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Norris TE James Carnie reels in offer from 'dream school' Nebraska; set to decide next week

Norris TE James Carnie reels in offer from 'dream school' Nebraska; set to decide next week


James Carnie missed a phone call recently from Nebraska coach Scott Frost

Eventually, the pair connected. 

"On Sunday, Coach Frost offered me (a scholarship)," the standout Class of 2021 tight end from Norris told the Journal Star on Monday after announcing the offer. 

"Obviously, it's a blessing to have an offer from them," he added. "They've been my dream school ever since I was little." 

Carnie has been a Husker fan his whole life and has seen his recruitment take off in recent weeks. He also holds offers from Iowa, Kansas State, Pitt and several other FBS programs after showing well athletically at the Warren Academy's top prospect showcase in late July and then backing up those numbers with a strong start to his senior season. 

The Huskers, of course, already have two tight ends verbally committed in the 2021 class in four-star Thomas Fidone (Council Bluffs, Iowa) and three-star A.J. Rollins (Creighton Prep). 

Carnie plans to announce his verbal commitment on Oct. 12, a date he set before NU offered. The Husker offer puts the home-state school in strong position, though the 6-foot-5, 220-pounder has certainly given himself plenty of good options.

Nebraska offered him as a tight end, not as an athlete, which was important to Carnie, who has played defense at Norris, too. "If I was going to have an offer from them, I wanted it to be a tight end offer," he said. 

Carnie has primarily been recruited by NU tight ends coach Sean Beckton, but he's regularly in contact with several on the Husker staff. That includes inside linebackers coach Barrett Ruud — Ruud handles a lot of in-state recruiting — Frost, director of high school relations Kenny Wilhite and director of player personnel Sean Dillon.  

Carnie originally verbally pledged to Miami (Ohio), but then from November 2019 to July he told the Journal Star he put on 30 pounds. After he ran a 4.6-second 40-yard dash in July at the Warren Academy, he thought Power Five offers might follow quickly. Instead, he waited until September when KSU and the Hawkeyes both pulled the trigger. 

“Super rewarding,” Carnie told the Journal Star of the offers late last month. “I thought maybe I’d get offers after the Warren Academy, but that didn’t happen and I was a little frustrated. I think I’m a little underrated, but right now I’m just super glad that I’ve got those two and it is super relieving.”

Norris head coach Ty Twarling has had an up-close look at Carnie's physical improvements over the past several months and isn't surprised that Power Five teams have come calling given the way he's played so far this fall. 

"Ever since last year at the end of football and going into January and February, he really wanted this," Twarling said Monday. "He set the bar high for himself and put himself in the position to where those big schools would be looking at him. 

"He's been really working hard whether it's in the weight room or on the field just getting things cleaned up, and here lately I think he's been pushing a little hard. I'm hoping now that he can relax his mind a little bit and just play." 

One more week of considerations, though, awaits for Carnie before the mind fully clears. 

"We have Homecoming this week, so it'll be stressful in terms of that and looking at schools," he said. "It'll be stressful, but I think I'll be able to make the right decision in the end." 

Contact the writer at or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.


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Husker football reporter

Parker joined the Journal Star as the University of Nebraska football beat writer in August 2017. He previously covered Montana State athletics for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2012.

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