TE AJ Rollins
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5 Thoughts on the Commitment of 3-Star TE AJ Rollins

August 28, 2020

The Huskers continued their good recruiting momentum on Friday when 3-star (HV Rating: 85.3) AJ Rollins‍ committed to Nebraska. The Creighton Prep star is the second tight end in the 2021 recruiting class joining Lewis Central standout Thomas Fidone. Rollins is the 17th known commitment of the 2021 recruiting class choosing the Huskers over Missouri. 

Here are my five thoughts on the commitment. 

Another Good Athlete

One thing the Huskers staff has done a very good job of on the recruiting trail is adding players with good athleticism to the roster. Even when you look at the players added on the offensive and defensive lines that is the case. From the tight end position, Rollins fits that mold as well. Creighton Prep coach Tim Johnk knows that stands outs out about his star player. 

“I think his measurables are unbelievable in terms of his size, his length and his athleticism,” Johnk said. “Plus, the way he catches the ball. Those are all things that people loved about him for a long time.”

More Nebraska Power 

There is always so much talk in this state about if Nebraska is doing a good enough job landing the top recruits in the state. Rollins gives Nebraska four players in this cycle from the state. He joins Heinrich Haarberg, Teddy Prochazka and Koby Bretz. The Huskers are now four-for-six in landing offered targets in the state this cycle. You’ll take that on a yearly basis. It’s also important for Nebraska to keep landing players from the Omaha metro since the talent is not slowing down that comes out of the area.

High-Ceiling Prospect

While Rollins’ athleticism has always jumped off the page to scouts and coaches, they also recognize that he is just scratching the surface of what he can become. Rollins hasn’t been focused on football exclusively for long. This offseason he’s worked hard in the weight room to build his body but there are more steps he can take. 

“I think just moving forward here for him, I think he's got to be a guy that dominates football games,” Johnk said. “He's got to have that mentality of dominating football games. The guys that are at that level and are getting offers at that level are guys that take over games that people could game plan around. He's starting to see himself as that. Just fine-tuning some of the little things that I think he's really gotten better at even in fall camp here in terms of tight end and in-line blocking, playing defensive end and being more physical. Those kinds of things have been really nice to see him work really hard at that.”

It's always a gamble when you hope the light will come on fully for a prospect. It seems to be one that the Huskers are comfortable taking. 

Local Tight Ends Wanted

Recruiting locally has picked up in a big way recently. When you look closer at it, the tight end position is flourishing in the area as of late. It started a couple years ago with Omaha Burke standout Chris Hickman. It’s continued this cycle with Rollins and Fidone. The 2022 class features a pair of teammates at Bellevue West, Micah Riley and Kaden Helms. It would be pretty cool for the program if the tight end resurgence was started by local players. 

Done on Offense?

Before the run of tight ends this week we knew that Nebraska was done at offensive line for the cycle. Quarterback was wrapped up when Heinrich Haarberg committed back in May. Shawn Hardy, Latrell Neville and Kamonte Grimes are likely the only wide receivers the Huskers want to take. So, unless the Huskers want a second running back in the class could they be done with offensive recruiting for this cycle? I could see that being the case as of right now unless they make a move with a highly-rated prospect.

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