Tight end is another position in which the Huskers have all of their players coming back. The tight ends didn’t see a lot of action last year. As a whole many fans expected more from them last year. The experience combined with the potential of the younger players is sure to come together in 2020.
Sean Beckton has been leading this group since 2018.
Returning from 2019
Jack Stoll, 6-4, 260 lb., Sr., Lone Tree, Colorado; started all 12 games; 25 catches for 234 yards and 1 touchdown
Kurt Rafdal, 6-7, 245 lb., Jr., Carmel, Indiana; played in 6 games; 1 reception for 9 yards.
Austin Allen, 6-8, 250 lb., Jr., Aurora, Nebraska; played all 12 games; 7 receptions for 83 yards.
Chris Hickman, 6-6, 215 lb., Red Shirt Freshman, Omaha, Nebraska; played in 4 games last year, saw some special teams action and also played wide receiver as well. Hickman is listed as a wide receiver on the roster, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him at tight end.
The following were on the roster but did not see playing time in 2019:
Brian Perez, 6-3, 265 lb., Sr., Hartley, Iowa (Switched positions last year and did not play while learning his new position).
Bryson Krull, 6-3, 250 lb. So., North Platte, Nebraska.
John Goodwin, 6-2, 255 lb., Red shirt Freshman Lincoln, Nebraska.
Newcomers in 2020
Travis Vokolek, 6-6, 250 lb., Jr., Springfield, Missouri; transferred from Rutgers before the 2019 season. He had to sit out per NCAA rules. In his first two seasons at Rutgers he played 19 games and caught 17 passes for 198 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Nate Boerkircher, 6-4, 215 lb. Fr., Aurora, Nebraska. He is a walk on from Aurora High School and earned Class C1 all-state from the Omaha World Herald. He joins his brother Ian, who is an offensive line walk on for the Huskers.
Jared Bubak, 6-5, 240 lb Sr., Lincoln, Nebraska. Bubak is a graduate transfer from Arizona State University. He played in a total of 17 games in his career with the Sun Devils.
Outlook for 2020
This group is big and full of potential. Jack Stoll looks to lead the tight ends for the third year in a row, but this year there will be newer players stepping up too. Travis Vokolek was awarded the Offensive Scout of the Year for 2019 and after a season on the scout team he is ready to make a difference for this offense. Based on what Beckton said during the spring, Stoll and Vokolek should be the first two on the depth charts. They will also have experience backing them up with Kurt Rafdal and Austin Allen.
Look for the Huskers to use the tight ends to receive the ball more than last year. New offensive coordinator, Matt Lubick, has been able to add some offensive shemes that will see more involvement from the tight ends.