Nebraska Football

Nebraska Football: Nate Boerkircher emergence bodes well for TE position

There is little doubt the Nebraska football tight end room has talent. we know that there are three in particular that are in a position to make some noise when healthy. Thomas Fidone, James Carnie, and AJ Rollins are three of the names that we have been hearing about most over the past couple of seasons.

However, one name in particular is emerging as a guy that is in line to see some playing time. Nate Boerkircher seems to be impressing Mark Whipple in particular, and that’s a name I find intriguing.

A dark horse candidate for Nebraska football

For starters, he hasn’t come to the program with as much fanfare as the three listed above. He is a redshirt freshman walk-on from Aurora Nebraska, and went to Aurora High School. He saw action in games against Fordham and Buffalo and caught his first pass against Northwestern in what was a blowout win.

This to me is what training camp is all about. He’s gone from playing in three games last season and just getting his feet wet, to potentially getting a much bigger role for 2022. Boerkircher is well built and has good size, as he measures in at six-foot-five, 230 pounds. He is no slouch as a player. It’s just more so about him being able to crack the rotation. So far, it sounds like he has a very good chance of doing just that.

Tight ends coach Sean Beckton talked about Boerkircher’s development during an interview on Wednesday with Huskers Radio Network.

“That’s one of the guys that Coach Whipple, he caught Coach Whipple’s eye early on. Coach Whipple thought he was a scholarship kid. I told him, ‘No, he’s a walk-on kid.’ Since Day 1 … with his pass catching skills I thought if he got big enough and strong enough, he’d be able to help this football team. He proved it last year with the opportunities he got. We decided to redshirt him because we knew the future for him was going to be bright.”

He’s also gained some good weight. “He just makes plays. You could see in the first play of the Spring Game, he jumped over somebody and made a play. Those are the things he did all spring. I’m on him every single day to continue to work. Sometimes you get complacent, which he does at times. I had to get his attention here a couple weeks ago, but he’s back on track to continue to work and do the things necessary to compete for a job this year.”

His emergence could be crucial to a position that has really struggled with health so far. We don’t know when Fidone is going to be fully healthy, and there are a lot of questions surrounding the room itself. There is a lot of talent there, there’s no doubt about that. It’s just more so about getting the room healthy.

Boerkiricher, in my estimation, has a really good chance to make some noise at the tight end spot. It’s unfortunate to see the position itself still not healthy. However, this is an instance where he can take advantage of that. All it takes is opportunity, and he has a good chance to make the most of it.

I’ll be interested to see if he can emerge as a key target for the position. He is certainly a dark horse candidate as practices continue.

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