Photo by John S. Peterson

Nebraska Recruiting: Surprising Trait Needed in Future Tight Ends?

August 12, 2019
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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.


Take a moment and think about what you picture a tight end to be in Coach Scott Frost’s offense. 

You probably envision a player that plays like Jimmy Graham, the type of hybrid tight end that has become very popular around the NFL. That style is also popular in college football with so many teams running spread offenses. 

When Nebraska tight ends coach Sean Beckton goes out looking for prospects to join this room, you'd think he is only looking for receiving ability because of that vision. 

Not quite. 

“Well the biggest thing for us in Frost and [offensive coordinator Troy] Walters’ offense, we are looking for guys that can run. We are looking for guys that have speed,” Beckton told Hail Varsity. “That’s the major trait. Then, can they develop into doing the things at the line of scrimmage as far as the blocking aspect of things? No. 1 is speed but then physicality. Are they showing the attributes that they will hit people? It’s not necessarily the technique that we are looking for. We aren’t looking for that per se. We are looking for can they run, have agility, good hand eye coordination. 

“Then, will they hit someone coming off the ball and blocking? It doesn’t necessarily have to be at the line of scrimmage. Across the country, there are hardly any tight ends playing in the core now. A lot of those guys are split out really being receivers. We are trying to find guys that will hit people and can play with speed.”

Something continues to strike me about the types of players this staff is looking for. Physicality is not a trait this staff is willing to overlook. Given the style of offensive attack that could be surprising. Yet, if you boil it down to the basics, this offense needs everyone winning one-on-one matchups at the point of attack. That’s how those 5-yard run play gains start going for 30 yards. 

Beckton is pleased with the early work from his position group this fall. There is one reason for that: the change in physicality with his players coming off a second summer with strength and conditioning coach Zach Duval.

“All those guys are stronger and faster,” Beckton said. “You can tell they worked hard in the weight room this summer across the board. They are a lot more physical. When they strike people now, they are knocking guys off the line of scrimmage. That’s what Nebraska football is. We want guys that are strong at the point of attack up front and guys that can people back off the ball and finish blocks.” 

If you want to play tight end for Nebraska moving forward, you will need to be a good athlete. It would also help your case quite a bit if you are also a physical football player along with being athletic.  

Recruit Watch

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>> Could Nebraska be back in the picture for Arizona 4-star wide receiver Brenden Rice? 

ICYMI

>> Nebraska football has its own death lineup. Let Derek Peterson explain how to you.

>> Junior college defensive lineman Jahkeem Green has been accepted into Nebraska. Find out when you can expect to see him practicing. 

>> Nebraska capped an undefeated overseas tour with a 84-62 win. 

 
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