Well things have really changed since we started camp to now for this position group. Just like it was last year, TE could have potentially been the deepest position group on our team. In fact, we lost out on two four star in-state TEs for the 2022 class and people said “it’s fine we have Allen, Vokolek, and just got Fidone in 2021.” Fast-forward to now, Fidone is out with a knee injury, Vokolek is out for a few weeks, so we are having to be careful with Allen now and have Hickman running with the 1s. I think people can overreact with practice reports and who is sitting out, fall camp can be a grind and it’s important to come out of it as healthy as possible.
What’s nice for all of you is I think i’ve been wrong about this position for 3 straight years. Not necessarily who was playing, but how we would utilize them. In 2019 when we lost Morgan and had small WRs like Spielman and Robinson, I thought we would try to establish the run with 2 TEs. Nope. In 2020 I was almost sure they would do 2 TE sets with Stoll, Allen, and Vokolek now eligible. Still no. Our base offense will still be the 3 WRs, 1 TE and 1 RB, but don’t be surprised if you see some 2 TE or 2 RB sets while our WRs get adjusted.
Allen and Vokolek will do a bulk of the heavy lifting. And our staff needs to do a good job of keeping Fidone safe from himself, with one of our main guys banged up i’m sure he’s doing everything he can to get back, just don’t rush him. Austin Allen is actually our teams leading receiver returning from 2020, so there’s a positive there. NFL scouts drool all over when they see him with his length and athleticism. Vokolek last year was the guy we split out wide to throw the fades to in the redzone.
But after that it’s Hickman as our #3, and i’m really curious what we do here. Hickman is a hell of an athlete, you saw them trying to get him involved against Rutgers last year with plays like these two:
We just have to figure out what we want to do with him, because as you can see from the second play i’m not sure he has the mass to play in the middle. Earlier in the year we tried getting him involved outside which is where I think he can thrive.
Whatever we do, if we can start designing plays around what works for us like these next two… that will be what gets us to the next level!
Kind of a short write-up, but we will be fine at TE for 2021. But we are one injury away from being razor thin which is kind of scary to think about. I won’t get into us losing an in-state TE for 2022 to Oklahoma and another to Auburn, but I will say that TE is the best position that Nebraska high schools produce. We could make our whole room be from a 2 hour radius. Nice luxury to have.
Not sure if I’m doing RBs or OL next, but i’ll try to get that out on Monday for us to start the week off right. Enjoy the weekend!
One thought on “Tight Ends Breakdown 2021”
SSO, Allen and Vokolek are technically juniors. Do you anticipate one or both leaving for the NFL after this year? For 2022, are you optimistic or pessimistic about the contributions that Carnie or Rollins could provide at the TE position?