Player capsule: Jared Bubak
Position: Tight end
Eligibility: Redshirt freshman
Weight: 244 pounds
2016 season quick review: An early enrollee for Arizona State in the spring of 2016, Bubak redshirted last season.
SunDevilSource.com analysis: A product of Lincoln, Nebraska, Bubak played quarterback in high school before beginning to make the transition to tight end immediately following his senior season. He gained 20 pounds in a matter of months, but then had to adjust not only to a body that had substantially changed, but also to a different position.
Bubak did play as a H-back type player as a sophomore, but was much smaller and used in a different way than he is going to be playing tight end at ASU. He was an early Nebraska commit, and his father worked at the school's athletic department. But Bubak re-opened his recruitment and settled on ASU, even though he was a Top-3 recruit in his home state as a senior.
Physically, Bubak has some reasonable tools to work with. He arrived at ASU bigger than most of the players at the position who came before him in the Todd Graham era, and has subsequently streamlined his physique, leaning out further and looking very much the part of a college tight end at 240-plus pounds and 6-foot-4.
Bubak also may have a better top-end gear than any of ASU's recent 3-backs. His 40-yard dash isn't great but Bubak clocked 11.59 seconds in the 100 meters in high school -- albeit at a much lower weight -- which is good for a football player of his size. On film he often outran much smaller high school players and moved well in the open field, with relatively light feet for the position.
Though he isn't especially sudden athletically, Bubak gears up well and has a higher end than a lot of college level H-back types, so his range as a receiver is better than many, including what we've seen at ASU the last few years. He doesn't seem to really fight the ball though as a receiver and has good in-route physical composure and tends to try to catch the ball properly and not let it get into him.
Playing at and near the line of scrimmage with his hand in the ground is where the adjustment is most significant, of course. Even though he's already made a lot of progress in this regard, he's still quite early in his development with the techniques required to be an effective blocker in all facets: hands, feet, posture, and alignment. He's also working on how to release off the line of scrimmage as smoothly as possible to get into his routes. This is a multi-year development process but one that's going reasonably well early in his career.
Projected depth chart status: Early in spring ball, Bubak appeared to be legitimately challenging the older and more practiced Tommy Hudson for the second pecking order spot at tight end behind Jay Jay Wilson. But as the spring unfolded, Hudson perhaps created some separation and would play behind Wilson in 11 personnel groupings, and alongside him in two tight end sets. Bubak, however, is next in line for that role. He'll have to fight off arriving junior college transfer Ceejhay French-Love and freshman Mark Walton to stay there, both this year and into the future.