Nebraska football may have some hidden gems at the tight end position in 2019.
In many college football offenses, the tight end position gets lost in the shuffle. Such was the case for Nebraska football, as last year they had enough playmakers at wide receiver to not fully warrant using the tight end. However, this is a trend that I think may change in 2019. Although they may not make headlines every single game that they play in, the tight end position for Nebraska has some talent. Both on the recruiting trail and on the roster right now, the program has some names to watch out for.
On the roster, the program has tight end Jack Stoll. Stoll was the team’s third-the leading receiver last year. He caught 21 passes for 345 yards and three touchdowns. Although those may not seem like big-time numbers, it cannot be denied that he made an impact. His best game yardage-wise came on September 29 against Purdue. In that contest, he caught four passes for 51 yards. Averaging 12.8 yards per catch, a 33-yard snag was his longest of the afternoon. He scored his first touchdown of the season the following week against Wisconsin. In that game, the touchdown was his only catch. It came via a 12-yard snag managed to find its way to the end zone.
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He would go on to have a productive rest of the season. Perhaps most notable is the fact that he would catch two touchdowns over the final three games of the campaign. One of them came in the season finale against Iowa. In addition to his touchdown catch, Stoll caught four passes for 37 yards, averaging 9.3 yards per reception. Again, these are not exactly eye-popping numbers, but they certainly signaled that he could be a productive player.
In the 2019 recruiting class, Nebraska currently has a commitment from Chris Hickman. A hometown boy from Omaha, he is ranked No. 536 nationally, No. 24 at his position, and No. 2 player in the state of Nebraska per the 247Sports Recruiting Rankings. In addition to his offer from Nebraska, he also was offered by Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, and Kansas. A standout tight end for Burke High School, he caught 24 passes for 575 yards and eight touchdowns for the Bulldogs in 2017.
Measuring in at six-foot-five, 205 pounds, Hickman runs a 4.9 40 time per his official page from 247Sports. He also possesses a 30-inch vertical. There is definitely some talent to be had here with Hickman. At the very least, he will be able to provide Stoll with some competition. He is your typical big-bodied tight end he should be a factor in the red zone when playing time comes.
There are many things to be excited about for Nebraska in the coming season. In particular, some of the positions are teeming with talent. Tight end is one of them, and the position itself should provide a nice balance to the potential big playmakers at wide receiver. Now it is just a matter of seeing how all the pieces fit within the offense. We’ll worry about that come April.