut out for this' after one year,” he said. “You always want to think 'I have three more years left. Let me go ahead and keep working.'”

Enunwa makes it sound simple because, since he can remember, he's approached the game with that relatively basic formula for success. No nonsense. Lots of effort.

He was second on last year's team with 42 catches and 470 receiving yards, and he was a leader in other ways.

“He is the model in our room, in terms of consistency, in terms of work ethic, in terms of preparation, in terms of leadership,” receivers coach Rich Fisher said in a speaking engagement earlier this month. “He comes to work every single day.”

Join the conversation on the Big Red Today Facebook page.

Enunwa says it's the competitive spirit that drives him. He's outworking everyone and discarding the short-range setbacks so he'll be the one celebrating in the end. That's how he sees it, anyway.

He dropped a pass in a 45-17 loss at Michigan two years ago, and he reacted as if he'd had a shot at snaring the game-winner. His response: He decided to devote weeks of his offseason to becoming more sure-handed.

Against Northwestern last year, Enunwa fell awkwardly on his shoulder in the third quarter — an injury that would require pregame medical attention for the rest of the season. But despite the pain, he returned in that game in Evanston, Ill., to help lead the Huskers to a 29-28 comeback win.

“I landed straight on it. I didn't even have anything to brace myself,” Enunwa said. “That was the first time where that even happened to me, where I was out and I went in and kept playing through it.”

That game was a confidence-building moment for Enunwa. He reinforced his win-first approach along the way.

“You never want to quit, you never want to fail. That's a big thing for me,” he said. “I don't like losing. I think that's the only way you can play football.”

It's the approach that's got him to this point, he believes.

Nebraska was the only major program to offer him a scholarship. Yet six months into his college career, after a frustrating debut, Enunwa wasn't rattled. He motivated himself then the same way as today.

“It's just working hard,” Enunwa said. “I realize all the guys who came before, what they did to get where they're at now.

“Don't get down on yourself. You know what you can do. You know (the coaches) will see what you can do. Just keep working.”

Contact the writer: Jon Nyatawa    |   402-473-9585    |  

Jon Nyatawa has covered local sports, primarily Nebraska football and baseball, for The Omaha World-Herald since 2008.



< >
2013 college football preview
View our 2013 college football preview, a 26-page, three-part section filled with coverage of the Huskers, Big Ten conference and more.
Big Red Bowl Retrospective
See complete historical results, game recaps and photo coverage from the Nebraska Cornhuskers college football bowl game appearances, from the 1941 Rose Bowl up to today.
Big Ten football recruits
The World-Herald's Big Ten recruiting database contains every football recruit that signed with a Big Ten school from 2002 to 2011, complete with color-coded interactive map representations, player information, high-concentrations recruiting clusters and more.
Devaney Center timeline
Check out a World-Herald timeline to see the evolution of memorable moments at the Devaney Center, complete with photos, videos, memorable quotes and more.
Follow OWHbigred on Twitter
Looking for the latest Husker sports news from The Omaha World-Herald and Follow us on Twitter!
Husker scholarship distribution chart
Want to see how many scholarships NU has invested at each position? Wondering how the Huskers have appropriated their offers by class? Check out our handy chart to look further into how Bo Pelini has built his team.
Husker Signing Day 2013
The World-Herald's top-notch coverage of the Nebraska football's class of 2013, complete with videos, photos, articles, live recruit interviews, interactive components and more.
Husker turnovers: A slippery slope
Bo Pelini has coached 68 games at Nebraska. When NUís turnover margin is positive or even, the Huskers are 35-2. When they lose the turnover battle, theyíre 13-18. Why hasnít Nebraska joined the nationís elite? More than anything, itís turnovers.
Interactive: Bo Pelini's contract
View an interactive PDF of Pelini's revised contract signed by the NU football coach, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Darin Erstad's contract (2012)
View an interactive PDF of NU baseball coach Darin Erstad's contract released in August 2012, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Tim Miles' contract
View an interactive PDF of Tim Miles' contract signed by the Nebraska men's basketball coach on May 4, 2012, complete with brief legal explanations, comparisons to other Big Ten coaches and more.'s Big Ten coverage
Delivering the best news coverage and analysis of the Big Ten Conference, from and other top news outlets from around country.
Husker Recruiting: Changes shrink NU's sphere of influence
For decades, the Great Plains represented fertile recruiting ground for Tom Osborne's football program. Restoring that lost tradition won't be easy.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Dr. Welbes Natural Health Clinic
$129 for 2 LipoLaser Sessions with Additional Complimentary Services ($605 value)
Buy Now
< >