Benjamin Brahmer has always dreamed of playing for Nebraska.
He figured he didn't need to wait any longer before solidifying that in his future, so the sophomore standout from Pierce verbally committed on Friday and became the Huskers' first pledge for the 2023 class in the process.
I am excited to announce I am officially committing to the University of Nebraska. I want to thank God for blessing me. I want to thank Coach Ruud, Coach Beckton, and Coach Frost for believing in me. I would like to thank my parents, grandparents and sisters for their support. pic.twitter.com/oozxpywt8j— Benjamin Brahmer (@BenjaminBrahmer) April 2, 2021
Brahmer, listed at 6-foot-5, picked up an offer over the winter and is part of another deep, talented group of Nebraska prospects. He was recruited heavily by Nebraska, including by inside linebackers coach Barrett Ruud — he coordinates NU's in-state recruiting efforts — tight ends coach Sean Beckton and coach Scott Frost.
"My dad definitely helped me decide that Nebraska is right for me," Brahmer told the Journal Star on Friday. "I believe that Coach Frost has the right guys to turn it around and I think that I can help them. I wanted to commit now so that I don't have to worry about the recruitment stuff and I can focus on my athletics and academics here in high school."
Brahmer has no shortage of activity in that department, considering he's a four-sport standout at Pierce High.
On the football field in 2020, he finished the season with 44 catches for 747 yards and 10 touchdowns for Pierce, which capped a 12-0 season with a 28-19 victory over Adams Central for the C-1 state championship in November.
That led him to be named first-team all-state by the Journal Star.
"He's always caught the ball really well and he's got a lot of maturing left to do," said Benjamin's dad, Mark Brahmer, who is also the 25-year head coach of the Blue Jays and the school principal, earlier this year when the Huskers first extended a scholarship offer.
He added that Benjamin has grown 2 inches since football season began this fall. "He's about 6-foot-6, maybe 190 pounds right now in the middle of basketball season. He could end up being a 6-6, 6-7, 240-pound guy."
Brahmer also had an early offer from Iowa State and certainly would have drawn further Power Five attention as his high school career progressed. Instead, he's the first on board in 2023 for Nebraska.
"Coach Ruud and I talk about once a week and then I've talked to Coach Beckton once and he wrote me a letter," Benjamain Brahmer said. "Coach Frost, I've talked to him a couple of times, too. They're great to me and they've definitely talked to me the most out of all the other coaches."
Brahmer is the first player from Pierce to pick up Division I attention since former Nebraska tight end Matt Herian.
"It's really special to show my community that I can do it and show them that we can play there," Brahmer said. "Matt's really happy for me, too, for following in his footsteps. I just want to thank God for blessing me with all skill level."
In addition to his work at Pierce High, Brahmer has trained extensively at the Warren Academy with former Nebraska defensive lineman Steve Warren and his staff.
At Warren Academy, Brahmer has worked out and trained alongside players including Nebraska freshman tight ends Thomas Fidone and James Carnie, and touted 2022 tight ends like Bellevue West pair Kaden Helms and Micah Riley-Ducker.
"I (worked out with those guys) quite a bit last summer," Brahmer said. "It definitely made me a better player just seeing them work, and it will make me a better player when I get down there (to NU) behind them, learning from them and learning how to be the best I can be."
Warren had nothing but extremely high praise for the sophomore, who he's been working with since he was 10 or 11 years old.
"He's fluid, he's very athletic, very competitive, he's got a little bit of dog in him," Warren said. "I've seen him get a little bit chippy. I love everything about the kid. …
"I was intentional in the workouts in the spring to make sure he was behind Fidone, behind Micah and those guys and get into the same group and environment as those guys just so he could see, like, 'I'm just as athletic, if not more athletic than most of those guys.' I'd say Kaden Helms and Fidone are just as athletic as him, but he's up toward the top."
In fact, Warren said he draws the comparison between Brahmer and Fidone, the No. 1 tight end in the country for the 2021 class.
"His biggest (issue) is just that he plays in C-1," Warren said of Brahmer. "We've been knowing about him for years now, but nobody else has. We've been screaming from the rooftop, 'Hey, do you like Thomas? If you like Thomas, go look at Ben Brahmer.' He's more developed than Thomas was as a sophomore and it's not even close."
Brahmer said he's ready to take the reins on the 2023 class and help build it over the course of the next 18 months.
"I'm the first commit in 2023, so it kind of just shows some leadership already and then I'm going to be a leader in my class when I get down there, too," Brahmer said.