The heart of any offense begins in the trenches, and most good offenses are supported by good offensive line play. Coincidentally, it is the guys up front who get overlooked when it comes time to handing out credit.
Another key position that often gets overlooked is tight end. If used correctly the tight end position can be lethal. What makes it lethal is having a player that can block and be a weapon in the passing game at the same time.
One Class of 2011 prospect likely to be used as a dual-threat tight end at the next level is Spring (Texas) Klein Oak product Max Stevenson.
Last season the 6-foot-6, 225-pounder helped open up holes for the running backs on his team as they racked up 1,806 yards on the ground. Stevenson also did his part as a receiver as he hauled in 25 passes for 450 yards and two scores.
According to Stevenson, those numbers have already granted him eight early offers - with more knocking on the door.
“Recruiting has been going pretty good lately,” Stevenson said. “Baylor, Iowa State, and Rice were my newest offers and I already had offers from Arizona, California, Duke and Northwestern.”
The early offers have caught Stevenson off guard, but he has remained humble despite the early attention.
“It’s pretty awesome,” Stevenson said of having so many early offers. “It’s a good feeling. It was a little overwhelming at first, but now I’m getting used to it. It (the offers) completely caught me off guard. I thought they would come, but not this early.”
Stevenson said one of the schools he would like to pick up an offer from is LSU, and he got a glimpse of what life as a Tiger is like when he made an unofficial visit during the 2009 campaign with his teammate Luke Muncie, who signed with the Tigers a few weeks ago.
“I think LSU is great,” Stevenson said. “I saw the Florida game there last year. You talk about a crazy atmosphere! There’s no other place like it. I also like LSU because it’s close to home and they have a great tradition there. They’re always in contention for winning a national championship.”
Stevenson, who is fielding some interest from the Tigers, is quite familiar with the LSU scene – courtesy of his trip and some help from Muncie.
“He’s always telling me how it’s a good place to play,” stated Stevenson. “He keeps me informed on what’s going on with LSU, but never really persuades me to go there. He’s letting me make my own decision.”
Along with an offer from LSU, Stevenson also hopes to hear some good news from an in-state school.
“My top team is Texas Tech right now, but I’m not looking to make a decision right away,” he said. “There are some other teams I am waiting to hear from before I’m ready to decide.”
Of the schools that have offered the big tight end prospect, thus far, all have offered as what Stevenson calls an “athletic tight end”. And that is something that he likes to hear.
“They’re recruiting me both as a receiver and as a tight end,” Stevenson stated. “I guess you could call it like an athletic tight end. They want me to be able to put my hand on the ground on some plays and block and then have me running routes and catching on others. It doesn’t matter to me. I’ll play wherever the coaches want me and do whatever helps the team.”