Disclaimer: As the 2020 current football season still is technically set to proceed as planned in Manhattan on Sept. 5, we will continue the Countdown as normal for now.
#87 Nick Lenners
Redshirt Junior | 6-5 | 252 lbs. | Lincoln, Nebraska
- Position: Tight End/Fullback
- Previous College: None
- Projection: Starter
- Status: On Scholarship
Nicholas Renken Lenners (b. June 30, 1997) is a highly touted tight end prospect who redshirted during the 2016 season and also lined up at fullback as a redshirt freshman.
He contributed heavily in both positions last season as a redshirt sophomore and seems primed to continue in both roles in 2020 even as he battles for starting duties at tight end.
Lenners caught a 36-yard pass in the 2017 spring game, playing for both Purple and White. He followed that up with two catches for 28 yards in the 2018 spring game.
In 2017, Lenners played in 12 games, primarily on special teams and as a blocker at both tight end and fullback. He helped the K-State offense to rank third in school history in rushing yards per carry (4.98) and seventh in total rushing yards (2,584).
Lenners’ budding career hit a snag in 2018, though. He started the season opener against South Dakota, but suffered a season-ending injury and missed the rest of the year. Luckily, he later received a medical hardship for the year, so he only will be a redshirt junior in 2020.
Lenners played in all 13 games in 2019, drawing four starts and earning first-team All-Big 12 honors from the league’s coaches as a fullback even as he tallied 13 catches for 163 yards and a touchdown.
Lenners had the most catches by a Wildcat fullback or tight end since Zach Trujillo logged 19 in 2014, while his receiving yards were the most for either position since Winston Dimel had 261 yards in 2015. He scored his first career touchdown on a 21-yard catch against TCU.
Lenners helped to lead the way for a team effort of 178 rushing yards per game, which ranked fourth in the Big 12, while he also was a part of helping the Wildcats to score 29 rushing touchdowns, the third most last season in the Big 12.
A three-year letter-winner for Lincoln High School Southwest under head coach Mark King, Lenners was rated the fourth-best player in Nebraska by both Rivals.com and ESPN, while the latter ranked him No. 26 nationally among all tight ends in the class of 2016.
He also earned first-team Super State and first-team Class A All-State honors from The Lincoln Journal-Star, and he was named to The Omaha World-Herald’s Super Six team, recognizing him as one of the top six prep players in Nebraska, prior to 2015.
That year, Lenners caught 18 passes for 357 yards and three touchdowns for the Silver Hawks as a senior while recording 40 tackles, including 13 for loss.
He also caught six passes for 60 yards and a touchdown in addition to recording 71 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, and eight sacks as a junior.
Lenners was selected to the USA Today Sports/American Family Insurance All-USA Nebraska Team as a senior.
He was a two-year Lincoln Journal-Star All-City team member, a two-year academic all-state and three-year academic all-conference selection, a two-year letter-winner in track and field, and a one-year letter-winner in basketball.
Academically, Lenners earned first-team Academic All-Big 12 accolades in 2019 and he graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in business management.