Fall Camp Preview: Can NU's tight ends become factors?
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Fall Camp Preview: Can NU's tight ends become factors?

As we approach the start of Fall Camp for Nebraska, we take an inside look at each position group for the Huskers.

Today we take a deep dive into the tight end position, which is loaded with veteran talent that will be looking to take on a bigger role in the offense in 2020.

Other previews: QB | RB | WR

What we know right now: There's enough talent and experience for the TEs to finally make an impact

The seemingly annual fall camp conversation regarding Nebraska's tight ends continues on into the start of the 2020 season: will the unit finally become a legitimate weapon in the offense again?

On paper, this year's tight end room seems as capable as it has been in years to make that jump, as the position is loaded with veteran talent.

Senior Jack Stoll has established himself as one of NU's top locker room leaders and voices of the program. He's started 24 straight games and set a career mark with 25 catches for 234 yards and a touchdown last season. He's been NU's leading receiver at tight end for the past two years.

It will also certainly be worth watching how the arrival of Rutgers transfer Travis Vokolek - who sat out 2019 - impacts the tight end depth chart this season.

Vokolek is a player some said had NFL potential when he arrived in Lincoln, and he'll finally get a chance to show what the hype has been all about when he makes his official Husker debut.

The depth doesn't stop there, either. Junior Austin Allen is back as Nebraska's second-most productive tight end and has shown flashed of big-play ability during his Husker career thus far.

Then there's junior Kurt Rafdal and senior Arizona State graduate transfer Jared Bubak, both of which bolster an already veteran group.

The tight end position has left much to be desired for far too long, and if NU can get consistent production from the unit it would provide a huge boost to the passing game and the offense as a whole.

Key stats and numbers for 2020

2019 total snaps
Player Total snaps

Jack Stoll - Sr.

708

Austin Allen - Jr.

388

Kurt Rafdal - Jr.

58

2019 key numbers
Player Targets Catches/ yards TD's Yards per catch YAC

Jack Stoll

36

25 catches

234 yards

1

9.36

170

Austin Allen

10

7 catch

83 yards

0

11.86

33

Kurt Rafdal

1

1 catches

9 yards

0

9.0

0

YAC: Yards after contact according to PFF.
Will Rutgers transfer Travis Vokolek live up to some of the lofty expectations set for him at Nebraska?
Will Rutgers transfer Travis Vokolek live up to some of the lofty expectations set for him at Nebraska? (Nate Clouse)

Biggest question: Will Vokolek live up to the hype?

Even though he transferred to Nebraska from a Rutgers offense that was downright pitiful, Vokolek still arrived in Lincoln with some pretty lofty expectations.

The Missouri native hauled in a modest 17 catches for 198 yards and two touchdowns during his two seasons with the Scarlet Knights.

But some that watched him still felt Vokolek had a much higher ceiling in the right offense.

He will compete with Stoll for the starting job this fall, but it will likely be tough to keep the 2019 Nebraska Offensive Scout Team MVP off the field.

Given Nebraska's lack of proven options at wide receiver, there's a chance that multiple tight ends could be on the field together more often.

If so, Vokolek could get plenty of opportunities to showcase his talents.

Projected Fall Camp Depth Chart 

1. Jack Stoll, Sr.

2. Travis Vokolek, Jr.

-OR-

Austin Allen, Jr.

3. Kurt Rafdal, Jr.

-OR-

Jard Bubak, Sr.