NU football practice, 8.7

Nebraska tight end Travis Vokolek (83) and Bryce Benhart (right) run through drills during practice on Aug. 7, 2019, at the Hawks Championship Center.

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Travis Vokolek is hard to miss around the Nebraska football facilities. 

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound tight end cuts an imposing figure, even among a position group that has no shortage of size. 

The Huskers are hoping he's easy to spot on Saturdays in the fall, too. 

The wait will have been a long time coming for Vokolek, a junior from Springfield, Missouri, who transferred to Nebraska from Rutgers last year and sat out the 2019 season pursuant to NCAA transfer rules. 

He clearly made an impression, earning NU's offensive scout team player of the year honors. Earlier this month, coach Scott Frost said he thought Vokolek had made the most of the past year. 

"Guys get out of redshirt years kind of what they put into them," he said. "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. That's going to be a fun competition and battle at the tight end spot, too. (Senior Jack Stoll and junior Austin Allen) are a little bit limited in spring ball, so Travis is going to get a lot of reps.

"I feel great about the shape we're in at that position with those three guys leading it."

That competition, along with all of the others, of course, was cut short when spring ball was halted indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic. At some point, though, those three — along with junior Kurt Rafdal and hybrid tight end/receiver Chris Hickman — will all get back to competing. 

Stoll, for his part, said Vokolek has been a welcome addition to the room. 

"He's an unbelievable guy. Someone you can trust on and off the field," Stoll said. "Obviously, he has some game experience playing over at Rutgers. He kind of took last year as more of a redshirt season, which I think helped him tremendously. It helped him learn the offense, develop everything, and he's making huge strides. I know he's going to go out there and help benefit this team in the fall.

"I'm just really excited to have him on the team. He's a great guy and I just can't wait for him to go out there and make some plays."

In 2018, Vokolek caught 16 passes for 184 yards for an anemic Rutgers passing game and hauled in two of the team's five passing touchdowns.

Contact the writer at pgabriel@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.

This article originally ran on journalstar.com.

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