A quick glance at the tight ends

Tight end has been an underused position for the Wildcats. Despite not using the tight end as a key cog of the passing game, the Wildcats have had a number of them play in the NFL. That trend could continue with the current crop.

Position Coach: Steve Spurrier Jr.
Returning Starters: Steve Fleming
Starters Lost: none
Top Reserves: Clarence McRae, Ryan Kilpatrick
Newcomers: Brad Wood (transfer), Justin Walsh (HS), Travis Bell (HS)
Departures: Matt Padron (left team)

Steve Fleming is the man. He'll not only lead the tight ends in receptions, but should be among the team leaders. He is a potential all-conference player and should be cutting a paycheck on Sundays next year. McRae is a good blocker who can make a grab or two. Kilpatrick is unproven, but a terrific athlete. Bell and Walsh will probably redshirt, but if one makes an early impression he could see time. Wood was a wideout last season and may not have the size to be an impact tight end at this point.

2004 DEPTH CHART

NAME

YEAR

HT

WT

HOME

1

Steve Fleming

RS-SR

6-6

256

Scottsdale, AZ (Chaparral)

2

Clarence McRae

RS-SR

6-2

242

Deltona Park, FL (AZ Western)

3

Ryan Kilpatrick

RS-FR

6-3

232

Ft. Worth, TX (All Saints' Episcopal)

2003 STATISTICS

PLAYER

REC

YDS

AVG

TD

Steve Flemming

24

222

9.2

2

Clarence McRae

1

1

1.0

0

McRae actually started four games when the Cats opened up with two tight end sets…Fleming has been lauded by the coaching staff…Wood was a wide receiver at Pima last year, but is expected to play tight end this season…Bell is the brother of UA offensive lineman Tanner Bell…Last year the top two tight ends at Oklahoma combined for just 18 catches…Offensive coordinator Mike Canales has been known to use the position quite a bit at his prior stops…Fleming was recruited as a quarterback, while Kilpatrick began his career as a linebacker/defensive end…Spurrier Jr. will coach tight ends for the first time; he was a receivers coach at all his previous stops.

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