Ball State Season Preview: Tight Ends

A position-by-position breakdown of the Ball State football team as it prepares for the 2015 season.

In the first few years of the Pete Lembo era, Ball State had a strong TE to rely on in Zane Fakes. The undersized, but athletic TE was a potent pass catcher and a valuable cog for QB Keith Wenning and the Cardinals prolific offense. Last year, the Cardinals were without Fakes and were left searching for a replacement. No capable one was certainly found and the Cardinals offense suffered because of it.

Flash forward one year and here we are with the same set of three returning tight ends. Will one finally step up and be the go to target for Jack Milas, or will the Cardinals again have a gapping hole in the middle of the offense.

Returning as the main starter and top pass catcher of the three a season ago is Dylan Curry. The 5th year senior was always noted as more of a blocking TE who would make the occasional catch and he proved that again this past season, but after a solid offseason working on his pass catching skills, he might just be ready to fill the void. Curry (6-5 268) is being looked at by NFL teams, but being a one dimensional player who is only solid at blocking won’t get him on a roster for long, so look for the hulking TE to pick up his receptions and yards from a year ago.

Back filling the 2nd TE slot is Sam Brunner. The 6-2 240 Brunner is built much like Fakes was and the staff expected him to be a similar player, but that has yet to materialize. He is an effective blocker who can play H-Back and spread out to add an edge blocker to the run game, but he has been unable to be effective as a receiving threat.

Also returning is Michael Raby, a 6-2 257 FB/TE hybrid player. He has spent a lot of time in the backfield when the Cardinals would go to standard I-Formation, but he is also able to more than hold his own as a blocker at TE. But, much like the others, he too has been ineffective as a receiver.

Will one of the three step up and provide a much needed TE option to the Cardinal offensive attack this season, or will Lembo look to true freshman Kyle Schrank to fill the receiving void?


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