2003 Recruiting: Tight Ends

What appeared to be a strength a few months ago, is now a huge question mark. The Cats have just one healthy tight end for spring ball and the battle for playing time should be wide open come August. The Cats dipped into the JC ranks to add instant depth and experience.

Key loses: James Hugo, Justin Levasseur
Key returners: Matt Padron RS Fr.; Steve Flemming RS Jr.

Hugo graduated and Levasseur's legal problems leave a huge hole at tight end. To make matters worse Flemming is out for the spring with an injured shoulder. The Cats bring in two junior college transfers who will get a shot at immediate playing time.

Tommy Briggs
TE, 6-4, 255
Merced HS/Fresno City College, Merced, CA
Rank: 3-stars

Briggs has great size with good hands. Had a solid season for one of the nation's top Junior College programs. An All-Conference selection in 2001. Briggs caught 19 balls for 277 yards (14.5 avg) and four touchdowns this past season and has three years to play two for the Wildcats.
2003 Role: The Cats have the luxury of redshirting Briggs, but may not want to. The Cats are thin at TE and if Briggs can help, he'll play.

Ray Gurley
TE, 6-5, 253
Little Elm HS/Independence JC, Little Elm, TX

Big, strong tight end who originally committed to Southern Mississippi. One of the best junior college tight ends. Not only an all-conference selection, Gurley was on the jcfootball.com top 101 list. He started his career at Pittsburgh State before heading to Independence. Was one math class short of enrolling at mid-year and is instead working out at Pima while getting his class work done.

"They are thin at the tight end position," Gurley said. "They needed one bad."

2003 Role: The Cats would've loved to have Gurley in the spring, but will settle for gaining his services come August. With just one healthy tight end on the roster, Gurley has a great chance to make an impact right away.

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