Ranking the tight ends

CUTigers takes a look at the top tight ends on Clemson's 2011 schedule.

1. George Bryan, N.C. State
2010: For a second straight season, Bryan was first-team All-ACC. He was also a semifinalist for the 2010 Mackey Award. As a redshirt junior, Bryan finished with 35 receptions for 369 yards and three touchdowns. He caught four passes for 51 yards against Clemson.

What he's doing here: Bryan is tied for ninth in N.C. State history with 13 career touchdown receptions. He's the third tight end in school history to be named first-team All-ACC. As a redshirt sophomore, Bryan hauled in 40 catches, six of them for scores. The future pro will provide a reliable target for first-year starting quarterback Mike Glennon.

2. Philip Lutzenkirchen, Auburn
2010: He caught 15 passes for 185 yards and five touchdowns. Lutzenkirchen finished third on the team in touchdown receptions and fourth in receiving yards. He didn't register a catch in the overtime thriller against Clemson.

What he's doing here: Lutzenkirchen is tied for second in Auburn history with touchdown catches by a tight end (seven). His five touchdown catches last season set a school record for touchdown receptions by a tight end. If former N.C. State quarterback signs with Auburn, look for him to develop a nice connection with Lutzenkirchen, similar to the one he shared with Bryan.

3. Chris Pantale, Boston College
2010: Pantale was second among all Boston College receivers with 31 catches for 338 yards and a touchdown. He caught two passes for 13 yards against Clemson.

What he's doing here: Of the 26 games that Pantale has played in during his first two seasons at Boston College, he's started 24 of them. He caught 25 passes for 223 yards and a touchdown as a redshirt freshman in 2009. Boston College has established itself as one of the nation‘s premier producers of NFL talent along the offensive line and Pantale's skill as in-line blocker fits that trend.

Honorable mention: Beau Reliford, Florida State
2010: Reliford set career highs in receptions (17) and receiving yards (198). He also hauled in one catch for a score. Against Clemson, he set season highs with four catches for 35 yards.

What he's doing here: Still developing as a football player, Reliford was only a basketball player until his junior year in high school. He totaled 12 catches for 109 yards and two touchdowns during his first two seasons at Florida State. The 6-foot-6, 260-pound senior will team up with freshman signee Nick O‘Leary, who could work his way onto this list by the end of the 2011 season.

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