Did you know?
Because his mother, Sonja Vestal, works for American Airlines, Donovan has traveled extensively both around the United States and abroad. That included a two-week trip to Tokyo when he was younger and several visits to the Caribbean Islands.
“I want to be a Blackshirt. I always wanted to be one. In my head, Nebraska is where I was destined to be.”
“His biggest intangible is understanding the game. Very intelligent and instinctive. The physical part is going to come. You can’t teach 6-foot-5, can’t teach long arms, can’t teach instinctive.” — Travis Dougherty, Bowie High defensive coordinator
Nebraska is getting both a smart and athletic player. Vestal carries a 3.6 grade average and plans to major in either business marketing or constructional engineering. In addition to football, he also is a three-year regular in basketball, and throws the shot put and discus in track. Played both inside and outside on the Bowie defensive line during his senior year of football, compiling 43 tackles and six sacks, with a 55-yard interception return for a touchdown. Also had 6½ sacks as a junior. Good hands and a tall, angular frame, according to his high school coaches. List of offers included a half-dozen Big 12 schools, with Vestal picking NU over Kansas. Lives “just down the road” from Cowboys Stadium in Arlington and attended the Big 12 championship game in December.
Some recent defensive ends like Cameron Meredith and Jason Ankrah have at least been considered to play immediately, so Vestal might get the same chance. Said he’s at about 235 pounds right now so it might take some beefing up. But, as Vestal says: “If they point in the direction, I can help. I know I can. I can progress very fast.” Future, however, might be inside, because Dougherty can see Vestal going to 285 or 290 pounds and playing tackle. That would take a little more time.