Player capsule: Kody Kohl

Kody Kohl returns for his junior season at Arizona State as the unquestioned leader at the tight end/3-back position group. Here's what his position coach has to say about him and our own analysis.

Player Capsule: Kody Kohl

Position: Tight End/3-back

Eligibility: Junior

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 230 pounds

2014 season quick review:Kohl finished fourth on the ASU offense last year with 16 catches for 167 yards with four touchdowns. He was a valuable red zone option and key blocker both in-line and in space.

Tight ends coach Chip Long: "You don't work as hard as he does and not come away with great things. I love that kid. He's as through and through a Sun Devil as we have, he believes in what we're all about as a program. He's been with me four years so so he knows our offense, he knows me and my expectations. He has a great grasp of the offense, he knows what we're all about. Toward the end of the year he really improved as a route runner. He is pretty explosive, good hands, has consistent worked and worked and improved. He can do everything Chris Coyle could do, another guy who really played great for us and was an all-league guy. That's my expectation and goal for Kody, for him to be a first-team all-league player before he's done."

"What's also great about having a guy like Kody is, he leads by example and talks from experience. I know I'm going to get a great effort from him consistently and he's going to be help all my players (at the position) to understand what we're trying to do and what we're all about and what we need to do in order to get there. He can say, 'hey, I've been there before' and that helps a lot because he backs it up with how he approaches things every day." analysis: Kohl's been a Sun Devil fan his whole life and is a great intangibles player and teammate. In measurable ways, Kohl isn't an ideal tight end at this level, not as tall or lanky as would be prototypical, not as fleet of foot or otherwise athletic enough to be considered a high end prospect at the position. But Kohl overcomes some of his shortcomings simply by toughness and determination. He does have a strong base and good posture as a blocker both in-line and in space, and does a relatively good job of using his feet to get in position for blocks. His balance and leverage as a blocker tends to be quite good for being undersized and not especially quick. Length is a limitation as a blocker and that and not being a bigger body are somewhat limiting and what he's always going to be overachieving as a blocker when he's performing against high level defensive athletes.

Kohl's weight has fluctuated quite a bit while at ASU. He was leaner this spring after saying he felt he got too heavy in the past. There's a trade off associated with that and finding the right middle point is crucial. Too light and he is going to have a harder time sustaining blocks and not being as potent in the run game. Too heavy and he'll not be as rangy as a receiver, which will limit what ASU can do with him and perhaps the overall capability of the offense given that other returning options aren't as full service as Kohl.

As a pass catcher, Kohl has to maximize his average mobility by being more of a precise route runner. He's been challenged in this regard by ASU tight ends coach Chip Long and it's something players spend endless practice hours on during the spring and fall. If he can have better footwork and use his body in more of a coordinated fashion, he can extend his range and be more of a receiving threat than he has been in the past. There have been times Kohl had been literally a split second shy of getting his head around on near-area targets in time to make plays on the football and that can be remedied to some degree by getting to the spot a hair more quickly

Projected depth chart status: Without question, Kohl is the most experienced and prepared ASU tight end entering the season. The Sun Devils have a tight end and/or 3-back on the field probably 90 percent or so of its snaps in any given game, and Kohl is always going to be on the field in either formation because he enters camp as the best option at both positions until someone else rises to the challenge enough to change that.

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