Chris Hickman visits Nebraska
Nebraska sandwiched an important visit from a priority prospect in between its two junior days for the 2019 recruiting class.
Chris Hickman, a 4-star tight end and the top-ranked recruit in Nebraska, according to the 247Sports composite, took an unofficial visit with the Huskers on Thursday. Sam McKewon of the Omaha World-Herald first reported the news, and Land of 10’s Erin Sorensen confirmed the report.
The Omaha Burke standout is the 10th-ranked tight end and No. 301 overall prospect in his class. His teammate, 2020 wide receiver Xavier Watts, was at Nebraska’s junior day last Saturday. Meanwhile, classmate Nick Henrich, a 4-star linebacker in the 2019 class, is expected to make his way to campus later this month.
This is not Hickman’s first visit to Nebraska. He received his offer on Sept. 23 during an unofficial visit for the Northern Illinois game.
Hickman camped last summer at Iowa State, which offered him last April. Indiana, Iowa, Purdue, Northwestern, Ole Miss, Kansas State, South Dakota State, Minnesota and Wisconsin also have offered. The Hawkeyes hosted Hickman for an unofficial visit the weekend of March 23.
Nebraska coach Scott Frost has mandated that extensive efforts will be made to sign the top in-state prospects. Hickman and Henrich provide an immediate challenge, but also an opportunity for Frost to convert on an early promise.
It’s why Hickman and Henrich are considered top priorities in the class. If they both head to Nebraska, it will be the first time in recent history that Nebraska will have signed the top five players in the state. The Huskers already hold commitments from the Nos. 3, 4 and 5 prospects (Garrett Nelson, Garrett Snodgrass and Ethan Piper, respectively).
Inside linebackers coach Barrett Ruud has taken the lead on in-state recruiting, making the Burke program a priority because of all the talent in the next two classes. Ruud visited several times during the open period in January, but this is the first time Hickman has been to Lincoln since Mike Riley and his staff were let go. He was on campus for a couple of games last fall.
Hickman’s presence on campus is a good sign. He wasn’t the only recruit in town, but the staff should be able to give him extensive attention as they gear up for another big recruiting weekend. Recruits have commented on how they’ve been impressed with how the Huskers have practiced, so that’s another bonus to bringing Hickman in Thursday.
There is only one prediction on Hickman’s 247Sports Crystal Ball, which was cast in favor of Nebraska in September when the Huskers offered.
At 6-foot-5 and 180 pounds, Hickman is the type of lengthy tight end Frost likes to utilize in his passing attack. He’d likely function as more of a slot receiver than a traditional tight end. However, the emphasis on being involved in the offense could be a valuable recruiting chip.
But most of all, the staff will pitch Hickman on the idea of playing for his home state.