Preview 2010 - Big East Tight End Rankings
Cincinnati TE Ben Guidugli
Cincinnati TE Ben Guidugli
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted May 29, 2010


Preview 2010 - Ranking the Top Big East Tight Ends


   
Preview 2010 - Big East

The Top Tight Ends


- Big East Skill Position Rankings
Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers | Tight Ends | Kickers  

1. Cameron Graham, Sr. Louisville
In his second season out of El Camino (Calif.) Community College, the 6-4 and 253-pound senior emerged as the program's best threat at tight end. Playing with the moves and the quickness of an H-back, he proved to be a handful for opposing linebackers, making 27 grabs for 323 yards and two touchdowns. In an offense that prefers the quick-hitters and the middle of the field, he'll continue to be a busy player and an All-Big East candidate.

2. Ben Guidugli, Sr. Cincinnati
Guidugli provides the Bearcats with a unique and valuable weapon at tight end. While not to be confused with an intimidating in-line blocker, the 6-1, 240-pounder is more of an H-back, catching a career-high 27 passes for 364 yards and three touchdowns. He has soft hands and the athleticism to make difficult catches down the seam. When he gets the wind at his back, he'll attack defenders like a fullback on the loose.

3. Ryan Griffin, Soph. Connecticut
Connecticut's affection for the tight end won't end in 2010, especially with the return of the 6-6, 240-pound Griffin. He laid the ground floor for what will be a promising career, starting 10 games and making 23 receptions for 272 yards. Raw when he arrived out of New Hampshire, he's continued to improve, adding muscle and tightening up his blocking and route running. It's early, naturally, but he has the look of one of those once-overlooked Huskies, who ends up authoring a terrific stay in East Hartford.

4. Nick Provo, Jr. Syracuse
With a young, unproven quarterback at the helm, Syracuse could spend a lot of time looking for its tight end. That's good news for the 6-4, 241-pound Provo, who has the athletic ability, good hands, and size of an H-back. He was just beginning to gain traction, catching four passes for 55 yards in September, before a knee injury in the South Florida cut short his season before it could take flight. He's healthy again and eager to pick up where he left off.

5. Tyler Urban, Jr. West Virginia
The coaching staff is hoping to do a better job of getting the ball in the hands of the tight ends, namely the 6-5, 249-pound Urban. West Virginia feels he was a little underutilized a year ago, catching just 10 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown. A long-strider, who brings it on every down and leads by example, he has the skills to be a weapon on intermediate routes.

6. D.C Jefferson, Soph. Rutgers
So far, so good on the experiment of moving the 6-6, 245-pound Jefferson from quarterback to tight end. With Tom Savage around, he wasn't going to get many snaps behind center, but as a hard-to-miss receiver, he has the potential to take this relocation a long way. In his first season, he caught five passes for 108 yards, gradually getting more comfortable in his new role. Still raw as a receiver and a blocker, he's worked hard to improve both areas, and should continue making positive strides as he gets more snaps at the position.

7. Mike Cruz, Soph. Pitt
Losing NFL–caliber tight ends Dorin Dickerson and Nate Byham were big hits. In their place steps the 6-5, 270-pound Cruz, who won't be nearly the same threat as a receiver. Used in the program's "jumbo set" in short yardage, he's seen as more of a third guard, catching one pass for a two-yard touchdown last season.

8. Jeff Hawkins, Soph. USF
Although he hardly made an appearance in 2009, the 6-4, 251-pound Hawkins is making a concerted push to become the starting tight end. He'll need to continue working on his in-line blocking, but has soft hands and just enough speed to become a valuable target in the passing game.

9. Will Johnson, Sr. West Virginia
In the 6-2, 238-pound Johnson, the passing game has a capable veteran backup at tight end. Somewhat of a hybrid between a fullback and an H-back, he'd played a lot of football over the last three seasons, starting six career games and making six grabs for 78 yards and a touchdown a year ago.

10. John Delahunt, Soph. Connecticut
At tight end, just because Delahunt is buried behind Griffin doesn't mean that he won't see the field. A 6-3 and 243-pound Canadian import, he's built more like an H-back, with the sticky hands needed to play the position. No longer a stranger to the field, he played in 11 and started five, a pair when Griffin was injured.