2012 Season Review: TE's

The 2012 season is over for the Miami Hurricanes so it's time to take a look back at what happened. Today, we break down the play of the tight ends.

The Players:
Clive Walford (So; 3 star recruit) – After starting the season listed behind a couple others on the depth chart, Walford slowly got better and better as the season went along. After eight games this season, Walford had just 14 catches for 148 yards and one touchdown (in the final minutes of the Kansas State game). Up until that point, he wasn't receiving many targets, wasn't a big part of the offense, and simply had mediocre numbers for Miami's top tight end. That all changed over the final four games of the season – about the time when the Canes started getting banged up at the wide receiver position. Over the final four games of the season Walford brought in 11 passes for 303 yards and three scores and really started looking like a difference-maker at the position. He's still relatively new to the game of football and he ended the season as one of the top pass-catching tight ends in the entire conference. If he can pick up there to start next season, Walford could be in line for an All-American type of season for the Hurricanes.

Dyron Dye (Jr; 4 star DE) – When Miami released its initial depth chart the day before fall camp started, Dye was listed as the fourth tight end (last among those healthy). It was the result of a not-so-strong offseason for the former four-star defensive end recruit. It didn't take him long to turn his fortunes, however. He was Miami's starting tight end by the second game of the season. Mostly used as a blocker, Dye caught just four passes for 48 yards. Half of those came in the game against Bethune Cookman. Considered an average blocker and a below average pass-catcher, Dye simply hasn't lived up to his recruiting hype.

Asante Cleveland (Jr; 2 star) – After a strong offseason, in which he drew consistent praise from coach Al Golden, Cleveland simply didn't keep it going when the lights went on. He wasn't able to carry that offseason success into the season. After starting the Boston College game and catching two passes for 12 yards, Cleveland pretty much disappeared. He rarely played much down the stretch, and never caught a single pass the rest of the season. A lightly recruited tight end in the Randy Shannon era, Cleveland is showing why he went so lightly recruited by so many programs out West.

David Perry (So; 3 star) – After redshirting in 2010 and not seeing the field much during Al Golden's first year at Miami, Perry struggled to see playing time this season as well. He played in 10 games, didn't catch a pass, and was buried on the depth chart for most of the season.

Cory White (Jr; 2 star) – He injured his knee a couple years ago and never seemed to recover. He missed this season due to injury, and there's a good chance that he won't be on next year's roster.

2012 Recap: The Canes had five tight ends on its roster and the production simply wasn't where it needed to be. After Walford, who turned in a solid season thanks to a strong November, the remaining four combined to catch six passes for 60 yards and no touchdowns. And that's while playing in a pro style offense that likes throwing the ball to the tight ends. It was a disappointing performance from this group as a whole.

Looking ahead to 2013: White will likely be off the team. Perry, Dye, and Cleveland seem to have little upside looking ahead to 2013. Walford, however, has a chance to be a real difference maker. He has a tremendous combination of size and athleticism, and should be utilized a lot in Jedd Fisch's offense in 203. The Hurricanes have two pass-catching tight end prospects committed for the 2013 class and they're trying to add a third one – possibly a Juco transfer. The incoming freshmen won't be able to block like the returning players but they'll be more like Walford in terms of pass-catching ability, and should improve this group tremendously.

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