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Georgia Tech Football: Position Previews - Tight End

Will a new tight end rise up this season?

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at Temple Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Tight end is always one of my favorite positions, because that is one of the perfect spots for your freak athletes, whether it be a guy like Jimmy Graham (a few years ago, at least) or more recently Kyle Pitts. When Geoff Collins became the coach at Georgia Tech, he brought the tight end position back, so it was exciting to see a real tight end play at Georgia Tech once again. Unfortunately, that position hasn’t necessarily been a strength the last few years. But can that change this year? Let’s find out!

Who’s Gone?

No, really, there’s no one that played last season that isn’t returning. Looking at the roster, it looks like there are two players (Will Ferguson and Nathan Tyler) who are no longer on the roster. It looks like both of these players are walk-ons, so I don’t know much about either one of them.

Who’s Back?

In short, everyone else. Let’s start with the guys that played some serious minutes last season.

Dylan Deveney (So.) | 6-6, 258 lbs.

One of the two Dylans at tight end, Deveney was the most-used receiving tight end. He appeared in seven games, starting six, and caught four passes for 38 yards and a touchdown.

Dylan Leonard (So.) | 6-5, 245 lbs.

The other Dylan appeared in seven games as well, starting two, and caught three passes for 23 yards. I think Leonard has a bit more of a chance to break out this season, as he’s more of a receiving tight end than his Dylan counterpart.

Jack Coco (R-Jr.) | 6-2, 240 lbs.

You go, Jack Coco! Starting as just a long snapper, Coco made the move to tight end (while retaining some long snapping duties) last season and started a game. He hauled in four catches for 22 yards.

And that’s all the players who recorded stats at tight end last season. Joining them are as follows:

Billy Ward (Fr.) | 6-4, 255 lbs.

Joseph Macrina (R-Sr.) | 6-0, 245 lbs.

Chris Miller (R-Fr.) | 6-4, 222 lbs.

Ben Wilhelm (R-Fr.) | 6-5, 260 lbs.

Of this group, I think Ward is the guy to watch out for. He was the only tight end recruited in the 2020 class.

Only his junior highlights were available, so I’ll go with that.

Watching his film, Ward definitely impresses as a receiver. He’s tough and has the flexibility to slide out to receiver and does a good job of high-pointing the ball. He’s tough to bring down and even showed a little agility on his screen throw. While not the fastest or most athletic in the world, I would say that Tech isn’t dripping with talent at tight end, so it’s entirely possible that Ward sees the field this fall.

Who’s New?

These won’t be the only guys with a horse in the race, as Tech brought in at least one new tight end and another that could play tight end, if needed.

Ben Postma | 6-4, 220 lbs.

Postma had a lot of interest in him from other P5 schools, like Arkansas, Minnesota, Oklahoma State, and Pitt, but ultimately chose Pitt. Watching his film, there’s a nice focus on his receiving and blocking, which is definitely nice! Robert had some really good analysis on Postma back in February, so I’ll drop that here:

A few encouraging signs immediately jump out from Postma’s senior highlights. He shows the athleticism to line up in the slot, the toughness to get a release through traffic, and the awareness to find holes in coverage and give his quarterback more room to throw.

In the second half of the film, the focus shifts to Postma’s blocking ability; he executes a strong drive block around 3:25 in the film and a crafty arc block around 3:40. He is versatile in blocking at all different levels of the defense and has an encouraging propensity to find somebody to stick his hat on as the play continues. His top end speed doesn’t blow you away, and his film doesn’t include a lot of catches in traffic, so there is some unknown about what kind of target he will end up being for Jeff Sims in the years to come.

Leo Blackburn (maybe) | 6-5, 220 lbs.

And here is where things are less clear. Blackburn is listed at wide receiver on the official roster, but he was listed as a tight end in high school, and if bulks up, I think he could find himself back at tight end. His film is a lot of fun to watch, as this man can go up and get the ball. I think if he moved to tight end, he would be set up for success very well, and could become a Darren Waller-like player for Tech.

Position Outlook

Like I mentioned earlier, Georgia Tech isn’t dripping in talent at tight end. I think there are a couple solid guys, but there is not anyone that stands out and just wows you.

Looking at who will be “Above the Line” come September, I think it’s a pretty easy choice: The Dylans, Jack Coco and Billy Ward. If Blackburn ends up at tight end, I could see him being above the line too, but I don’t see that move happening this season.

Unfortunately, with the players that will be lining up at tight end this season, I don’t think it’s going to be a position we’ll be talking much about. They will be solid, but I haven’t seen anything that makes me think they’ll be any better than that. But as I say that, I would love to see them prove me wrong.

How do you think the tight ends will do this season?