It was six months ago when Ryan Held was telling some fans about when a much publicized recruit put on a Husker jersey and ran onto the turf in Memorial Stadium for the first time. It was a recruiting visit. The stadium was empty. Yet the coach could see how Maurice Washington's face lit up just being out there on that field.

It was a winding path over the months that followed to get back to that address, but Washington is here now and creating a major buzz after just a week on campus.

Adrian Martinez tried to refrain from going too far with heaping on the praise after Wednesday's practice, already seeming to know how hype builds here, telling reporters they'll see soon. But eventually the quarterback was like everyone else, speaking of Washington's speed, saying, "Honestly, I can't say enough good things about the guy."

There was similar sentiments expressed about his potential by offensive players and coaches just two days after defensive players had offered early glowing reviews about the freshman's speed and quick cuts.

"Maurice has done an incredible job, coming in late, not really having the summer to get in shape and go through the playbook. He's special," said offensive coordinator Troy Walters. "When he's out there, he has another gear. He has some instincts that you just don't coach. Guys have it or they don't, and he has it."

It's just Aug. 8, nothing is proven when it counts, yada, yada, yada. But the flattering comments have mostly come to just general questions about Washington or to queries about any newcomers that have looked good the first week.

Don't hit the messenger: The new guy's name just keeps coming up.

Walters added that Washington has spent extra time since his arrival last week learning about the offense.

“He loves football. I love guys that love football," said the running backs coach Held. "He wants to know what’s going on, he wants to be able to go out there and compete and know the plays. He’s out there learning on the run. The quarterbacks are helping him out with the calls and stuff. We’re going to keep just working him up to put him in position to where he can help. After five days at this point, I think he has a chance.”

Listed at 6-1, 190 pounds, Washington hasn't yet had the chance to build his body in Zach Duval's program, but Walters thinks the back has been doing fine so far at his current size.

"And our Training Table is the best in the country, so he's going to gain some weight just by eating food, lifting, and working out," Walters said. "Ideally, we'd probably want him to weigh a little more. But he's out there making plays and looking impressive. So if it's not broke, don't fix it."

Washington is one of eight running backs on the 110-man camp roster, joining Greg Bell, Tre Bryant, Devine Ozigbo, Jaylin Bradley, Mikale Wilbon Austin Rose and Wyatt Mazour.

That's a lot of options competing for carries of one football during the season. So while there's a lot of focus on Washington since he just got here, Held's attention is divided amongst all in his room. 

“I love everyone of them. I pick and choose my time. I can’t give preferential treatment," Held said. "When I get a chance, I’ve got to get him up to speed, but the standard in my room doesn’t change. I expect a high level out of every one of them, down to the ninth guy. It doesn’t matter. It’s a good question, but I promise you I take that into account. I’m trying to make everybody better. It’s not one guy.”