The tight end position has been a hot one for Nebraska recently. In the last couple weeks, the team landed commitments from two of its top targets at the position: Thomas Fidone and AJ Rollins. Since the Huskers were locked in on that pair for some time, they’ve been able to get down the path of recruiting 2022 tight ends. One player to keep an eye on is Lee’s Summit (Missouri) tight end Max Whisner.
The 6-foot-6, 225-pound playmaker picked up his offer from the Huskers back in July. He also holds offers from Missouri, Iowa State, Kansas State and others. After his team’s game on Friday night, he and his mom got in the car to drive to Lincoln. Whisner is the latest prospect to take a visit to Lincoln on his own since the NCAA-mandated dead period, which prevents coaches from interacting with prospects on campus continues.
I caught up with Whisner and his mom Kelly on their way to Lincoln. Here is the full Q&A.
What made you want to take a trip to Lincoln?
Max Whisner: “Nebraska has really been recruiting me really hard. The whole staff has been nothing but great to me. Scott Frost has been nothing but great. I really want to get familiar with the campus. I only got there really briefly to see just what stadiums like last year when I went on a recruiting trip.”
Which game did you come for last year?
MW: “I went to the Iowa game. The upsetting and heartbreaking game.”
Since you’ve gotten to see a game in person, what did you think about that?
MW: “I thought it was one of the best crowds I’ve ever been around for any game visit. It was just so live and all the people were into it. You just feel there’s the electricity throughout the whole game with the atmosphere. They are so into the game you can sudden change you can the whole crowd just lighten up on fire. They’re sold out. I mean, it’s one of the best atmospheres I’ve ever been around.”
Who’s your main recruiter over there?
MW: “Coach Ryan Held. That’s my main recruiter. I’m also getting to know really well Coach Beckton the tight ends coach. He was a receivers coach at UCF too. He seems like he knows a lot about football and to how to really get the tight end position to get those receivers skills, but also work on just know basic receiver things to get open and simple coverages and all that up there in one back and two back and running. Teaching how to properly do everything correctly and how to be more fluid.”
How would you say your relationship with Held is going?
MW: “I think it’s actually one of the best relationships I have with another coach or recruiter. He’s actually from around where I’m from. He is from Blue Valley so not too far away from where I’m at. He has some KC connections and all that. He’s familiar with the whole area. We have a lot in common really.”
Do you have any family ties to Nebraska at all?
MW: “Yeah, I do have family ties in Nebraska. My mom actually grew up in Clarks, Nebraska. It’s very small town. Her family was huge Nebraska fans, my grandma still has season tickets to this day. My mom interned at the athletic department in Nebraska back with Scott Frost was finishing up school. She also worked with the track team.”
What would you say that you are most looking for in a future school?
MW: “I’m just really looking for an offense that is going to include the tight end. I’m looking for where I can peak my performance. Nebraska seems like they have a real great facility. They have a great nutrition program and they’re investing lots of money into feeding the players the proper foods. They are monitoring how they perform and if they’re doing too much or doing too little. They’re really just trying to evolve you to being the best player you can be and that’s what I’m looking for in every school. Each school I visit or get offers from I want to know how good their nutrition program is and what type of offense do they run? What’s it like to live in the dorms? Am I going to be getting good rest? How are the coaches and what are the coaches like? Are they trying to build a relationship with me? Things like that is the stuff I’m looking for.”
BONUS: Since Whisner was joined by his mom, Kelly, she was up for one question as well.
What’s it like for you with you having so many family ties to Nebraska now having Max being recruited hard by Nebraska?
KW: “You know it’s really a great feeling. Even just coming back to Lincoln today, it brings you back to the time when you’re attending all the games and seeing how things have changed and the program has changed. It’s actually really exciting. I think that Nebraska with the new facility that they’re building is going to be amazing for any kid right now. It’s really an amazing opportunity to be recruited to go to school there knowing that the great things that you know they have coming up or going in place. So, we’re really excited for Max.
“I know that a lot of my family is really trying to pull him back to Nebraska to be a Husker. So right now, we’re just looking at all the options and going to make a very informed decision. I’m really excited to have him back here today. We’re going to meet with a few of the tight ends and have some lunch. Then Max and I are just going to together walk around campus and let him see some of the campus.”
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.