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Nebraska on Monday night landed a verbal commitment from three-star tight end Chase Androff out of Lakeville South High School in Minnesota. Here are three observations following the pledge.
1. Nebraska has a tight end it likes a lot for the 2022 class.
This, admittedly, was not how the tight end board was supposed to look for this class. Nebraska offered the Bellevue West pair of Kaden Helms and Micah Riley-Ducker early and recruited both hard, but both in-staters decided to focus their recruitments outside the state border.
NU then offered several tight ends around the country and still could potentially take another in the 2022 class, but they landed a player they like a lot in Androff.
Lakeville South is a run-heavy outfit and Androff’s tape is full of blocking highlights rather than long catches or splash plays. Even so, he’s a good athlete. At 6-foot-6 and 230, some have wondered if perhaps he could grow into an offensive tackle. Never say never, but NU has made a point of taking some tight ends like Thomas Fidone — a natural pass-catcher — and also players like A.J. Rollins, who is likely a blocker first, at least early in his career.
2. Androff joins a room in which opportunity will be up for grabs, perhaps sooner rather than later.
Juniors Austin Allen and Travis Vokolek each have two years of eligibility remaining, but they are also each entering their fifth collegiate seasons this fall. Behind them, there is only redshirt freshman Chris Hickman and the freshman trio of Fidone, Rollins and Norris native James Carnie.
If this is the last year for Allen, Vokolek or both, the room is going to get young quickly in 2022. That’s not to say Androff — or really any tight end prospect in the country except for the very top players — is expecting to walk onto campus and into the Husker lineup, but there could well be more changeover in the room than perhaps it looks like on paper with two juniors at the head of the room, particularly if those veterans have big seasons in 2021.
Remember, too, that Nebraska already has a tight end pledge for the 2023 class in talented Pierce standout Benjamin Brahmer. As it happens, Brahmer was perhaps the best camp participant on the field Friday night as Androff walked around the edge of the turf as part of his visit.
3. Androff is the first player of Nebraska’s official visitor list to verbally commit, but it’s an open question whether he’s the last in the coming weeks.
Quarterback Richard Torres is visiting Kansas State this weekend and could make his decision soon after. Similarly, wide receiver Landon Samson is taking an unofficial visit to Ohio State — his Southlake Carroll teammate, five-star quarterback Quinn Ewers, is a Buckeye commit — but doesn’t have known visits on his schedule after that. Offensive lineman Valen Erickson told the Journal Star last week that he’s planning on visiting Tennessee later this month.
Defensive lineman Nico Davillier is planning on making his college choice before June is over, too.
None of those players are sure to commit in the coming days or to pick the Huskers, of course. Some of the others — running back Justin Williams and defensive lineman Jalen Marshall, for example — could take their recruitments deep into the summer or longer.
It’s worth keeping a close eye on any of them, though.