South Region: Top Tight Ends

Scout's initial rankings will be released soon, but the top prospects by regions have already been decided on. Regional Recruiting Analyst Chad Simmons breaks down his top tight ends here.

South Region: Top Five Tight Ends
1. Kent Taylor – 6-5/215 – Land O' Lakes (FL) Land O' Lakes
Simmons' Thoughts: Taylor is an athletic tight end that is known more for his skills as a receiver than anything else. He has very good hands, he catches the ball very well away from his body, and he has the ability to turn up field to make big plays. Adding weight is his biggest need, but he has the frame to do that and he has the attitude to be an aggressive blocker in the trenches. Taylor is long and lean and he will be a real weapon in the passing game on the next level.
Recruiting: Taylor has over two dozen scholarship offers and has not eliminated anyone from the list yet. That will happen soon though. Florida, Florida State, and Miami along with schools like Notre Dame are in the mix right now.

 
2. Ricky Parks – 6-4/225 – Hoganville (GA) Callaway
Simmons' Thoughts: Parks is a very athletic tight end. He both threw and ran for over 1,000 yards as a junior while playing quarterback, but tight end is his home on the next level. He has the perfect frame for a top tight end, he is a natural receiver, and while playing tight end his first two years of high school, he was a solid blocker. He has a lot of natural ability and he still has a lot of room to improve.
Recruiting: Just about all of the schools in the SEC have offered Parks. He is a perfect fit for that conference and that is likely where he will end up. Alabama and Georgia are high on his list at this time.

 
3. Sean Price – 6-3/225 – Citra (FL) North Marion
Simmons' Thoughts: Price reminds me a lot of Orson Charles that came out of Tampa Plant a couple of years ago. He is a tad undersized at tight end, more of a big receiver on the high school level, and he may be close to maxed out physically. With that said, like Charles is being used at Georgia, Price can be a very good tight end on the next level. He is a little quicker off the ball than Charles, he catches the ball very well in traffic, and he can create mismatches. He'll need to improve his blocking, but he definitely one of the best in the South at his position.
Recruiting: Around 25 schools have offered Price, but he is really looking at three in-state schools right now. Florida, Miami, and South Florida are on him hard and he is looking back at them in the same way.

 
4. Dillon Gordon – 6-5/250 – River Ridge (LA) John Curtis Christian
Simmons' Thoughts: Gordon has the size of many current college tight ends still with another spring practice and high school season to go through. He is a very physical player who knows how to block. His biggest strength is his in-line blocking ability. He gets his hands inside, turns his shoulders, and drives the opponent off the ball. His hands are solid, but they need to become more consistent. He will be an every down tight end on the next level.
Recruiting: He is from the state of Louisiana, LSU does an excellent job of keeping the top in-state talent at home, and they did it here. Gordon is committed to the Tigers.
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5. Justin Meredith – 6-5/220 – Anderson (SC) T.L. Hanna
Simmons' Thoughts: Meredith's biggest strengths is catching the football. He moves around a lot in his offense and he is a weapon coming out of the backfield, lining up off the offensive tackle, or being flexed out at wide receiver. He is not afraid to mix it up and be a lead blocker for his running back, but he needs to continue to add weight and get stronger to be effective against the typical defensive ends on the next level. He is a very fluid route runner, he has nice change of direction, and he knows how to go up and get the football.
Recruiting: Over a dozen schools have offered Meredith - some of those are Auburn, Clemson, LSU, North Carolina, Notre Dame, South Carolina, and Tennessee. He is wide open at this stage.

 

It is a good year for tight ends in the South and here are the next 10 rounding out the early top 15 at this position.

6. Kelvin Rainey - 6-3/220 - Yulee (FL) Yulee
7. Ty Smith - 6-3/220 - Moultrie (GA) Colquitt County
8. Kurt Freitag - 6-4/238 - Buford (GA) Buford
9. Anthony Rook - 6-3/215 - Greenville (NC) Junius H. Rose
10. Jonathan Curry - 6-3/222 - Phenix City (GA) Central
11. Orlando David - 6-3/220 - Hollywood (FL) Chaminade Madonna
12. Laith Harlow - 6-5/240 - Tallahassee (FL) Godby
13. Joshua Parris - 6-3/225 - Stone Mountain (GA) Stephenson
14. Paul Kyles - 6-4/235 - Prichard (AL) Vigor
15. Lawrence Brown - 6-5/230 - Columbus (MS) New Hope

Chad Simmons started out with Scout in 2003 covering top talent in Georgia and other areas in the South. He then moved on to another Recruiting Service from 2004-2008 before returning to Scout the first of 2009 to become Southeast Recruiting Manager.
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