Spring Preview: Tight Ends

Spring football starts March 3rd at the University of Miami so lets take a closer look at what the team will look like. Today, we look at the tight end position.

Coach: Brennan Carroll, who also serves as the recruiting coordinator, enters his second season on the staff.

Lost: The Hurricanes lost a pair of seniors from the 2011 roster -- Chase Ford and John Calhoun. Ford finished his two-year career with 16 catches for 184 yards and two scores. The former Junior College transfer is now preparing for the upcoming NFL Draft. Calhoun, a converted fullback after being very lightly recruited out of high school, had two career catches for eight yards.

Coming Back: The Hurricanes will enter spring football with six tight ends on the roster. The only proven one of the bunch is returning starter Clive Walford. Two of the other five are converted defensive ends while another is a converted offensive tackle.

The Players:
Asante Cleveland (6-5/255/JR) -- After a promising freshman season when he caught eight balls, Cleveland barely saw the field last season and had just one catch. He has 116 career yards receiving.

Dyron Dye (6-5/275/R-JR) -- A highly recruited defensive end out of the Orlando area, Dye moved to tight end after Al Golden got the job and quickly became the team's best blocker there. He's the best returning blocker of the group and will likely see that role again in 2012.

David Perry (6-7/260/R-SO) -- After signing with Miami as a defensive end with limited football experience in high school, Perry was moved to tight end in his second season on campus. He played in five games but didn't have a catch.

Billy Sanders (6-4/245/R-JR) -- A recruit from the state of Idaho, Sanders has played in six games over three seasons and hasn't caught a single pass yet.

Walford (6-6/245/R-SO) -- He emerged as the team's best pass-catching tight end last season and had a decent year, production-wise. After a redshirt season in 2010, Walford had 18 catches for 171 yards and one touchdown last season.

Cory White (6-6/275/R-JR) -- A lightly recruited player from the Jacksonville area, White began his career as an offensive lineman but was moved to tight end to become a blocker. He's played in two games in three seasons and has one catch.

What to Expect: White, Sanders, and Perry are used primarily as blockers and have rarely played throughout their careers. It's unrealistic to expect a big jump from any of them. The three guys to watch will be Cleveland, Dye, and Walford. Dye is the best blocker of the bunch but can he emerge as a pass-catching threat at all this spring? Can Cleveland get back to the flashes he showed as a freshman in 2010? And Walford was decent in 2011. Miami will need him to take a major step forward and hopefully become one of the best receiving tight ends in the conference.

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