Thomas Fidone commit: What does it mean for Nebraska?
Nebraska added a major piece to its 2021 recruiting class on Wednesday night with the commitment of Rivals100 tight end Thomas Fidone.
The 6-foot-5, 223-pound athlete picked the Huskers over other finalists that included Alabama, Iowa, LSU, Michigan and Notre Dame. He had nearly 40 total offers to his names. With the decision, Fidone becomes the 16th known verbal commit for Nebraska's 2021 recruiting class.
Here are some quick takes on what the commitment of Fidone means for the Huskers.
1. Nebraska landed a major, major piece to its recruiting class on Wednesday night with the commitment of tight end Thomas Fidone. While it was truly a staff effort by the Huskers, head coach Scott Frost and tight ends coach Sean Beckton deserve an awful lot of credit in the job they did recruiting Fidone and his family throughout the entire process.
2. Nebraska defensive coordinator Erik Chinander deserves some credit here as well. Chinander is in charge of recruiting the state of Iowa for the Huskers and has landed three Iowans in the 2021 class so far. Fidone ranks as the top overall prospect in Iowa and joins offensive lineman Henry Lutovsky (No. 5) and linebacker Seth Malcom (No. 15) as commits NU has snagged out of Iowa. Chinander has been able to land at least one prospect out of Iowa in each of the last three classes now dating back to 2019.
3. It's not often you can say the tight end position was one of the biggest needs in a particular recruiting class, but that was certainly the case for Nebraska this cycle. The Huskers did not sign a tight end in the 2020 class and the lone tight end they signed in the 2019 class (Chris Hickman) has made the transition to wide receiver. It was crucial that the Big Red landed a couple of difference makers at the position for 2021 and they could not have started things off much better than they have with Fidone being their first tight end commit of the class.
4. Fidone is a big play waiting to happen on the football field. He has terrific size at 6-foot-5, 223-pounds and runs as well as any tight end in the nation as verified by his 4.6 (electronically timed) 40-yard dash. In addition to having great speed, Fidone's height combined with his long arms and tremendous leaping ability (37-inch vertical) make him a match-up nightmare for any defender out there, especially linebackers.
5. Fidone takes pride in running great routes and works really hard to continue to get better at doing so. He has very big and soft hands in which he uses to make extremely difficult catches look completely routine.
6. Fidone can do it all on the football field. He has the ability to be an end line tight end, flex out or even line up wide as a big receiver. It's that versatility that should allow Frost to move Fidone around and create a lot of mismatches during the course of his career in Lincoln. With all of NU's tight ends being upperclassmen it's likely we see at least one more tight end join this class and the possibility of even two more to close things out.
7. Prospects like Fidone don't come around very often. He's the total package both on and off of the field. As athletically gifted as Fidone is on the field he has just as many special traits and intangible qualities that set him apart from most others out there. He's the ultimate competitor that absolutely hates to lose or even think that someone out there is working harder than he is. He's a self-driver individual that is also a natural born leader. People are drawn to Fidone and he should prove to be a valuable recruiter for the Huskers going forward.
Given Fidone's location, talent, attributes and the fact that he grew up a fan of Nebraska he was as close to a "must-get" recruit that there is. This is a big day for the Huskers because Fidone has a chance to be a pillar of what Frost is building in Lincoln.
8. 2021 Nebraska commit breakdown
1. 9/28/2019 - Teddy Prochazka - OT - 6-foot-9, 285 - Elkhorn, NE - 4 Stars
2. 11/17/2019 - Henry Lutovsky - OG - 6-foot-6, 310 - Mt. Pleasant, IA - 3 Stars
3. 1/2/2020 - Randolph Kpai - ILB - 6-foot-3, 190 - Sioux Falls, SD - 3 Stars
4. 4/27/2020 - Branson Yager - OT - 6-foot-8, 320 - Grantsville, Utah - 3 Stars
5. 5/1/2020 - Patrick Payton - OLB - 6-foot-5, 205 - Miami, FL - 3 Stars
6. 5/9/2020 - Heinrich Haarberg - QB - 6-foot-5, 192 - Kearney, NE - 3 Stars
7. 5/29/2020 - Shawn Hardy II - WR - 6-foot-3, 190 - Kingsland, GA - 3 Stars
8. 6/6/2020 - Seth Malcom - ILB - 6-foot-3, 205 - Tabor, IA - 3 Stars
9. 6/23/20 - Gabe Ervin - RB - 6-foot-1, 205 - Buford, GA - 3 Stars
10. 7/4/20 - Latrell Neville - WR - 6-foot-4, 190 - Houston, TX - 4 Stars
11. 7/7/20 - Lardarius Webb Jr. - CB - 5-foot-10, 170 - Jackson, MS - 3 Stars
12. 7/18/20 - Marques Buford - DB - 6-foot, 190 - Oakdale, CT - 3 Stars
13. 7/21/20 - Malik Williams - DB - 5-foot-11, 180 - Buford, GA - 3 Stars
14. 8/16/20 - Kamonte Grimes - WR - 6-foot-3, 200 - Naples, FL - 3 Stars
15. 8/24/20 - Koby Bretz - DB - 6-foot-2, 195 - Omaha, NE - 3 Stars
16. 8/26/20 - Thomas Fidone - TE - 6-foot-5, 223 - Council Bluffs, IA - 4 Stars
9. 2021 Nebraska commits by position
1 - Quarterback
1 - Running back
3 - Wide receiver
1 - Tight end
3 - Offensive linemen
0 - Defensive tackle
0 - Defensive end
1 - Outside linebacker
2 - Inside linebacker
2 - Safety
2 - Cornerback
0 - Athlete
0 - Special teams
10. Where are they from?
3 - Georgia
3 - Iowa
3 - Nebraska
2 - Florida
1 - Connecticut
1 - Mississippi
1 - South Dakota
1 - Texas
1 - Utah