Spring Recap: TE

The Hurricanes return Greg Olsen for his junior season. Olsen has 47 career catches for 726 yards and five touchdowns in 21 games.

2006 SPRING ROSTER

TE #82 Greg Olsen / Junior / 6-5, 260
TE #88 Chris Zellner / Sophomore / 6-2, 245
TE #11 DajLeon Farr / Sophomore / 6-5, 250
TE #90 Richard Gordon / Freshman / 6-4, 265

*measurements as told to CanesTime staff in the spring

2005 STATS

Olsen: 31 catches, 451 yards, 4 TD, 14.5 avg
Zellner: 1 catches, 9 yards, 1 TD, 9.0 avg
Farr: 1 catches, 14 yards, 0 TD, 14.0 avg
Gordon: n/a

SPRING RECAP

Greg Olsen was very solid throughout the entire spring as he remained healthy--something he has not been able to do in past springs.

Olsen is one of the better tight ends in the country and was solid as a first-year starter in 2005. He finished the season second on the team in recptions with 31 and third in yards with 451.

While definitely a good player, there is sometimes too much talk about him being the best tight end to ever play at the University of Miami.

Olsen is expected to be drafted in the NFL when his time comes (he was eligible this past season), but is unlikely to be drafted as high as Kellen Winslow (sixth overall in 2004) or match Kellen's production (60 catches in 2003, 726 yards in 2002), not to mention Winslow being a better athlete as well as receiver.

Jeremy Shockey has been selected to the Pro Bowl three times in his four-year career with the New York Giants. Bubba Franks has also been to the Pro Bowl three times.

Sometimes the phrase "best tight end ever at UM" follows Olsen's name a bit too loosely. Without a doubt he is a good player, but the above mentioned players should not be forgotten for their outstanding careers at Miami and in the NFL.

Olsen has established himself as a primary target for quarterback Kyle Wright and is looking to take his game to another level in 2006 under new offensive coordinator Rich Olson.

The competition as Olsen's back-up heated up in the spring when freshman Richard Gordon joined the mix by enrolling a semester early.

Gordon is a physical specimen who has impressed head strength and conditioning coach Andreu Swasey with his production in the weight room for a freshman. Not only was Gordon impressive in the weight room, but he also exceeded on the practice field this spring.

Gordon moved up to the number two spot on the depth chart after Chris Zellner suffered a knee injury and did a good job of catching the ball on a consistent basis drawing praise from head coach Larry Coker.

DajLeon Farr, a 2005 signee, missed the spring after having shoulder surgery in January after catching one pass as a true freshman. Farr said he only caught 11 passes in his high school career and it will be an area he will need to continue to improve upon if he wants to be the number two guy and heir apparent after Olsen leaves.

Zellner added weight in the off-season and appears destined to handle the majority of the H-back duties for the Canes. He is a good blocker who also needs to improve on his pass-catching ability if he is to be a full-time contributor in the offense.

Things can change, but it appears Gordon has a firm grasp on the number two position as long as he understands the offense and continues to improve in all assets of his game.

Christopher Stock can be reached at stock@canestime.com


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