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Nebraska Recruiting: Exploring the Huskers’ 2021 Tight End Haul

February 22, 2021

Recruiting never stops and it’s easy to miss the top stories day-to-day. Recruiting analyst Greg Smith recaps all things Nebraska recruiting news, analysis and more so you never miss a thing.

The questions never stop in the recruiting world. No matter what time of year it is, there is always something to talk about. We recently started taking reader and listener suggestions on questions, which I will answer in a quick video on Mondays.

This week’s question hit the topic of Nebraska’s tight end haul for the 2021 recruiting class.

The answer to this question is pretty interesting. In the 2021 recruiting cycle, Nebraska signed three tight ends. Normally the Huskers would not sign that many tight ends in one recruiting class. The team needed to do that though because while they have a good tight end room, it lacks young talent.

By most services, the Huskers did nab the best tight end group in America during this cycle. That’s powered by Nebraska landing its number one overall target for the class Thomas Fidone. The Council Bluffs native was rated as a top 100 recruit by every recruiting service. He was either the number one or number two tight end overall depending on where you look. That’s going to help boost the perception of the incoming unit.

The group has talent beyond Fidone though.

James Carnie and AJ Rollins should not be forgotten in this equation. Rollins (6-6, 220) will arrive in Lincoln this summer. Rollins played a lot of basketball growing up. You can tell from his frame and the way he moves on the football field. He has enormous potential as a player who is a willing blocker that can also make plays in the passing game.

Carnie (6-5, 220) was one of the more interesting recruiting stories of the 2021 cycle. At this point last year, not many people were aware of him. He exploded on to the scene after gaining 40-plus pounds to build himself into a Power Five level tight end prospect. He ended up the cycle with over 20 scholarship offers, including Iowa and Kansas State.

Everyone expects Fidone to be a star in college. It will be a while before we can judge this group. I wouldn’t bet against at least one breaking out in the college level. Before they can though, they will need to be patient. There was another related question. It wasn’t about recruiting specifically.

I do think Austin Allen enters spring football as the number one tight end. It’s probably by a pretty wide margin. Allen was among the most improved Huskers for the 2020 season. He’s earned that spot. Travis Vokolek and Fidone will certainly have roles in the offense but Allen is the starter. The good news is that the Huskers have veteran players to rely on and young players to be excited about. That’s what happens when coaching and recruiting both shine the way it has with Sean Beckton.

Recruit Watch

>> The Huskers put out a quick video showing off the spring game atmosphere they hope can return this year.

>> Alabama wide receiver Jarel Williams was offered by the Huskers on Monday.

>> Former Nebraska quarterback Luke McCaffrey has a new home in the ACC.


>> Derek Peterson’s latest column focuses on the razor-thin margins for the Huskers and how they can be widened.

>> Jacob Padilla dives into flipped rotations and results (Premium) from Nebraska volleyball over the weekend.

>> Nebraska forward Issie Bourne was named Big Ten Player of the Week.

>> Watch softball coach Rhonda Revelle preview the team’s 2021 softball season.

>> The Nebraska Preps Postgame show is back to get into some district discussion.

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