There is a need to address the tight end position by Mike Riley. The position all but went away as part of the offense under Tim Beck this past season. The lack of production from the position is indicative of it.
There were 24 receiving touchdowns this year for Nebraska of which only three went to tight ends. Out of 190 total receptions only 10 went to the tight end position. Matt Snyder could be exactly what the offense needs to start throwing to the tight end again.
At 6-foot-5 and 235-pounds you lose how big Snyder is because of how fluid of an athlete he is. He can really run and has a good first step getting out of his stance. Snyder uses that height and size well though when the ball is left high and Snyder has to go up and get it at the highest point.
Something else that might get overlooked when it comes to Snyder is his understanding of the route that he is running. He is a very good route runner and knows where he is between the zones or when he will be open based on a double move with a trailing linebacker following him.
Snyder is also very difficult for smaller defenders to bring down single-handedly. Again, this makes a defense really focus on where he is at all times because there will be such a focus on wrapping up and hitting him low.
Snyder shows that he has an ability to block. He gets his hands on the defender and finishes the play. This is really the part of his game that likely needs the most work and it’s to be expected. Much of this will have to do with strength, head and hand placement.
Last but certainly not least are Snyder’s hands. He has soft hands, catches the ball away from his body and secures the ball before looking away and making a move. I find it a total coincidence that Snyder’s number is 42 because he reminds me of another player that wore the same number, Matt Herian.
There is little doubt in my mind that Snyder will see the field as a true freshman at Nebraska. He understands route running, has good quickness and size. Most of all, the tight end position needs help. The Huskers can use a weapon there to help transition to the new offense.