Eight days ago, Norris senior James Carnie got the offer he'd dreamed of. And he didn’t waste time accepting it.
The 6-foot-5, 220-pound tight end hadn't hung up the phone before committing to Nebraska when Scott Frost called last Sunday.
Monday, Carnie announced his commitment to the Huskers.
“There is no place like Nebraska," Carnie said. "It’s been my dream school. I had the best relationship with them (Nebraska).
“Coach (Sean) Beckton is like a second father figure to me. When I went on my junior day to Nebraska in January, I could feel that from him.”
Carnie becomes the third tight end in NU’s 2021 recruiting class, joining Thomas Fidone (Council Bluffs Lewis Central) and AJ Rollins (Omaha Creighton Prep).
“It is good competition and it will be a very competitive tight end room,” Carnie said. “Thomas and I are friends and we talk a lot. I’m looking forward to playing with those guys and I’m excited for us to learn things from each other.“
Carnie is the fifth in-state scholarship player in Nebraska’s 19-man 2021 class, which includes Rollins, offensive tackle Teddy Prochazka (Elkhorn South), quarterback Heinrich Haarberg (Kearney Catholic) and safety Koby Bretz (Omaha Westside).
The three-star prospect is the nation's No. 57 tight end, according to the 247Sports composite. He has a personal best 4.60 40-yard dash and 32½ vertical jump.
He hasn’t decided if he will be an early enrollee. A multisport athlete, he runs the 100, 200, 400 and 400-meter relay at Norris, which moved up to No. 1 in The World-Herald's Class B football rankings.
Carnie originally committed to Miami (Ohio) in mid-May but decommitted from the Redhawks after receiving an offer from Iowa in September. Kansas State offered days later, then Pittsburgh in late September.
Boise State and Wyoming had previously offered, too. But in the end, he chose Nebraska over his other two finalists, Iowa and Kansas State.
Nebraska was the most consistent power-conference school to recruit him. Carnie talked twice a week with Beckton, and those talks began before his commitment to Miami (Ohio). NU Director of Player Personnel Sean Dillon also kept in regular contact.
“(Beckton) was super happy that it is finally over and that he will finally have me on the team,” Carnie said. “They are excited to spread the field with our tight end class.”
A lifelong Husker fan, Carnie has a picture of himself as a 4-year-old in front of the big screen at Memorial Stadium. His grandparents Fred and Ruth Kauffman have season tickets.
“My grandfather went to every game except for two starting 10 years prior to the consecutive sellout streak before he passed away five years ago.”
His family also donated money in honor of his great grandmother, Esther Kauffman, to the Kauffman Center, the academic residential building that bears her name.