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Making the Case: Thomas Fidone

Thomas Fi
Thomas Fi (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

Thomas Fidone is one of the best tight ends in the 2021 recruiting class and he now has a date locked in for his commitment.

The Council Bluffs (Iowa) Lewis Central standout is going to make his pledge on Aug. 26 with Nebraska, LSU, Iowa and Michigan as the finalists. And the Huskers could be in store for a big payday.

Living only an hour from Nebraska’s campus, Fidone grew up watching the Huskers and closely following the team. He’s been recruited hard by the staff, he would fill an immediate need and his pledge would be a huge boon to coach Scott Frost and the program as they look to turn things around in Lincoln.

But the others cannot be counted out. LSU has proven it can go anywhere for anybody and the Tigers have had some recent success in the Midwest. Teaming up with 2020 five-star tight end Arik Gilbert would be a dangerous duo in Baton Rouge.

Iowa is intriguing. Fidone is an in-state kid, the top-ranked player in the state and there’s no doubt that the Hawkeyes have done a tremendous job developing tight ends over the years especially recently. Michigan is a dark horse candidate but cannot be counted out because of its national status.

Will Fidone do what’s expected and pick Nebraska or is a surprise in store for one of the nation’s top tight ends?

We asked our local experts to weigh in, and Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell to issue a verdict.

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CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2022 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

COVERAGE: Rivals Transfer Tracker | Rivals Camp Series

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IOWA

"I think if you were making the case for Iowa, it would be how much they use the tight end in their offense and the number of players they've put in the NFL at the position over the years. That being said, I think Nebraska is out in front here." - Blair Sanderson, HawkeyeReport.com

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LSU

"As the NCAA's suspension of on-campus visits now extends into its sixth month, LSU's challenge of pulling Thomas Fidone out of the Midwest and out of Big Ten country has proven even steeper than might have been the case under normal circumstances. Even in the wake of signing Arik Gilbert and Kole Taylor at the position for the 2020 class, the Tigers surged into the mix for the 2021 star as well. Despite the depth at tight end, the reigning national champions plan to use a variety of pass-catching weapons and potential matchup problems, regardless of traditional position, in their suddenly modern offense moving forward. And Fidone would fit nicely into that mix. Don't ever necessarily count LSU out for a late push — even in a virtual world — but this year's COVID limitations may have hamstrung the Tigers' efforts just a bit too much to overcome a more familiar option closer to home." - Jerit Roser, TigerDetails.com

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MICHIGAN

"I don't think Michigan is as high for Fidone as it once was. The Wolverines' stock has dropped dramatically over the last couple of months. Michigan already holds a commitment from another Rivals100 tight end in Louis Hansen, and Fidone has never been to campus. With the ongoing dead period, who knows if that will ever happen. I think Michigan is still in it but barely. The chances of landing him are very slim." - EJ Holland, TheWolverine.com

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NEBRASKA

"Nebraska has made Thomas Fidone a major priority since the time they offered nearly 11 months ago, before he really blew up on the recruiting scene. I believe the Huskers’ persistence is one of several factors that will lead to them securing his upcoming commitment. Proximity is also likely to play a huge role here as well. Fidone is technically from Iowa, but Council Bluffs may as well be considered a suburb of Omaha. The talented tight end grew up a fan of the Huskers and has several family members that are also fans of the Big Red.

"Nebraska also has a huge need at the right end position in this class as they did not sign any in the 2020 class the the lone signee from the 2019 class has since been moved to receiver. Additionally, Fidone has developed some very close relationships with several current Husker commits. While there has been an awful lot of competition for Fidone, Nebraska has been right at or near the top of the list seemingly since they offered." - Nate Clouse, HuskerOnline.com

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THE VERDICT

“I’ve got Nebraska here and I’ve had them for a long time and I can’t see any reason to change now. He grew up a fan of the program and lives close to Lincoln and has visited so many times it has to feel like home. Iowa is in there and LSU and Michigan have made it interesting but time me this is all Nebraska.” — Mike Farrell, National Recruiting Director