On Thursday the 2008 season will officially start as fall camp will be getting underway. The tight end position is a question mark because it's yet to be determined who is going to be on the roster. Caz Piurowski, Ja'Baris Little and Bo Reliford are slated to be on the roster when camp starts. Guys like Charlie Graham and Matt Dunham are still battling academic issues so it looks like they may not be part of the 2008 team.
Caz Piurowski is entering his junior season at Florida State. After playing tight end primarily as a freshman Piurowski made a move to offensive line at the start of his sophomore year. Injuries caused him to move back to tight end and now he looks to be staying at the position he's came to FSU to play. Piurowski has never been a pass catching tight end as he only has 12 catches for 112 yards in his career. With FSU looking to use the tight end more Caz must work on this area in camp in order to play a significant role this year.
Ja'Baris Little is part of a tandem of freshman tight ends that have the coaches excited about the future. At 6'3" and 240 pounds Little has shown excellent footwork since arriving in the summer. Little has been working hard in the off-season to improve on his catching ability, and from all reports he looks like he's ready to go when camp starts.
The player that has many people excited is Bo Reliford. Bo is a legitimate 6'7" and is a huge target in the passing game. The coaching staff has raved about the late signee because he is versatile enough that he's able to line up as a receiver in certain packages. Reliford brings the pass catching ability to the tight end position that the Seminoles haven't had since Brandon Warren left in 2006. When he gets acclimated to the weightroom and gets stronger Reliford will become the most complete tight end FSU has had in quite some time.
Piurowski comes into camp as the starter due to him being in the system and the only guy who has collegiate experience. What's important is that both Little and Reliford get used to Coach Fisher's offense because Caz will be sitting out the first 3 games due to the academic scandal. Little and Reliford's performance so far since arriving has shown the coaches that they may be ready to play because of their athleticism and the way they've adapted so far.
NoleDigest feels that Reliford is a guy who is primed for a breakout season in 2008. He's a match-up nightmare for linebackers because of his ability to run routes and because of his size. He'll be able to out-jump safeties who line up against him, and he's too big for corners to cover. We feel Little will be used in the passing game but early on will have a bigger impact as a blocking tight end. The future is now for FSU at the tight end position.
Winner: NoleDigest feels that Reliford is going to come out of camp as the number 1 tight end on the depth chart. We feel that once Caz comes back off of suspension he will be battling Little for second team reps and will be primarily a blocking tight end for the offense. There is talent at the tight end position but there is little experience. If summer is any indication Reliford is going to be the main guy at tight end at FSU for several years.