Grading the Canes: Tight Ends

The Hurricanes had four players competing for the starting spot entering into the 2007 season. Unfortunately, none of them really emerged as a go-to guy and the overall production numbers from tight ends were down.

Tight Ends: D
The University of Miami can be considered Tight End U because of the quality of players it has produced at that position over the last several years. Greg Olsen was the latest product in 2006 and when Olsen took his show to the NFL, it left a big hole in Miami's offense. With the exception of an occasional touchdown catch by junior DajLeon Farr, the tight ends didn't make a real big impact.

The Hurricanes have been so spoiled at this position over the years than even in years when guys like Kevin Everett or Mondriel Fulcher played a key role in the success of the offense, many people thought it was a drop-off from what they had grown used to seeing.

The Hurricanes would have loved to have had an Everett or a Fulcher or a Coleman Bell this season. Instead, they had four players (Farr, Chris Zellner, Dedrick Epps, and Richard Gordon) who rotated in and out of the game and weren't much of a factor in the passing game this season. Coach Shannon singled out Epps as a player who made a difference late in the season.

A lot of people are wondering how much Coach Nix uses the tight ends in his offense. Well, this may have been a tough year to really tell. Numbers were way down but the Canes didn't have a Greg Olsen or Jeremy Shockey or Kellen Winslow running routes and catching touchdowns. If the Canes are to get back to having an explosive offense, the tight ends will need to become bigger playmakers. Farr appears to be on his way out via transfer so the starting job will be even more wide open heading into next season.

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