Tight end is one of those underappreciated positions on a football team. They don't make a lot of highlight plays, but you certainly notice when you are missing contributors at that position. And when you have talented players that can create mismatches at tight end, it becomes a major competitive advantage.
Jake Long, 2013 Senior
Max Pirman, Junior
David Sutton, Junior
Cethan Carter, Sophomore
Sam Cotton, Sophomore
Trey Foster, Sophomore
Greg Hart, Redshirt Freshman
Connor Ketter, Redshirt Freshman
Erik Evans, Redshirt Freshman
I don't think Husker fans really appreciated Ben Cotton and Kyler Reed as much while they were playing for Nebraska as much as they may have last season when they were gone. Last season, Nebraska really didn't have the playmakers at the tight end spot that have been there in the past. Some of that was due to injury; Jake Long and Sam Cotton each missed three games this season. That thrust true freshman Cethan Carter into a starting role at the start of the season.
Carter is a big target at 6'4" and 240 pounds, and frequently found himself wide open for a big play, only to be unable to make the catch. He did catch ten passes for 127 yards, with half of those catches coming in the final four games of the season. Working on his hands will obviously be a key point of his development this spring, as he's shown his ability to get open.
Sam Cotton at 6'4" and 235 pounds also showed some good athletic ability in his limited play; he caught three passes (all in October games) for 22 yards and a touchdown. Trey Foster and David Sutton also saw playing time, but were pretty much limited to blocking. Foster caught a nine yard pass against Purdue last season.
This fall, three-star recruit Freedom Akinmoladun (6'4" 240 pounds) should also enroll for additional depth. I wouldn't be surprised if Akinmoladun redshirts this fall though.