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2017 Nebraska Spring Football Preview: Tight Ends

If you’re the type who’s excited by new faces, have I got the position for you!

Thus is Cethan Carter. Unlike any of our returning TE’s, he caught a pass last year.
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

First off, allow me to list the senior tight ends from 2016 who will no longer be with us in uniform on Saturdays (REC, YDS, APC, LONG, TDs):

Cethan Carter 19 - 190 - 10.0 - 33 - 1
Sam Cotton 8 - 87 - 10.9 - 17 - 0
Trey Foster 1 - 6 - 6.0 - 6 (TD) - 1

Next will be the returnees who bring to mind this exchange from the baseball classic, Major League:

Guy in Bar: [as the baseball season begins][Looking in the newspaper at the Indians' starting lineup] Ricky Vaughn? Willie Hays? I haven't heard most of them. Mitchell Freidman?

Construction Worker: Who are these f****n' guys?

Groundskeeper #1: [In Japanese] They're shitty.

Now, of course, the warm and patient Husker faithful would never say anything like that about a player. Unless they were drinking. Or we were losing. Or they dropped a pass or fumbled away a chance to cover the spread.

Anyway, here’s a list of the returning players at the tight end position. There is no technical glitch which is causing last season’s stats not post. It’s just that their cumulative statistics for 2016 equal one assisted tackle. Here you go:


2017 Scholarship Tight Ends

No Name Ht Wt Yr Homedown (Prev. School)
No Name Ht Wt Yr Homedown (Prev. School)
83 David Engelhaupt 6-3 230 RFr. Norfolk, Neb. (Norfolk Catholic)
85 Matt Snyder 6-5 255 So. San Ramon, Calif. (California)
86 Jack Stoll 6-4 235 RFr. Lone Tree, Colo. (Regis Jesuit)


2017 Non-Scholarship Tight Ends

No. Name Pos Ht Wt Yr Hometown (Prev. School)
No. Name Pos Ht Wt Yr Hometown (Prev. School)
47 Branden Hohenstein TE 6-4 205 RFr. Jackson, Neb. (Bishop Heelan)
88 Tyler Hoppes TE 6-4 240 Sr. Lincoln, Neb. (Wayne State) (Southwest)
89 Connor Ketter TE 6-5 245 Sr. Norfolk, Neb. (Norfolk Catholic)

- 1 assist!!!...Yes! Actual evidence that one of these guys saw the field last year.

Incoming Recruits:

2017 Incoming Tight Ends

Name Ht Wt Yr. Hometown (Prev. School)
Name Ht Wt Yr. Hometown (Prev. School)
Kurt Rafdal 6-7 230 Fr. Carmel, Ind. (Carmel)
Austin Allen 6-8 210 Fr. Aurora, Neb. (Aurora)

Generally, I look at previous statistics, some film in case perhaps they didn’t play much but popped some big plays, coach quotes, more stats, etc. to try and make an educated guess as to who will glean the most playing time.

So, stats: a walk-on had an assist last year
Film: zippo
Coach quotes: Nada
More stats: Still pie-eyed over Ketter’s assist

Hopefully, someone has been making noise on the practice field, otherwise the odds appear to be against TE being a featured position next season. But, let’s try to guess who’s going to take over this season. Or we could just have a drawing or something?

It would appear to be a perfect chance for an incoming freshman to have a shot at playing time. However, Allen and Rafdal are both built like Duke shooting forwards and probably need a full season of weight training, protein and smuggled Eastern Bloc “supplements” before their 6’8” frames can endure a Big 10 linebacker ribshot without requiring paramedics onfield.

With his assisted tackle and one half of an awesome last name, Connor Ketter is the class of the walk-ons. He leads the crew in on-field experience.

Englehaupt and Stoll redshirted as freshmen last year as they also attempted to add some beef to their frames. No idea if they did so as the Huskers site still lists their weights from beginning of last season. Snyder redshirted in 2015 and may have hit the field on special teams last year. Or maybe not.


Every TE who catches a pass this year will be making their first career reception.

Boom. Nailed it.