Purple Reign Preview - It All Starts - Part 5

When the <b>Wildcats</b> went to the spread, the Tight End just about disappeared from the playbook.<br><br> But recently, we've seen players line up as tight ends, and big plays from the tight end...<br><br> There are no surprises about this position - so this one is a freebie [and there's an update here about Joe W]...

One of the other big changes this Spring was the move of Senior Backup Defensive End Ray Bogenrief to Tight End...
This was one of the Spring shuffles on the team, as last year's opening day [and 5 game] starter at tight end, RS Sophomore Joe Wohlscheid [6-7 280] was apparently asked to follow Junior Trai Essex in moving to the offensive line and Eric Worley but he apparently had a personal problem and had to take the spring quarter off. Everyone connected with NU Football hopes he'll be back on the team in Kenosha.

So another backup Defensive End made the move to the Offensive Line, but this one made a lot of sense if you look under the surface.

If you check out your 1999 Recruiting Class Press Release, you'll see that Ray Bogenrief [6-3 265 - NU Photo right] was Ranked as the #8 Tight End in the midwest by a certain recruiting service, and many of us back then thought he might be NU's Tight End for 4 years, not realizing that Randy Walker, et al would put in a spread offense that didn't used a tight end much, and Bogenrief would languish behind a long line of pretty decent upper classmen at defensive end.

So April first came and Ray B was installed at at the left end of the offensive line and there was Baz completing a 30 yard pass downfield to the Tight End again! So maybe its another new wrinkle in the NU offense, maybe not, and when you read what TE/H-back coach Jack Glowik says about it all, you come back to earth fast:
I tell the guys that if a tight end has 40 catches in a year, that means he's averaging about four a game. But if we run about 85 plays a game, what's he doing the other 81 plays? You better focus on blocking. That's our meat and potatoes. [Jack Glowik - NU Sports 4/12/03]
And Bogenrief has no pretensions of taking the scoring job away from the other receivers, he's thinking about knocking people down...
When I'm playing tight end, I try to think of the things I hated most when they happened to me on defense. I try to get as low as I can to get leverage, because defensive players tend to be up in the air looking for the ball. It's a great feeling to get one of my old linemates down on the ground. [Ray Bogerief - NU Sports  4/1203]
The down side of all the player shuffling is that Joe Wohlscheid decided that he didn't want to follow Essex over to Tackle or Guard and left the team. Too bad, at 6-7, 280, he was one of those prototypical Tight Ends, who presented a large target over the middle but apparently decided he didn't fit into the Wildcat's long term plans.

Two that apparently do fit into the plans are Sophomore Sean Mansfield [6-3 235 - NU Photp left] and Sophomore Taylor Jones [6-3 260 - NU Photo  right]. Mansfield also had been handling the team's long snapping last year, but apparently will be able to concentrate on playing Tight End this year. Jones is a former Linebacker [another ex-defender] who has found a home as a tight end. Jones had a catch as a TE at Navy last year.

So we're down to 3 Tight Ends - and one more coming in as part of the recruiting class [Frayne Abernathy/6-4 225]. Given that we use the tight end "sparingly," that should be fine, but I keep seeing the image of a tight end running free in the secondary, a play that opens up the middle for the running backs, if you can just make it work a couple of times, just like that pattern you run over the middle, the one the flankers don't like to run, that clears out the middle linebacker so you can run through there... 

Next up...we start on the Wide Receivers...could take a couple of days...

Projected 2003 Depth Chart*:

Right Tackle

Zach Streif
[6-7 335 So]

Bill Newton
[6-7 301 Jr]
Rick McDole
[6-6 320 Fr]

Right Guard

Greg Lutzen
[6-4 270 So]

?Vince Clarke
[6-5 300 So]
?Joe Tripodi
[6-3 280 Fr]

Matt Ulrich
 [6-2 305 Jr]

Jim Devine
[6-3 280 Fr]
Vince Clarke
[6-5 300 So]
(Maybe) Trevor Rees/
Austin Matthews
Left Guard

Ikechuku Ndukwe
[6-5 325 Jr]

Donnie Baskins
[6-2 295 Jr]
Scott Crohn
[6-0 270 Jr]
Left Tackle

Trai Essex
[6-4 280 Jr]

Zach Strief
[6-7 335 So]
Bill Newton
[6-7 310 Jr]

Tight End

Ray Bogerief
[6-3 265 Sr]

Sean Mansfield
[6-3 235 So]
Taylor Jones
[[6-3 260 So]

[*Please remember that we're projecting the backups based on what we've seen in practice and in some cases a pure wild guess -  Coach Roy]

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