You have heard me talk about how great the Nebraska football freshman tight ends are. One tight end that gets lost in the shuffle is upperclassman Chris Hickman. He is certainly a veteran presence on a position that is going to get an infusion of youth in short order.
Hickman was moved to wide receiver in 2020, but didn’t really see any playing time. Now, Nebraska football is moving him back over to the tight end room. Combined with the fact that the wide receivers struggled as a whole in the 2020 season, the move to wide receiver was not really beneficial for player or coach.
Wednesday, tight ends coach Sean Beckton talked about how Hickman has returned and is impressing, even with a year removed from the position. Hickman certainly has a pedigree to be a stellar tight end. He was a four-star tight end recruit out of high school, and he was a player who I thought at the end of 2019 could make some noise at the end of that season. That obviously did not happen.
Now, he is trying to play two roles. His first role is one as tight end. His other role is serving as a veteran on a youthful group. It is sort of a completely different role than the one I thought he was going to play at the end of 2019. Even still, I believe he can make an impact. Will he get a ton of playing time? In my opinion, I do not think he will. Do I think that we will see him here and there next year? That would be a safer bet in my estimation.
With all that in mind, Beckton is very pleased with Hickman’s work ethic.
“He’s a fighter,” Beckton said. “Biggest thing about Chris is he doesn’t care if he’s going against a 300-pounder and he’s 205, he’s going to fight him. He gets that weight back up, he’s going to have some kind of role for us this year.”
“With his toughness he’ll be able to help us at the point of attack,” Beckton said.
I’m intrigued to see what his role is for the upcoming season. I love what I hear about his mentality, and I think it will be able to spread to the rest of the room.
In short, Chris Hickman is exactly what you want out of a Nebraska football player. His toughness and perseverance should be on full display one way or another in 2021.