Bellevue West tight end Kaden Helms waited months to receive his second power-conference offer. On Wednesday, the 6-foot-5, 215-pound junior added two more within hours of each other.
The first came from Nebraska. Per NCAA rules, Sept. 1 is the first day Division I schools can contact players in the 2022 class directly. Helms was asked to call NU assistant coach Barrett Ruud on Wednesday afternoon.
They connected around 2 p.m., which is when NU coaches told Helms they want him to be a Husker.
"It was exciting," Helms said. "I have been in contact with them for a while now. Me and Coach Ruud have been building a bond and a relationship and it was exciting for it to actually happen."
An hour and a half later, Bellevue West coach Michael Huffman told Helms to call Purdue tight ends coach Ryan Wallace.
"Me and Coach Wallace have been talking for a while," Helms said. "They talked about the program and how good they are academically and at football. He said he likes my athletic ability and how I play football, so he offered me."
Iowa State offered Helms on Dec. 9. Since then, ISU wide receivers coach Nate Scheelhaase and defensive coordinator Jon Heacock have continued to build the relationship with him.
“I call Coach Scheelhaase and Coach Heacock every week or so and keep up with them,” he said. “It is a good relationship and they want me to get on campus for a visit after all of the COVID stuff is over.”
Stanford, Kansas State and Penn State are also interested.
Helms’ recruitment could be moving faster if not for COVID-19 and the suspension of in-person recruiting for all Division I schools through at least Aug. 31. He had planned on making unofficial visits or attending camps at Kansas State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Penn State, Iowa State and UNLV this summer.
Helms' growth since his sophomore season has been impressive. He finished last season at 6-4, 185 pounds.
“I’ve been eating more and working out two times a day during quarantine,” he said. “I gained 10 pounds during quarantine and 15 during basketball season and the offseason so far.”
He finished his sophomore season with 16 catches for 232 yards and two touchdowns.