2008 CFN All-Americans & Top Players - TEs
Marshall TE Cody Slate
Marshall TE Cody Slate
Posted Aug 17, 2008

CFN 2008 All-Americans and Top 25 Players - Tight Ends

2008 CFN All-Americans

Tight Ends

CFN 2008 All-Americans and Top 25 Players
2008 Preview | Quarterbacks | Running Backs
Wide Receivers | Off. Tackles | Guards | Centers 
Defense Def. Ends | Def. Tackles | Linebackers | Cornerbacks 
Safeties | Punters | Kickers | Kick Returners

2008 CFN Preseason First Team All-American

Travis Beckum, Sr. Wisconsin
In a bit of an upset, the 6-4, 223-pound Beckum chose to come back for his senior season. While he's not exactly a prototype NFL end, he'll make a terrific H-Back with fantastic hands, great route running ability, and too much speed for most linebackers. Originally a defensive end, he quickly became one of America's best tight ends catching 61 passes for 903 yards and five scores in 2006 before grabbing 75 passes for 982 yards and six scores. Now he has to get and stay healthy after having problems with a shoulder injury. A decent blocker, but not an elite one, no one notices what he does for the running game because he's such a weapon for the passing attack.

Preseason Top 25 Guards
1. Travis Beckum, Sr. Wisconsin
2. Chase Coffman, Sr. Missouri
3. Jermaine Gresham, Jr. Oklahoma
4. Shawn Nelson, Sr. So Miss
5. Brandon Pettigrew, Sr. Ok State
6. Cody Slate, Jr. Marshall
7. Rob Gronkowski, Soph. Arizona
8. Darius Hill, Sr. Ball State
9. Dennis Pitta, Jr. BYU
10. Bear Pascoe, Sr. Fresno State
11. Garrett Graham, Jr. Wisconsin
12. Ryan Purvis, Sr. Boston College
13. Branden Ledbetter, Sr. W Mich
14. Zeek Zacharie, Sr. ULM
15.  Ed Dickson, Jr. Oregon
16. Tony Moeaki, Sr. Iowa
17. Logan Paulsen, Sr. UCLA
18. Andrew Mooney, Sr. Ohio
19. Richard Dickson, Jr. LSU
20. Rory Nicol, Sr. Ohio State
21. Jeff Cottam, Jr. Tennessee
22. Jeron Mastrud, Jr. Kansas State
23. Jeff Cumberland, Jr. Illinois
24. Nick Walker, Sr. Alabama
25. Tripp Chandler, Sr. Georgia

*Air Force's Travis Dekker would be on the list but he's lost to injury until at least the midseason.

2008 CFN Preseason Second Team All-American

Chase Coffman, Sr. Missouri
The team's third leading receiver, with 52 catches for 531 yards and seven touchdowns, was never quite right all of last season as an ankle injury kept him from being the explosive downfield target he was in his first two seasons. Now that he's healthy, he'll be a matchup nightmare again with soft hands, tremendous route running ability, and the strength to fight off defenders for the ball. For his career, he has 157 catches for 1672 yards and 20 touchdowns; he'll be on the short list for the Mackey Award.

2008 CFN Honorable Mention All-Americans
(in alphabetical order)

Jermaine Gresham, Jr. Oklahoma
OU always gets production out of its tight ends, and last year it found its breakout star in Gresham, who led the team with 11 touchdown catches. At 6-5 and 263 pounds, he's a big target with the quickness to always find an opening. A matchup nightmare, he was third on the team with 37 catches for 518 yards and 11 touchdowns, but after making four scoring grabs against Texas A&M he managed just one touchdown catch in the final five games.

Rob Gronkowski, Soph. Arizona

It didn’t take Gronkowski very long to show the nation why he was one of the top tight end recruits of 2007.  As a true freshman, the 6-6, 260-pound man-child pulled down 28 passes for 525 yards and six touchdowns, showing the versatility to run past defenders or through them.  If Gronkowski makes even modest strides, the Wildcats will boast a Mackey Award contender for as long as he stays in Tucson.       

Darius Hill, Sr. Ball State
While the NFL scouts will be keeping a close eye on Ball State WR Nate Davis, Hill could turn out to be the better pro prospect. With 118 career catches for 1,803 yards and 23 touchdowns, he's a proven weapon, and at 6-6 and a beefed up 236 pounds, he has good size with excellent athleticism. While he's not a power blocker, he's a matchup nightmare as a receiver becoming more consistent and more dangerous, especially in the red zone, catching 11 touchdown passes last year.

Shawn Nelson, Sr. Southern Miss
For the fourth consecutive season, Southern Miss will feature Nelson as the main weapon in the passing game. A model of consistency with big play potential, he’s caught at least 33 passes and three touchdown receptions each year, earning a spot on the All-Conference USA First Team in 2006 and 2007.  At an athletic 6-5 and 240 pounds, Nelson is the prototype for NFL tight ends and a Mackey Award candidate.

Brandon Pettigrew, Sr. Oklahoma State

The spotlight will be on Pettigrew, a sure-thing NFL prospect who's being talked about as a possible first rounder. With 6-6, 260-pound size, great speed and tremendous hands, he has everything the next level wants. Now he has to be the can't-stop target who can produce no matter what the defense and who's on him. He finished third on the team with 35 catches for 540 yards and four touchdowns averaging 15.4 yards per catch, and while he was consistent, outside of a few plays here and there he wasn't the difference maker he should've been. 

Bear Pascoe, Sr. Fresno State
Pascoe, a 6-5, 260-pound former quarterback, is a special tight end who'll be playing on Sundays. The team's second leading receiver, with 45 catches for 553 yards and four touchdowns, he's a great athlete who can be used in a variety of ways. His biggest problem last year was staying healthy, but he still gutted it out for the entire year and was a good blocker as well as a receiver. He won't blow anyone off the charts with his speed, but he has great hands.

Dennis Pitta, Jr. BYU

Pitta is the Cougars' No. 1 overall target after leading the team with 59 catches for 813 yards and five touchdowns as a great replacement for All-American Jonny Harline. The 6-5, 250-pound junior has great hands, who got bigger over the past year, is a fantastic route runner, and is tremendously consistent. An older player, like many of the Cougars who spend two yards on a church mission, he doesn't make mistakes.

Cody Slate, Jr. Marshall
Slate drew closer to being the nation’s premier pass-catching tight end a year ago, making a Herd-high 66 receptions for 811 yards and five touchdowns. Like having a fourth wide receiver on the field, he’s 6-4 and 220 pounds with the speed and agility to create mismatches with most linebackers. On the lip of the All-American cup, he’s a dominating weapon in the middle of the field.