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What’s a Tight End?

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With Georgia Tech moving away from the flexbone, Georgia Tech will be adding a new position to the offense.

NFL: New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

When Georgia Tech takes the field August 29 against Clemson, the offense will line up in something beside the flexbone for the first time since 2007. With that, the offense will likely be employing a position that fans haven’t seen on Tech’s offense since: the tight end.

Responsibilities

On offense, the tight end typically lines up next to one of the offensive tackles or lines up at wide receiver, normally in the slot. With that, the responsibilities of a tight end encompass both of those positions. They are responsible for blocking and also being a receiver. If that sounds familiar, it should, because that has essentially been the responsibility of Tech’s wide receivers since Paul Johnson has been the head coach. It will be slightly different, though, as the tight ends will be more responsible for blocking defensive linemen or linebackers as opposed to cornerbacks.


Not having a tight end in 11 years, Geoff Collins is now tasked with finding one prior to the start of the season, so let’s take a look at some of his options.

On the Roster:

Wide Receivers Jalen Camp and Peje’ Harris

Camp and Harris are two of the bigger receivers on Tech’s roster. Camp is listed at 6-2, 217 lbs., and Harris is listed at 6-3, 215 lbs. Both would need to add a little bit of weight, as tight ends typically come in at 230 pounds or more. Camp has done a good job in his time at Georgia Tech showing that he is a capable blocker and can go up and make a catch when he needs to. Harris hasn’t had the opportunity to show as much, so he would be more of an unknown.

Linebackers Tyler Cooksey and Josh Tukes

Cooksey and Tukes are two reserve linebackers for the Yellow Jackets. While Cooksey is on scholarship, he will be a senior next year and is pretty buried in the depth chart at linebacker. Tukes is a walk-on and will be a redshirt-sophomore next year. Both of these guys played tight end in high school and have pretty good size for the position: Cooksey is listed at 6-2, 232 lbs., and Tukes is listed at 6-6, 215 lbs.

Recruiting:

Currently committed to the Yellow Jackets, there is only one player who could be a fit at tight end: Calvary Day School’s D’Quan Douse. Douse is currently committed as a defensive lineman, but also plays tight end and fullback for his school.

Geoff Collins has also made his first offer to a tight end: Rutgers commit Dylan Deveney.

Deveney, who is listed at 6-6, 240 lbs. is a two-star recruit on Rivals and a three-star and the 247Sports Composite. He’s been committed to Rutgers since June 20.

Grad Transfers:

This would be the final option to fill this tight end slot. I’ll preface this by saying that I googled “tight end transfer,” and these are the names I found. I have no way of knowing if any of these players have been offered by Georgia Tech or are interested in transferring.

Illinois TE Louis Dorsey | 6-6, 235 lbs. | Link

Dorsey — a preseason Mackey Award Watchlist guy — elected to transfer from Illinois after a not-so-great season. He started off the season by being suspended for three games for violation of team rules, and then after he came back, he failed to record a catch. In his freshman season, Dorsey started seven games and had 22 receptions for 395 yards and three touchdowns. Since he isn’t graduating, Dorsey would likely have to sit for a season.

UConn TE Tyler Davis | 6-4, 243 lbs. | Link

Davis is a more conventional graduate transfer because he’s actually graduating. He announced via Twitter at the end of November that he was planning to transfer for his final season of eligibility. While battling an injury this season, Davis hauled in 22 catches for 237 yards and six touchdowns.

UNC TE Brandon Fritts | 6-4, 240 lbs. | Link

Fritts missed the entire season due to injury and announced his intentions to transfer last week. Fritts was expected to play a larger role in the Tar Heels offense this year before his injury. Last season, he had 25 catches for 177 yards and four touchdowns (second-best on the team).

Nebraska WR/TE Justin McGriff | 6-6, 230 lbs. | Link

McGriff is a bit of an interesting case. After flipping his commitment from UCF to Nebraska when the Cornhuskers hired Scott Frost, he elected to leave the school after only his freshman season. Because of that, I think he’s more likely to go the JUCO route, but his size really intrigues me, so I wanted to include him. He didn’t accumulate any stats, but according to the linked article, he was very impressive on the scout team. He announced his transfer yesterday.

Pitt TE Tyler Sear | 6-4, 250 lbs. | Link

Sear announced his intentions to transfer from Pitt during the middle of the season and left the team. He started seven games for Pitt in his year-and-a-half with the team and caught three passes for 19 yards and was typically used more as a blocker.

Conclusion

Right now, it looks like Geoff Collins is going to be moving the Yellow Jackets to an offense that employs the tight end position. After not having that for 11 years, they are definitely going to hunt for one. Given that they have already offered one, I think it’s safe to say we will see some combination of all of these to fill that tight end spot next season.