The catch came up the other day because the catch comes up every day.

Jordan Westerkamp doesn’t put a number on how many times a week some stranger launches into a conversation about where they were or how they felt when he cradled that answered prayer in the end zone.

“Here and there it comes up,” he says, then laughs a little, because it happens more than "here and there."

“Often,” he corrects. The Hail Mary catch against Northwestern last season comes up often.

And while that is a very good thing to be associated with, Nebraska’s sophomore wide receiver is much more interested in what comes next than reliving yesterday’s glory.

“Take it for what it was: It was a big play, a big thing for our team,” Westerkamp says. “It is what it was. I try to move on from that and not try to hold on to it.”

While Westerkamp may have trouble scoring another touchdown that produces such a tremor in the state, it's a strong bet his numbers are about to climb.

The 6-foot, 195-pounder clearly had a larger role as last season went along, not only serving as the team’s main punt returner, but catching 16 of his 20 passes in the final eight games.

He was Nebraska’s fourth-leading receiver, accumulating 283 yards, an average of 14.1 per catch.

And this spring, with Westerkamp working with the No. 1 offense as the slot receiver, makes one think even better days are ahead.

Among other things, he enjoys as good a relationship as a receiver can have with his starting quarterback.

Tommy Armstrong and Westerkamp have been roommates for 2½ years. And while they don’t talk football nonstop, it comes up enough.

“We get to go over whatever we want whenever we want, basically,” Westerkamp says.

When not sharing an apartment, they share a film room.

“We try to do an hour a day. On off days, it’s two hours in the film room.”

If that seems tedious, it’s necessary in the pursuit of securing the majority of reps at a position that includes senior Jamal Turner.

Kenny Bell will tell you Westerkamp has the best hands on the team. Actually, Bell goes a step further.

“Best hands I’ve ever seen … and he’s starting to understand the offense,” Bell says. “You’ve got him and Jamal competing for that slot receiver spot. That’s going to get interesting.”

Westerkamp says that competition helps players hold one another accountable to reach the highest level.

It also doesn’t hurt, he thinks, to have a senior such as Bell setting the standard.

“We all try to bring our level up to him, because he’s been here and he’s done it,” Westerkamp says. “He knows how to do it. We all look up to Kenny.”

And while Nebraska's defense has made the going tough this spring, the Husker offense punched back Saturday during a key scrimmage, seeming to have the upper hand.

At one point, Westerkamp caught a pass across the middle and raced about 50 yards until a defender finally caught him. Teammates in red jerseys roared approval.

Others may be skeptical, but Westerkamp doesn't hesitate to say it: He expects the offense to be really good.

"We have a lot of guys that can make plays, from our offensive linemen to our receivers to our backs to our quarterbacks, everybody," he says. "Our offense should be pretty dangerous."

​Reach the writer at 402-473-7439 or bchristopherson@journalstar.com. On Twitter @HuskerExtraBC.