As the scheduled Aug. 7 start to Nebraska's preseason camp approaches, Husker Extra is counting down the 30 most intriguing players on the roster.
This isn’t best player or most important. As a list based on intrigue, it skews a bit toward youth and new players, but there will be plenty of established contributors, too.
No. 6, Travis Vokolek, TE, jr.
When Nebraska filled its final scholarship for the 2019 class just more than one year ago, you might have been justified if you at least took a moment and thought, 'Huh, a tight end?'
That, of course, was Travis Vokolek, who transferred to Nebraska from Rutgers last summer and, in the process, joined a position group already long on experience and getting older with now-senior Jack Stoll and juniors Austin Allen and Kurt Rafdal.
Vokolek, though, in the eyes of the Husker coaching staff, was simply too good to turn down. He's listed at 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds and had a reputation at Rutgers of being a dynamic threat in the passing game. The only problem? Rutgers didn't really have one.
With a year of acclimatizing under his belt in Lincoln, though, the Missouri native who wanted to play for the Huskers out of high school, Vokolek will have a chance make an impact on the Nebraska offense.
"Guys get out of redshirt years kind of what they put into them," head coach Scott Frost said in March. "There's some guys who put it in cruise control and don't get a lot out of it and other guys who work to learn it and get better. I think Travis has improved since the day he got on campus."
The competition will be stiff, of course, will Stoll, Allen and Rafdal all back, but NU struggled in the red zone and to find consistent targets behind since-departed receiver JD Spielman a year ago.
The intrigue with Vokolek only begins with the question of whether he can help rectify either or both of those issues. If he does, what else is possible?
— Parker Gabriel
The listNo. 16, Niko Cooper, OLB, so.
No. 9, Bryce Benhart, RT, rfr.
No. 8, Wan'Dale Robinson, WR, so.
No. 7, Nick Henrich, ILB, rfr.