Nebraska Football

Nebraska Football: TE AJ Rollins has clear goals for summer

Nebraska Cornhuskers tight end AJ Rollins (86) signs a football for a fan during the football fan day Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Lincoln, Neb. Photo by John S. Peterson.

I’ve heard several people talk about how deep the Nebraska football tight end room is for the future. Sure, the player that gets the most buzz is Thomas Fidone. That’s not to say he has not earned it. He deserves every bit of buzz. However, a player that flies a bit under the radar in discussions about that room is AJ Rollins.

As a recruit, Rollins was the 43rd overall tight end in the 2020 class, and the seventh overall player in the state of Nebraska per the 247Sports Composite Rankings. He committed to Nebraska football on August 28, 2020 in what was a month of overhaul for the tight end group.

Now, he is getting a chance to just focus on football. In high school, he was involved in a bunch of sports. Now that he is not participating in those sports for the Huskers, it is all football all the time for the tight end.

Nebraska football coaches also have some goals for him for the summer. In particular, working on blocking and putting on additional weight are goals that the strength and conditioning staff and coaching staff want him to work on.

This makes sense, partly due to Nebraska’s overhaul of their running back room. The room is deeper than last year, and it will allow Nebraska football’s offense to be more dynamic. The coaches see Rollins’ advancement in blocking as a key step to refining his game. Between film study and technique refinement, Rollins is continuing to make strides as noted in a report by Mike Schaefer of 247Sports

“This summer the weight coaches want me to get stronger and bigger,” he said. “And to work on my blocking. At first I was struggling, but I had a really good day (Wednesday) at blocking, coming off the ball more.”

“I’ve been working on my hips and striking off the ball. Also my hand placement. I’ve been getting outside the shoulder pads. I’ve been getting inside more, so I’ve been getting a lot better.”

With the tight end position looking to be a big source of production, Rollins’ development could be crucial to the position. As it stands right now, development is crucial to his game overall.

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