C-USA Army Football Preview: Tight Ends

One of head coach <!--Default NodeId For Bobby Ross is 1437754,2004--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:1437754]>Bobby Ross</A>' greatest areas of concern entering spring practice, <!--Default NodeId For Army is 691,2004--><A HREF=http://army.TheInsiders.com>Army</A>'s tight end picture yielded one of the veteran field boss' most pleasant surprises.

With incumbent Doug Horaist (6-3, 238) sidelined this spring due to a shoulder injury, sophomore Tim Dunn (6-4, 243) and junior Jared Ulekowski (6-3, 235) staked their claims to the starter's berth. While neither player has received extensive field duty in the past, both emerged as potential starters based on impressive spring showings.

Dunn is the stronger run-blocker of the two, but Ulekowski might boast the softest hands on the squad.

A master technician, Dunn adapted extremely well to Army's new offensive system. He is an excellent blocker and features the ability to catch the ball in traffic. Ulekowski, meanwhile, owns an excellent understanding of Ross' offensive schemes. A dangerous ball-catching weapon over the middle of the field, he registered five receptions for 96 yards in Army's spring-ending "Black/Gold" scrimmage and provides Army with a valuable dimension in the throwing game.

Although Dunn broke spring camp listed atop the depth chart, both players should see appreciable amounts of playing time this fall. Sophomore Chase McCoy (6-4, 254) will enter preseason camp listed third on the depth chart at the position.

"We went the entire spring at tight end with players that hadn't really played that much in the past and I was really pleased with their performance," comments Ross. "I was particularly pleased with Tim Dunn and Jared Ulekowski. They have really taken to the position quite well. I was very worried about this area heading into the spring, because they really didn't use a tight end that much in the past. In our system, the tight end must be a ‘two-hatted' player. The tight end must be able to run-block and be a receiver.

"This area exceeded my expectations in a positive way. Dunn is a very good blocker and Ulekowski may have the best hands on the team. Both have become very good route-runners and they catch the ball well, particularly Ulekowski. He's a good ‘North-South' runner and turns upfield with the ball extremely well."

Other players providing depth at tight end include sophomores Paul Padegimas (6-6, 244) and Quentin Willard (6-3, 205).

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