Preview 2010 - C-USA Tight End Rankings
Tulsa FB/TE Charles Clay
Tulsa FB/TE Charles Clay
Posted May 30, 2010

Preview 2010 - Ranking the Top Conference USA Tight Ends

Preview 2010 - C-USA

The Top Tight Ends

- C-USA Skill Position Rankings
Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers | Tight Ends | Kickers  

1. Charles Clay, Sr. Tulsa
Is the 6-3, 234-pound senior a fullback, tailback, or tight end? Yes. Actually, he's Tulsa's H-back and one of the league's most versatile offensive players. An outstanding all-around athlete, with a long frame to boot, he's been used like a Swiss Army knife by the staff over the last three years. A bona fide NFL prospect and seam-buster, he was second on the team with 39 catches for 530 yards and five touchdowns, while running 63 times for 236 yards and seven more scores. He has great hands, challenging the staff to find new ways to get him the ball.

2. Jeffrey Anderson, Sr. UAB
The 6-3, 255-pound senior should be one of the team's top receivers. One of the most underrated tight ends in the country, he was second on the team with 26 catches for 398 yards and five touchdowns, giving him nine career scores on 64 receptions. With good hands and the gait to stretch the seam, he could have a career in the NFL.

3. Lee Smith, Sr. Marshall
Smith got thrust into the spotlight after Slate was injured and responded with 23 catches for 335 yards. A hulking 6-6, 267-pound Tennessee transfer, he played well enough to consider early entry into the 2010 NFL Draft. Wisely, he was patient, knowing that a full season as the regular could do wonders for his stock. He has the size and strength to impersonate a guard on running plays, yet also has the soft hands to win the confidence of the quarterbacks on intermediate routes.

4. Deven Onarheim, Sr. Memphis
At tight end, Memphis will turn to a familiar face, the 6-8, 250-pound senior who has lettered in each of the last three seasons. He caught nine passes for 82 yards in his first year as a regular, earning nine starts. With his imposing size and big hands, he's capable of providing support to both the running game as a blocker and the passing game as a receiver.

5. Cody Sparks, Sr. Tulane
Back for one final season at tight end with the program is the 6-4, 239-pound Sparks. A steady performer in New Orleans, he's earned three letters with the Green Wave, starting five games and catching 10 passes for 81 yards last fall. Effective on the short and intermediate routes, he has good hands and an even better grasp of his role within the offense.

6. Justin Jones, RFr. East Carolina
At the Big "Y" receiver, the Pirates' version of a tight end, it's going to be hard to ignore the redshirt freshman. He's 6-8 and 252 pounds and a can't-miss receiving target, provided the offensive line coach doesn't try to convert him to a tackle first. Pursued by SEC schools coming out of high school, he has surprising speed and agility for such a big player, making the staff gush about his long-term potential.

7. Adam Nissley, Jr. UCF
When UCF uses the tight end in jumbo sets, it'll employ the 6-6, 262-pound junior, who started all 13 games last season. More than just an outstanding blocker, he caught 10 passes for 159 yards, showing off soft hands and an ability to pick up yards after the catch.

8. Jonny Moore, Sr. UTEP
The staff is hopeful that the 6-5, 250-pound Moore is able to bounce back from a dislocated shoulder suffered in the spring. A better receiver than a blocker, with the size to out muscle defenders, he caught a career-high 13 passes for 135 yards and a touchdown.

9. Vance McDonald, Soph. Rice
The 6-5, 250-pound sophomore McDonald has the coaching staff very excited. He has benefited from some of the offseason changes to the offense, and had one of the best springs among the offensive players. A big target, with soft hands and a long stride, he's capable of tripling last year's dozen catches for 118 yards.

10. Jonathan Massey, Sr. Southern Miss
One of the sleepers of the passing game is the 6-3, 260-pound Massey, the top option at tight end. He has taken the long route to Hattiesburg, making stops at Vanderbilt and Copiah-Lincoln Community College along the way. Built more like an H-back than a traditional three-down tight end, he caught seven passes for 62 yards and two touchdowns, all in the first six games, but should be used plenty more in 2010.