With the growth of the tight end position as a versatile offensive mismatch weapon, recruiting classes are increasingly prioritizing those rare big bodies that can run and catch. We take a look at the nation’s top recruiting class for 2014 at the tight end position.
Nic Weishar had a strong week at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
1. Notre Dame
Notre Dame has had a great tradition of elite tight end play in recent years and that tradition should continue with Brian Kelly’s 2014 crop. Both Luatua and Weishar are ranked among the top ten at their position in the 247sports Composite rankings and both bring a different skill set. Weishar is that lengthy tight end that can really extend the defense vertically while Luatua can play more of the H-back role coming out of the backfield with his skill set.
Between Wolf and Helm, Tennessee has compiled two of the top 13 tight ends in the country on one commitment list with Helm ranked slightly higher at No. 5 overall in the 247Sports Composite rankings. With Helm, Tennessee is getting one of the more athletic pass catchers in the nation while Wolf is the bigger body of the two that fits more in the in-line role. Another plus is that both prospects are already on campus as early enrollees and should compete for early playing time.
3. Florida State
Mavin Saunders (Houston, Texas/Kincaid School)
Ryan Izzo (Sparta, N.J./Pope John XXIII)
Saunders is the No. 8 tight end in the country according to 247Sports Composite. Izzo is ranked No. 18 overall. The two have very similar frames, listed at 6-foot-6, 220 pounds and both are exceptionally athletic. Of the two, Saunders has the higher ceiling as a player who is relatively new to the sport of football but is already showing off tremendous athletic upside.
Richard, ranked as the No. 9 tight end in the nation according to 247Sports Composite rankings, is a stockier tight end body at only around 6-2, 230 pounds but he has extremely good straightline speed and is strong and physically gifted. Smith possesses more of that prototypical mismatch body and is a value three-star on 247Sports, ranked by 247Sports Composite as the No. 22 tight end in the country.
5. Boise State
Chase Blakley (Coeur D’Alene, Idaho/High)
David Lucero (Holtville, Calif./High)
Boise State has the tight end class that not a lot of people are talking about but they should be. After flipping Chase Blakely from Washington on Tuesday, Boise State has two of the most underrated tight ends in the country along with Lucero. Blakely is a hands guy that doesn’t create a ton of separation but has great body control and catches everything near him. Lucero is a long, fluid athlete that could quietly have as much upside as any tight end on the west coast.