With a new offensive line and lack of big play depth at receiver, the offensive staff at Florida is looking for any way to make plays on offense. It turns out that after a very good spring, the tight end position looks to be one of the strengths on ‘O’.
It is a younger group overall with one senior in Jake McGee and the rest underclassmen and so there are a lot of questions about how the young guys will perform in the fall. Still, we expect to see double and maybe triple tight end sets at times as the offensive staff tries to create mismatches on the SEC’s stingy defenses.
One of the bigger targets in the spring was redshirt freshman Cyontai Lewis. Lewis has big play ability at the position and as a down field threat he can challenge anyone trying to defend him. He showed his stuff in March and April.
“I had a good spring, Lewis said at Florida’s Media Day last week. “I have a lot of stuff I have to work on, but I had a good spring overall. I gained weight and am at 232 right now. I had to get a little familiar with the playbook.”
With his length and speed comes the fact that he lacks a little bulk and so run blocking hasn’t been easy for him. In the Florida offense, the tight ends will play more of an H-back role where they will line up and block as a fullback, they can flex out and block on the edge, or they can be downfield threats. Lewis has been working on that area that he needs to improve the most.
“My run blocking was the worst part of the spring, so I worked on that this summer,” he said.
As mentioned the tight ends look to be more of a focus this year. Even the other skill guys on offense understand that.
“They have a tremendous role,” sophomore running back Adam Lane said of the tight ends. “They may not be in the spread particularly, but they have a big role.”
Lewis understands it as well and welcomes the notion and knows his turn will come to make a play and when it does he needs to follow through.
“Most of the plays really run through the tight end,” he said. “We are a big part of the offense. We will have a big role, I just have to sit back and when I get a chance, make big plays.”
When that time comes, he feels like he controls his own destiny out on the football field.
“I don’t think any safety can defend me catching the ball,” Lewis said. “Once I get my hands on it, I won’t drop it.”