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Nebraska football’s 2021 recruiting class significantly improved on Wednesday night, and it did so by poaching Iowa’s top football talent.

Four-star tight end Thomas Fidone, a Council Bluffs, Iowa native, announced he would be joining the program next season. He is the No. 90 player in the country, No. 2 tight end in the country and No. 1 player in the state of Iowa, according to 24/7 Sports. Fidone chose Nebraska over LSU, Iowa and Michigan.

On Monday, Fidone was named the No. 45 player in Sports Illustrated’s “Preseason SI 99,” which is a ranking of 99 seniors that are frontrunners for the SI All-American Team.

The rankings evaluate him as a more modern tight end, one that is more of a pass catcher than a blocker. Fidone is seen by Sports Illustrated as a quality route runner with, “excellent hands” and “elite short-area quickness.” The evaluation goes on to describe him as “the best pure receiver in the country among high-end tight end prospects.”

“Fidone is a long, reliable and versatile pass-catcher capable of producing all over the field,” the evaluation said. “Early playing time will depend on [frame] development, but will be [a] multi-year starter and potential NFL player regardless.” 

Fidone’s commitment will significantly boost a recruiting class previously ranked No. 39 in the country and No. 9 in the Big Ten. He joins four-star offensive tackle Teddy Prochazka, four-star linebacker Randolph Kpai and three-star wide receiver Latrell Neville as the headliners of the 2021 class. Fidone’s commitment also marks another major win on the recruiting trail for Nebraska football head coach Scott Frost and his staff, as he is the second-highest-rated recruit of the Frost era.

Only four-star offensive lineman Turner Corcoran, who committed in the 2020 recruiting class, ranked higher, according to 24/7 Sports.