2005 Recruiting Wrap Up: Tight Ends

The graduation of three year starter Aaron Halterman, the Indiana Hoosiers knew that the 2005 recruiting class would be important for tight ends. Head coach Terry Hoeppner likes to run a spread offense that will utilize tight ends in the slot, and the Hoosier coach wanted to find young men would could both catch the ball, and block a defender.

The remaining tight ends on the Hoosier's roster are thin. The Hoosiers listed four tight ends on their Spring Roster; however there is little experience among the group. It is led by junior Chris Rudanovic who had 12 catches in 2004 for a total of 133 yards. Rudanovic also had a pair of touchdowns to give the Hoosiers some offensive support. Former head coach, Gerry DiNardo didn't like to use the tight ends as receivers often, and it showed by a lack of receptions for the group. ` The Indiana offense will look very unfamiliar to fans in 2005, and throughout the Hoeppner tenure. To meet that need, lets take a look at the 2005 tight end core to see where help is on the way.

Ty Harangody: In Ty Harangody, the Hoosiers followed the family tree, picking up the son of a former Indiana tight end. Ty's father, Dave, was a member of the 1979 Holiday Bowl Team. The 6'1", 238 pound product from Andrean High School is a versatile prospect who could play several positions. During his senior season, Harangody was the Hoosier state's second leading receiver with 1321 yards on 82 catches, while scoring 11 touchdowns. The Andrean 59ers and Harangody earned the Class 3A State Championship in 2004, after finishing as the runner up the previous three years. Harangody comes from a winner, and will look to contribute to making the Indiana Hoosiers a winning football program. Scout.com named Ty the 12 best prospect in the state of Indiana in 2005, as well as the 46th best tight end in the country. For his efforts during his senior year, Harangody was named All-State as a tight end by the Indiana Football Coaches Association. He also played linebacker in high school, but is expected to play offense in college. Harangody could line up as a wing back in Hoeppner's system, a back that is likely to go for passes, and block on running plays.

Todd Newman: Newman is a product of Bartlett High School in Illinois, under the tutelage of head coach Tom Meaney. The 6'4", 245 prospect was a two year varsity starter at both tight end and defensive end. He earned honorable mention, all-conference as a junior, as well as all-conference and all-area honors as a senior. His Bartlett team won their conference in 2002 and 2003, and finished a close second, losing only one conference game in 2004. Newman also throws shot put for his track team, and was the outdoor conference and sectional champion as a junior. Newman's large stature will help him adjust to the college game quickly, however he should be expected to redshirt in 2005.

Troy Wagner: Troy Wagner is a 6'6" tight end prospect who before the 2004 season was seeing more recruiting action as a Division 1 basketball player than a football player. During his senior season, however Wagner began to receive more attention for his football skills, and will get the chance to show them off at Indiana starting in 2005. Wagner ran a 4.6 second 40-yard dash, and his high school coach, Todd Moeller says, "He moves real well in space. Sometimes we even split him out and he has great athleticism. I also believe schools like the fact he stands 6'6 barefoot." Wagner was rated as a top ten prospect in the St. Louis area, a first team all-area tight end, and a second team all-conference defensive end. With his height, Wagner could do well at either position, however he is not wide enough to play defensive end at this point in time. During his senior campaign, Wagner had 23 catches, netting 420 yards, and a touchdown for a team that finished with a 11-1 record. Wagner will probably redshirt in 2005 so that he can gain weight, and put on another 20 pounds of muscle.

Brian Zematis: Zematis is an amazing athlete, as a three year letter winner at Andover High School in football, basketball, and track. Zematis played tight end and defensive end at Andover, and was named all-state, all-league, and all-area during his senior campaign. Zematis was used mostly as a blocker at tight end, but did catch 12 passes during his final season. He recorded very impressive results on defense, with 111 tackles, 6 sacks, and 2 interceptions in 2004. Zematis is a very strong and gifted athlete, who can bench press over 300 pounds, and run a 4.7 forty yard dash. Scout.com ranked Zematis the 16th best player in the state of Michigan for the 2005 class. Zematis could be best suited at defensive end; however the Hoosiers have him listed as a tight end going into the 2005 season. At 6'3", 225 pounds, Zematis will have to put on some more muscle to play defensive end, or gain some speed to move to linebacker. For these reasons, he will likely redshirt the 2005 season.

Coach Hoeppner picked up four quality athletes to compete for the tight end position with the 2005 class. Several of the players will likely also see time at other positions during their collegiate careers, as each young man also played defense during his high school campaign. Rudanovic and Nick Sexton are likely to see the majority of the snaps at tight end in 2005, however coach Hoeppner has ensured that the Hoosiers will be strong at the position for years to come.

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