If there was a position room that was more plagued by injuries this past spring than the Tight End room then please let me know.
Going into the season these were the four returning tight ends that you expected to contribute during the 2022 season:
Travis Vokolek, Senior
Chris Hickman, Sophomore
Chancellor Brewington, Senior
Thomas Fidone, Redshirt Freshman
They all were either already out before spring football started or was injured before the Spring Game.
In the case of Thomas Fidone, he was the source of rampant rumors regarding whether he injured his knee again. Coach Scott Frost would not comment on specific injuries.
So where does that leave us when it comes to reviewing the Tight End room after the Spring Game?
Well AJ Rollins, a redshirt freshman from Creighton Prep, actually lead the team in catches in the spring game. He ended the game with four catches (on five targets) for 39 yards with a long of 27. Another tight end that stood out was Nate Boerkircher from Aurora, NE. He ended with two catches for 21 yards. Evan Meyersick ended with 2 catches for 17 yards. He’s from Millard, NE. Lastly, John Goodwin, a sophomore from Lincoln High in Lincoln, NE had one catch for 33 yards. James Carnie, a redshirt freshman from Norris High School, had one catch for 2 yards.
Yep. This is where we are at when it comes to this position group. The top four tight ends were out. This spring ended up being great opportunities for a group of five tight ends (all from Nebraska) to get some experience.
Going forward I would not be surprised to see AJ Rollins make and impact in a game in 2022. He looked like an athletic target. James Carnie is another scholarship tight end so we probably would like to see him get a sniff at least in the next year or two.
For the 2022 fall season, there are no reasons we should not expect Travis Vokolek to take over as the number one target in this group. His blocking should keep him on the field. I am interested to see how many targets he gets in 2022.
Chancellor Brewington had some of the best blocks of the season on the goal line in 2021. I hope to see him turn into a weapon in the middle of the field as well.
Chris Hickman appears to be a tight end that they try to sneak to ball to from time to time and gets blown up. Would like to see the Omaha Burke product get targets away from the line of scrimmage. His body is kind of a hybrid of TE/WR.
Then there is Thomas Fidone who was the crowl jewel of his recruiting class. If it’s true that he reinjured his bad knee then I guess we should just hope that some day he will be able to get healthy.
Not a lot of positive things to write about for the tight end room after this spring. After Nebraska gets some guys healthy, this could turn into ab effective group for Whipple and Frost.