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Nebraska Recruiting: Juggling Act Needed After NCAA Eligibility Freeze

October 01, 2020

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 various rules that the NCAA has put in place in response to COVID-19 have been met with both praise and criticism. That’s pretty standard operating for anything the NCAA does. Even things that are good on the surface have unintended consequences. Take the rule that freezes eligibility. It’s great that since this is an unprecedented year players can basically have a free year. On the flip side of that it can become very difficult to manage numbers as a result.

We don’t know which players will come back to Nebraska. How can the recruiting department know what the true numbers are for the 2021 recruiting class? Tight ends coach Sean Beckton was asked about that dilemma in his room. He spoke on Tuesday with media via Zoom.

“Obviously with Jack Stoll being a senior and we have the juniors with Austin Allen, Kurt Rafdal and Travis Vokolek who are playing at a high level for us right now,” Beckton said.

“We have tremendous depth in the program right now. With that said we have to get some young guys in the program. In recruiting we can’t really talk about the names of guys but our plans were to take two or three tight ends this year. We have to get younger there to continue to grow the position here at Nebraska.”

The Huskers plan to get young tight ends into the program through the 2021 recruiting class is working so far. The top tight end in the nation, Thomas Fidone is committed to the team. Nebraska also has Creighton Prep standout AJ Rollins in the recruiting class. Each player was coveted for a long time by the program. They are thrilled to have both in the class.

The question looming is will Nebraska take a third tight end in this class? When that question pops up fans want to know if the team will offer Norris tight end James Carnie a scholarship. Carnie, a one-time Miami (Ohio) commit, has been picking up stream in his recruitment lately. He holds offers from Iowa, Kansas State and Pittsburgh after a strong start to his senior year.

The problem for Carnie receiving an offer from the home state school could come down to numbers. The 2022 tight end group that the Huskers are pursuing is strong. They also don’t know which players will return for the 2021 season given he eligibility freeze.

We’ll see how it shakes out. This situation is just another one to watch in response to the new landscape of college football.

Recruit Watch

>> Norris tight end James Carnie has a commitment date. He announced on Twitter that he will pick a college on Oct. 12.

>> Bellevue West 2022 tight end Micah Riley showed an edit that the Huskers did for him.

>> Check out the edit that the Huskers did for 4-star 2022 defensive back Xavier Nwankpa.

ICYMI

>> Adrian Martinez is the starter at Nebraska but Matt Lubick sees some ‘friendly competition’ for NU’s QBs.

>> After some praise from his peers, I’ll be keeping an eye on redshirt freshman running back Ronald Thompkins.

>> The season is approaching fast for Nebraska and their wide receivers are in a really good place according to Lubick.

>> Jacob Padilla takes a look at how the deep and experienced Nebraska offensive line could be a position of strength for the Huskers.

>> Check out this video to see the Huskers in action at practice this week.

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Tags: 2020, nebraska

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