On Wednesday night, Nebraska picked up a huge commitment from highly-touted 4-star tight end prospect Thomas Fidone.
Fidone’s 247 Sports Composite rating is 0.9595, which is good for the 91st overall player in the 2021 football class. As it currently stands, Fidone will position himself as the third-best recruit of the Scott Frost era. He is behind only 2019 signing Wan’Dale Robinson (0.9597) and 2020 signee Turner Corcoran (0.9749).
The good thing for Fidone is that he still has time to raise that rating higher than both or even to a 5-star. Frost has yet to sign a 5-star since taking the helm at Nebraska.
The 6-foot-5, 225-pound tight end has the measurables and skills that Husker fans should love to watch on Saturdays. The length and quickness that Fidone possesses could make him a future pro prospect. Precise route running and soft hands are what most scouts love in Fidone.
The biggest takeaway from the film is how quick he is and his footwork against bump-and-run coverage. To play in the Big Ten, especially at tight end, Fidone will need exceptional footwork and route-running capabilities. If Fidone can add a bit more strength with his already impressive frame, we might see a superstar blossom before our eyes.
How he fits in the system
The misconception that a Frost spread offense doesn’t use a tight end couldn’t be further from the truth. The ability of a guy like Fidone to attack the middle of the field only opens the horizontal speed offense the Huskers want to run even more. Jack Stoll has been the No. 1 tight end on the depth chart for the first two seasons of the Frost era. He finished third and fourth on the team in receptions in the 2018 and 2019 campaigns, respectively.
We can even go back to Frost’s days at UCF and it shows how important the tight end position is to the overall offense. Former UCF tight end Jordan Akins, currently a member of the NFL’s Houston Texans, posted 55 catches for 862 yards and six touchdowns. Akins surpassed 500 yards receiving in UCF’s undefeated campaign during 2017.
Fidone and Akins are both similar in that they are those extremely athletic tight ends who can transform a spread offense. Fidone has the chance to be the weapon that helps the Cornhuskers’ offense take the next step. He is just the type of player that Frost needs in Lincoln come 2021 and beyond.