Huskers add commitment from transfer kicker Timmy Bleekrode
The last time Nebraska took a kicker from the FCS ranks things worked out pretty well with Pat Smith in 2013.
Coming from FCS Western Illinois Smith won games vs. Penn State and Georiga with his leg that season. After the kicker woes of both 2019 and 2021, Scott Frost and his coaching staff will also turn to the FCS ranks.
After visiting Lincoln this weekend, Furman transfer portal kicker Timmy Bleekrode officially committed to the Huskers on Sunday. He's the first kicker the Huskers have made an offer to in the recruiting process since the class of 2018.
"I went into the transfer portal right after my season ended and Nebraska sent me a Twitter direct message a couple of hours after I tweeted it out," Bleekrode said. "They stayed in contact with me pretty much every single day since then.
"Then Coach (Bill) Busch has been coming down to Greenville and visiting me once a week since Thanksgiving. They really wanted me to come on a visit and I came on a visit this weekend. Everything I saw was great. The facilities were amazing. Academically it was too, so I felt it would be the best fit for me."
Bleekrode will have two years of eligibility remaining at Nebraska. He graduates from Furman in May and will enter graduate classes in the College of Business at NU this summer.
Bleekrode was 15-of-18 on field goals with a season-long of 51 yards in 2021. He was 9-of-9 on kicks under 40 yards and 30-of-32 on PATs.
"From what I can tell, they are big not so much on the long field goals, but they want to be as consistent as possible inside of 40 yards," Bleekrode said. "From my film, that's what they saw and I guess that's why they were so interested."
Bleekrode also said he has the ability to punt, but that is not what his focus will be at Nebraska.
As a punter, he averaged 42.15 yards on 52 attempts, putting 13 of us punts inside the 20-yard line. He had 11 punts of 50+ yards in 2021.
"This is just to placekick, but they would like me to keep punting so I could be a reserve punter," Bleekrode said. "So if anything happened in a game, I could go in."
Over the recruiting process, Bleekrode also gave a lot of credit to special teams analyst Bill Busch who's been activated to be on the road the last two weeks.
The only two other teams that had been in contact with Bleekrode in the portal were Bowling Green and Syracuse. The Orangemen visited him in South Carolina this past Wednesday.
"I really just enjoyed meeting all the coaches," Bleekrode said. "I mean all of them are first-class people. Not to mention, the facilities are all crazy, then they'll have new facilities next year, which is just insane. Everything was a big shock to me. It was more than I was expecting seeing all their facilities and what they had to offer."
"Coach Busch just made a big emphasis on how bad they want me at Nebraska. He's a super nice guy. He was just excited about everything. He was just honest and up-front."