Nebraska got an early jump in the recruitment of AJ Rollins.
The Omaha Creighton Prep junior received his first scholarship offer from Nebraska on June 4. Iowa State followed 16 days later, and others are hoping to get Rollins on campus for unofficial visits.
The Huskers have already gotten Rollins on their campus three times. The 6-foot-6, 215-pound tight end participated with his Junior Jay teammates in NU’s team camp in June, which is where he earned his scholarship offer. His other trips to Lincoln were for NU’s 7-on-7 camp and the Big Red Barbecue.
Through those visits, Rollins established a strong bond with NU tight ends coach Sean Beckton. He plans to be back in Lincoln on Sept. 14 for the Huskers’ game against Northern Illinois.
“Me and Coach Beckton have a really good relationship,” Rollins said. “I see him as a dad figure. He talks to me like a father figure and he checks up on me a lot. He talks to my parents and sister a lot, so he knows my family really well.”
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Rollins made an unofficial visit to Iowa State last weekend, and he has a family connection there. ISU freshman running back Breece Hall is Rollins’ cousin.
“It was a very good visit, and it was my first ever visit for sports, and it was really cool getting to go on the field,” Rollins said. “My cousin played a lot, so that was really cool to see him play and to visit with his immediate family.”
Rollins said he will probably make another trip to Ames, but he doesn’t have a specific date set. He also wants to check out Oklahoma State, Michigan and Vanderbilt. Louisville, Purdue, Missouri and Iowa have also shown interest in hosting Rollins for a visit.
While visiting schools and talking with coaches, Rollins has a few specific things he looks for.
“The depth at my position and how long it will take me to play,” Rollins said. “The academics are important and the degree I will have after football are the two main things I am looking for.”
Rollins had two catches for 53 yards in Prep’s season-opening 24-21 overtime win last week against Omaha North. Rollins also plays defensive end and wouldn’t shy away from playing on that side of the ball at the next level.
“I am open to playing defense,” Rollins said. “I didn’t play very much defense last year, but I have always played both sides of the ball growing up.”
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Standing from left: Logan Jones, Council Bluffs Lewis Central; Xavier Watts, Omaha Burke; Zavier Betts, Bellevue West. Sitting/crouching from left: Isaac Gifford, Lincoln Southeast; Jay Ducker, Bellevue West; Blaise Gunnerson, Kuemper Catholic.
Clockwise from top left: Garrett Snodgrass, York; Chris Hickman, Omaha Burke; Nick Henrich, Omaha Burke; Ethan Piper, Norfolk Catholic; Max Duggan, Council Bluffs Lewis Central; Garrett Nelson, Scottsbluff.
From left: Moses Bryant, Elkhorn South; Zach Schlager, McCook; Bryson Williams, Lincoln Southeast; Masry Mapieu, York; Cameron Jurgens, Beatrice; Trevor Downing, Creston (Iowa).
From left: Noah Vedral, Wahoo Neumann; Tyler Ciurej, Bellevue West; Austin Allen, Aurora; Brett Kitrell, Ashland-Greenwood; Patrick Arnold, Gretna; Jaylin Bradley, Bellevue West.
From left: Jared Bubak, Lincoln Christian; Gavin Rush, Aurora; Ben Stille, Ashland-Greenwood; Jacob Matthew, Millard North; Noah Fant, Omaha South; Nick Lenners, Lincoln Southwest.
From left: Adam Holtorf, Seward; Tanner Borchardt, Gothenburg; C.J. Johnson, Bellevue West; Calvin Strong, Omaha North; Michael Decker, Omaha North; DaiShon Neal, Omaha Central.
From left: Jerald Foster, Lincoln Southeast; Luke Gifford, Lincoln Southeast; Mick Stoltenberg, Gretna; Harrison Phillips, Millard West; Easton Stick, Omaha Creighton Prep; Trey Carr, Omaha Burke.
Casey Sayles, Omaha North (left) and Nick DeLuca, Millard North. Not pictured: Josh Banderas, Lincoln Southwest; Nathan Bazata, Howells-Dodge; Christian LaCouture, Lincoln Southwest; Mike Minter Jr., Lincoln North Star; Jake Schlager, McCook.
Top from left: Tavarius Bender, Lincoln Southwest; Mike Shoff, Cambridge; Sam Cotton, Lincoln Southeast. Bottom from left: Jake Schany, Blair; Drew Ott, Giltner; Michael Malloy, Sioux City Heelan.
Clockwise from top left: Ryne Reeves, Crete; Daniel Davie, Beatrice; Zach Sterup, Hastings St. Cecillia; Quentin Urban, Millard South; Cole Fisher, Millard North; Ted Lampkin, Omaha Central.
From left: Matt Hoch, Harlan; Tyler Evans, Waverly; Ronald Coleman Jr., Omaha North; Antaries Daniels, Omaha Northwest; Andrew Rodriguez, Aurora; Brandon Scherff, Denison-Schleswig.
Standing from left: Jon Lechner, Omaha Creighton Prep; Brandon Wegher, Sioux City Heelan; Tyrone Sellers, McCook; Cole Pensick, Lincoln Northeast. Kneeling from left: Vondrae Tostenson, Millard South; C.J. Zimmerer, Omaha Gross.
From left: Dan Hoch, Harlan; Collins Okafor, Omaha Westside; Baker Steinkuhler, Lincoln Southwest; Sean Fisher, Millard North; John Levorson, Crete; Trevor Robinson, Elkhorn.
Clockwise from top left: Kyle Dooley, Papillion-La Vista; Harland Gunn, Omaha Central; Noah Keller, Kearney; Phillip Bates, Omaha North; Niles Paul, Omaha North; Jared Crick, Cozad.