First Team: RS Thomas Hunter (6-4, 250)
Resume: Played in 12 games last season, including making six starts. Caught 13 passes for 120 yards. Former invited walk-on that has earned a scholarship and looks be the starter entering the 2006 season. Won the Strength and Conditioning Award for tight ends during spring practice of 2005.
Forecast: Should see significant action in an offense that emphasizes the tight end in the passing game. Consistent performer that should be in position to catch 30+ passes.
Second Team: RS Akeem Robinson (6-5, 260)
Resume: Used primarily as a blocking tight end during his redshirt freshman year (2005). Played in six of 12 games at tight end and in every game as a special teams player. Did not catch a pass but has excellent size and athleticism. Good blocker.
Forecast: Robinson has an imposing physique but can he consistently catch the ball? Has worked extensively on his hands and figures to be in the normal rotation.
Third Team: RF Durrell Barry (6-4, 250)
Resume: Redshirted his freshman year but figures to enter the rotation this season. Agile pass catcher that has tremendous upside at the college level.
Forecast: Barry is the wildcard at tight end for the 2006 season. Has the talent but must prove himself to new tight ends coach Billy Napier to warrant significant playing time.
Fourth Team: RF Paul Muse (6-3, 250)
Resume: Redshirted his freshman year but came to Clemson with impressive credentials.
Forecast: Will see spot duty considering the Tigers will utilize multiple tight end formations at any time.
Newcomer to Watch: FR Michael Palmer (6-4, 240)
Resume: Caught 21 passes for 385 yards and five touchdowns as a senior at one of the top high school programs in the nation – Parkview. Looked strong in offseason workouts and could be the sleeper of the 2006 recruiting class.
Forecast: With four tight ends above him on the depth chart, he's a prime candidate for a redshirt but will get a hard look during fall practice.
Bold Prediction: Hunter catches 30 passes for 365 yards and three touchdowns. Barry moves up to the second team and adds another 15 receptions, staking his claim as the starter for 2007.
Quote to Note: "I was very impressed with Billy Napier when he worked on our staff in 2003 and 2004," said Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden about new tight ends coach Billy Napier. "He will be among the youngest full-time coaches in Division I next year, and I look at that as a strong asset. He was a big reason South Carolina State had a very successful season, especially on the offensive side of the ball. He will also be an asset to us in recruiting."
In-Depth Chart: TE
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