Position Analysis: Tight Ends

AStateNation looks at the contenders for playing time at tight end.

The Candidates: 19 Darion Griswold (6-5, 255 RSr.), 82 Warren Leaphart (6-5, 250 RJr.), 88 Jonah Hill (6-3, 251 RSo.), 83 Brandon Brockman (6-3, 219 RSo.), 89 Corban Richardson (6-4, 228 Fr.)

The Breakdown: 1. Darion Griswold, 2. Warren Leaphart, 3. Jonah Hill. Reserves: Brockman, Richardson.

The Numbers: The tight end position accounted for eight of the Arkansas State's 24 touchdown passes last season and during the regular season when the tight end scored A-State was 4-1. As a unit, led by Griswold’s 18 catches for 221 yards, the position caught 27 passes 293 yards. Leaphart caught just two passes but both were scores. Griswold and graduated senior Kenny Rains had two each.

Analysis. The front line talent at this position is top notch. Griswold could get a shot at the NFL and Leaphart will likely have the same opportunity.

Jonah Hill, who started at TE but was moved to defensive end a year ago, is back at tight end along with redshirt sophomore Brandon Brockman, who caught a touchdown pass in the second scrimmage, and former Valley View Blazer Corban Richardson.

A big key here is going to keep everyone healthy. Griswold and Hill, who is coming off ACL surgery, both missed time in preseason camp with injuries. On the Jack Mackey Award watch list for the second straight year, Griswold has 52 receptions for 705 yards in his career with 7 scores. Leaphart, who has added around 40 pounds since he arrived from Morrilton three years ago, is what OC Walt Bell calls the “prototype tight end.” If all can stay healthy this should be as strong and as deep as any position on the field.