For the better part of the last decade, the tight end position at Arizona State has been in flux depending on the mindset of its offensive coordinator. When Todd Graham took over the program in December of 2011 he inherited a team that had been phasing out the position under Dennis Erickson's offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone. Graham, along with offensive coordinator Mike Norvell, set out to rebuild the position.
When Chip Lindsay was hired to lead the offense after Norvell left to take over Memphis in 2015, the utilization of the tight end fell off again. With Billy Napier coming to ASU from Alabama to replace Lindsey this year the position is again a priority for the program.
The Sun Devils currently have six scholarship tight ends in the program, highlighted by junior Jay Jay Wilson. Wilson, a four-star recruit out of high school, flashed downfield playmaking ability last year. Wilson is also a reasonably good blocker for his age and experience. Under Napier he has the potential to be an all-conference player.
The only senior at the position is former junior college defensive lineman Christian Hill. Hill has been used almost exclusively in blocking formations, where he has proven to have some use in smaller areas of operation. Behind those two are four unproven players: sophomore Tommy Hudson; freshman Jared Bubak and incoming recruits junior college transfer Ceehjay French-Love and freshman Mark Walton. Hudson impressed coaches in the spring for his development. French-Love and Walton were added by Napier to boost the overall group.
We currently expect the Sun Devils to add at least one tight end to group this cycle with the ability to take another if they really likes both prospects.