Post-Spring Analysis: TE

Despite losing what many thought was the best tight end in college football last season, the Hurricanes are loaded with talent at the position heading into the summer.

Clive Walford was one of the school's most productive tight ends ever. He was a John Mackey Award finalist and is likely going to be drafted in the first couple rounds of the NFL Draft this coming weekend.

In most cases, replacing a player of that caliber would be extremely difficult. Thanks to strong recruiting efforts at the position in recent years, Miami is still in good shape.

Stan Dobard is the team's top tight end post-spring. At 6-foot-4 and 260 pounds, Dobard was recruited like one of the nation's top tight end prospects a few years ago. He played behind Walford last season and still caught seven passes for 147 yards. Taking over as the team's primary starter now, he turned in a solid spring and is expected to play a huge role in Miami's offense this coming season. In addition to his ability to stretch the field as a pass-catcher, coaches were impressed with his blocking skills this spring.

Miami will turn to a few others playing behind him for other weapons at the position. Sophomore Chris Herndon was the most impressive of the remaining group during the spring. At 6-foot-4 and 255 pounds, Herndon has coaches very excited about his future. He will likely play a key role in the passing game this season.

Redshirt freshman David Njoku is 6-foot-3 and extremely athletic. He came here as a wide receiver, spent some time at outside linebacker, and is now settled in as a TE/H-Back. His spring wasn't quite as strong as Herndon's but he's another talented option in the passing game.

Junior Jake O'Donnell is the team's best blocker among the backups. At 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds, he'll likely be utilized a lot in short yardage situations when the team uses multiple tight ends and in jumbo sets. His pass-catching ability isn't like the others but he'll have a big role as a blocker.

True freshman Jerome Washington enrolled in January and has coaches excited. At 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds, he already has ideal size for a player at the position. He's a talented pass-catcher who works hard and did exactly what the coaches asked of him this spring. He's a little behind the others in terms of experience and understanding this offense but he has a nice upside and should see the field this season.


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