OMAHA — AJ Rollins was part of Nebraska’s recruiting rush in August.
The Creighton Prep tight end saw Council Bluffs, Iowa, native Thomas Fidone, another tight end, commit, and then Omaha Westside’s Koby Bretz followed. Rollins wanted to join the run, and committed to the Huskers on Aug. 28, the first day of the high school football season.
“That’s what really pushed me (to commit),” Rollins said. “I saw that we had talent, so I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to jump on board, too.’ I felt like I made the right decision.”
On Wednesday, Rollins was part of another rush — a morning collection of national letters of intent sent to the North Stadium. The Creighton Prep standout made it official with his signature.
“It’s just started really hitting me, 'Yeah, I’m finally done with this,'" Rollins said of waking up on National Signing Day. "It’s happening and it’s really exciting."
Rollins, who was a big target on the football field for the Junior Jays, will arrive in Lincoln in the summer. In the meantime, he’s playing basketball for the Junior Jays this winter, and though he can’t hit the Husker weight room just yet, he’s still finding ways to get prepped for college football.
Husker coaches will be sending him the playbook soon, and he’s using basketball as a way to improve his prowess as a tight end. The sport helps him with footwork, positioning and being able to go up for a ball at a high point.
“Also my stamina,” Rollins said. “Basketball really helps me with that.”
Rollins is one of five in-state recruits in the 2021 recruiting class, joining Bretz, Elkhorn South’s Teddy Prochazka, Kearney Catholic’s Heinrich Haarberg and Norris’ James Carnie. Fidone is in the neighborhood, too.
Rollins, who stands at 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds, said that was the main reason why he committed to the Huskers, choosing them over Missouri, Iowa State and Central Florida.
“That shows that we have talent,” Rollins said. “For there to be that many kids going to a Power Five school, just from the Metro, is really crazy. That’s why we want to come play at Nebraska, to show our kids can compete with their kids.”
Reach Clark Grell at 402-473-2639 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter at @LJSSportsGrell.