Nebraska recruiting: Greg Austin’s belief in Willie Canty led tackle to Huskers

Nebraska needed a tackle in the 2018 recruiting class, and Willie Canty gladly filled that void. The 3-star offensive lineman from Belle Glade, Fla., inked his letter of intent the morning of National Signing Day.

But 12 hours earlier, the possibility existed that Canty would sign with Louisville. He did not make his decision until he went to sleep that night. But he closed his eyes confident in his choice of Nebraska.

“I liked both schools,” Canty told Land of 10. “Both programs were pretty good. [I] had fun on both my official visits.”

Louisville hosted Canty from Jan. 26-28 and Nebraska had him on campus the next weekend. Then it was decision time.

The small things pushed Nebraska past Louisville. For example, Canty was unsure he would qualify academically for a majority of the recruiting process. But Huskers offensive line coach Greg Austin never wavered in recruiting Canty, and much to Austin’s pleasure Canty signed with Nebraska.

“He was pretty happy,” Canty said of Austin’s reaction when he told him he’d be signing with the Huskers. “I told the [Louisville coach] it is what it is.

“I have a great relationship with Coach Austin,” Canty continued. “He’s been there through thick and thin.”

The bond goes back more than two years and extends beyond football. UCF was Canty’s first offer. That came from Austin, who hosted him for a couple of games to watch the Knights in Orlando over a two-year stretch.

Nebraska’s sports management program was attractive to Canty. After going through uncertainty because of academics during his recruitment, he now realizes the importance of hitting the books.

“That’s the first thing, that education,” Canty said. “It ain’t just, ‘Oh, I want to go there because of this. I want to go there because of football.’ First, you get your education.”

Canty sat down with his mother, who liked the academic services offered at Nebraska. She had plenty of questions during their official visit the weekend of Feb. 2-4. The answers, coming from coaches and administrators, satisfied her. Nebraska had her blessing. Then it was up to Canty, and now he’s Lincoln bound.

At 6-foot-6 and 290 pounds, Canty already has unique size. He will need to frequent the weight room, though. He says he’s willing to do whatever the coaching staff asks and wants to put himself in the best position possible to play.

“I’m very excited,” Canty said. “I just gotta stay on my A-game and feel good so that when I get there I can represent my hometown.”

Canty, a 3-star prospect, was ranked as the No. 91 tackle in the 2018 class, according to the 247Sports composite. He also held offers from South Florida, Western Kentucky and Tennessee State, among others.

Like his other 2018 class signees, Canty has big goals — both personal and team oriented. He knows the only way to achieve them is through hard work on the field, in the classroom and in the weight room.

“My high school coach always told me, ‘If you work hard, things come out easier,’ ” Canty said. “Things come out better. My goal is to work hard and be a future offensive lineman. My hope is to win games — to compete for a national championship and win it.”

The post Nebraska recruiting: Greg Austin’s belief in Willie Canty led tackle to Huskers appeared first on Land of 10.

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