News: O.J. Howard
has been named to the Preseason All-SEC squad, USA Today reports.
Either big things are expected from O.J. Howard
, or the SEC is really thin at the tight end position. Howard caught just 14 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns in 2013, but he is a massive target at 6-foot-6, 240-lbs. Perhaps he will be used more often by whoever the new quarterback is under center at Alabama.
Buckeyes' Heuerman Still Recovering From Foot Surgery
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News: Jeff Heuerman
is still recovering from the foot surgery he underwent in March, but he is no longer wearing a protective boot and should be close to full speed by training camp, the Columbus Dispatch reports.
Analysis: Jeff Heuerman
is still not at full speed, despite earlier reports that he would be full go by June. He was a productive player at tight end in 2013, reeling in 26 passes for 466 yards and four touchdowns.
Virginia's Tight End Jake McGee Transfers To Florida
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News: Jake McGee
will transfer to Florida, CBS Sports reports.
Analysis: Jake McGee
was Virginia's leading pass catcher last season, and will look to improve Florida's offense that struggled frequently last season. Since McGee has graduated from Virginia he will be able to play next season with his final season of eligibility. McGee is a former quarterback, who has the athleticism to play split out from the line and stretch the seam in the middle of the field.
News: Brandon Fulse
has emerged as the lead candidate to replaced Jay Prosch at the H-back position for Auburn, the Montgomery Advertiser reports.
Comments tight ends and special teams coach Scott Fountain, "I think right now, Brandon Fulse
would be a little bit ahead of everybody at the true 3-back position." The 6-4, 272-pound Fulse, who served primarily as a blocking tight end last season, has spent all spring working at H-back along with Gage Batten, Prosch's back up last year. It is the former, however, who appears the favorite to fill the void left at the "glue position" now that Prosch has moved on from the program, and will try to replace the five catches for 95 yards and a touchdown Prosch produced in 2013.
Oklahoma's Bell Sprains Knee
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News: Blake Bell
suffered a sprained knee during spring practice but should be healthy in time for the fall, ESPN.com reports.
The injury won't require surgery, so Blake Bell
's season-opening availability isn't in question. It's a problematic development for Bell, however, as the former quarterback is attempting to transition to tight end. If he can secure a lead role at the position he might have big fantasy upside, because there's a strong chance that Oklahoma will bring back the Belldozer formation, a short-yardage wildcat package that made Bell a rushing touchdown machine a couple years ago.
News: Dolapo Macarthy
has been working at a new position during spring practices for the Purdue Boilermakers, transitioning from wide receiver to tight end, the Post-Tribune reports.
Analysis: Dolapo Macarthy
notes the move from wide receiver to tight end "might not be something I dreamed of," but is nevertheless a transition he is taking in stride. Macarthy had a promising season as a wideout back in 2012 - 28 catches for 252 yards and a touchdown in 11 games - but last season played sparingly in new head coach Darrell Hazell's first season, accounting for just one catch for six yards in five games. "You definitely want to play a huge role, you want to contribute to help your team win," Macarthy explains. "It was tough sitting in the back seat watching everything unfold and not really contributing much to help." Still, 2014 may provide a turn toward the positive for the senior, as the 6-5, 235-pound Macarthy has been tabbed as a hybrid tight end who, at points, will also line up in the slot. "We had to find a way to get him on the field," sophomore quarterback Austin Appleby comments. "... I don't know what linebackers, what safeties, are going to be able to [do to] stop Dolapo in the slot. You're going to see that as the spring goes on, and as the season goes on. He's going to be big for us."
Nick O'Leary - questionable (Ankle)
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News: Nick O'Leary
will miss the remainder of spring practice after being involved in a motorcycle accident, ESPN.com reports.
For the second time in a year, Nick O'Leary
crashed his motorcycle, and he'll be forced to miss the rest of spring workouts as a result. Coach Jimbo Fisher said O'Leary has a swollen ankle and is "skinned from head to toe," but it at least sounds like the junior avoided any sort of career-threatening injury.
Illinois' Davis Out For Spring With Dislocated Elbow
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News: Jon Davis
will miss the rest of spring practice after dislocating his elbow, Jeremy Werner of OrangeandBlueNews.com reports.
Analysis: Jon Davis
hauled in 25 passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns in 2013 for the Illini. He is slated to be the starting tight end this season and barring any long-term effects, he will likely resume that role in fall practice.
Boise's Huff Suspended For Opener Against Ole Miss
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News: Holden Huff
was suspended for Boise State's opener against Ole Miss, Brian Murphy of the Idaho Statesman reports.
The redshirt junior played sparingly last season, recording only six catches for 32 yards.
Notre Dame's Niklas Entering Draft
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News: Troy Niklas
will forego his senior season to enter the 2014 NFL Draft, Eric Hansen of the South Bend Tribune reports.
Analysis: Troy Niklas
took over Notre Dame's starting tight end job in 2013, finishing with 32 receptions for 498 yards and five touchdowns in 13 games. While he isn't the equal of his predecessor, Tyler Eifert, Niklas still figures to come off the board at some point during May's draft. At 6-foot-7, 270 pounds, there's no doubt that he has the size to play tight end in the NFL. In fact, he's so big that if things don't work out at tight end, Niklas could consider a move to offensive tackle.