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Nebraska hosted a big group of Class of 2021 prospects on campus this past weekend for a junior day, including several players from the region.
The group included a bunch that already have offers from Nebraska, including key targets such as tight end Thomas Fidone (Council Bluffs, Iowa), wide receiver Brody Brecht (Ankeny, Iowa) and athlete Keagan Johnson (Bellevue West).
They also had running back Devin Neal (Lawrence, Kansas) on campus, an intriguing player who holds an offer from NU, pass-rusher Derek Wilkins from Southern California and a few guys from St. Louis including defensive back Tyler Hibbler (Trinity Catholic), who picked up an offer while on campus.
Fidone looks like the 2021 class’ version of Turner Corcoran in the 2020 group or Nick Henrich in 2019; a player squarely in Nebraska’s region who the Huskers are well-positioned for but will also have to beat out a big list of well-respected suitors in order to land.
The 6-foot-5, 220-pounder said his fourth trip to Lincoln was a good one, highlighted by the time he spent meeting with head coach Scott Frost.
“It was pretty eye-opening, because Coach Frost and the tight ends coach and the running backs coach all told me that I’m their priority in the 2021 class, which that makes you feel pretty loved and pretty wanted,” Fidone said.
Fidone recently picked up offers from Georgia and Florida and has quickly become a national recruit. Maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise, given the way the tight end position has reemerged, particularly at the NFL level, where high-end players at the position are among the most dangerous of offensive weapons.
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“It’s become that position that every school wants and that’s definitely beneficial for me right now,” Fidone said. “It’s a perfect time. Everybody wants tight ends that don’t just block but they can run and stretch the field and catch and are agile and aren’t just (in-line) tight ends.”
That athleticism, Fidone said, was honed from his past as a backfield player.
“I used to play running back, so that probably kind of helped me with my footwork and speed and quickness and all that,” Fidone said. “That’s probably where it all started. It was my dream to play running back, but then I grew. Now I’m a tight end.”
Fidone said he’s trying to get to Michigan and maybe Notre Dame in the near future, but is also already looking to set up official visits because he’s planning on taking them in the spring. He said he planned to be back in Lincoln for the Red-White Spring Game on April 18, if not before.
Brecht squarely on the radar screen: Brecht, a 6-4 receiver, said he enjoyed getting the chance to sit down with Frost in a one-on-one setting and go through schematics and how he would be used in Nebraska’s offense.
Brecht said he hadn’t been in touch with new offensive coordinator and receivers coach Matt Lubick yet, but the coaching staff reiterated that they think Brecht is a good fit for the offense and, “they need a big receiver.”
More 2021 offers going out: In addition to offering Hibbler, Nebraska continues to put out offers to other players around the country as coaches are on the road and visiting schools. One, extended by defensive line coach Tony Tuioti, was to 6-2, 175-pound safety New Zealand Williams (Carson, California).