Unit Analysis: Tight ends

Posted: July 30, 2013 in Football

The tight end position, which has been rarely featured throughout the history of USF football, is about to get a lot more attention under Coach Taggart.  With a more pro-style system, mixing in a lot of Stanford and San Francisco 49er’s style playcalling, the tight ends on the roster could have huge seasons. 

Here is the 2012 roster and what they did last year:
Jackson Cannon – 6’3″ 224 lbs. – Freshman – No stats recorded
Jake Carlton – 6’3″ 233 lbs. – Redshirt sophomore – No stats recorded
Jeff Hawkins – 6’4″ 266 lbs. – Redshirt senior – 2 receptions, 37 yards
Evan Landi – 6’3″ 236 lbs. – Senior – 10 receptions, 120 yards
Mike McFarland – 6’5″ 243 lbs. – Redshirt sophomore – 4 receptions, 32 yards
Sean Price – 6’3″ 240 lbs. – Freshman – 21 receptions, 209 yards, 1 touchdown
Andreas Shields – 6’4″ 248 lbs. – Senior – 1 reception, 1 yard
This is what the Bulls are losing from this group going into 2013: 
Jackson Cannon – Left team
Jeff Hawkins – Graduated
Evan Landi – Graduated
Andreas Shields – Graduated
The Bulls did not add a tight end in the 2013 recruiting class.
Here is the roster entering the season:
Spencer Adkinson – 6’3″ 218 lbs. – Freshman – Walk-on
Jake Carlton – 6’3″ 231 lbs. – Redshirt junior
Guito Ervilus – 6’4″ 221 lbs. – Redshirt freshman – Moved from defensive end
Derek Glenn – 6’2″ 219 lbs. – Sophomore – Walk-on
Mike McFarland – 6’5″ 244 lbs. – Redshirt junior
Sean Price – 6’3″ 249 lbs. – Sophomore
Tye Turner – 6’3″ 261 lbs. – Redshirt sophomore – Moved from fullback
Tight ends will see a lot of passes thrown their way in 2013 under this new offense.  The top targets, Price and McFarland will benefit from this new offense and should put up strong numbers.  Price showed flashes last year and should continue to produce this year.  I would expect him to take the next step and easily catch 35 passes if not more this year.  McFarland has all the skill in the world, but was not featured much last season.  That should change and double digit receptions will be easy to obtain, especially down in the redzone.
The depth behind Price and McFarland is still shaky though.  Jake Carlton is probably the third tight end, but he has rarely played.  Turner is more of a blocker at the tight end position and true freshman Auggie Sanchez could even line up at times at tight end to catch a few passes.
Overall grade: B
The grade is average, isn’t it?  The grade is based on potential in Price and McFarland.  We have seen flashes out of Price and know McFarland has the skills, but we have to see it come together.  It will depend on the skill of the quarterback to get them the ball, but the TEs have to rise to the occasion as well.  I look forward to giving this unit a much higher grade at the end of the unit.
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