In the film room...Cary Angeline

Notre Dame has played up the fact to Cary Angeline that the program has a long history of turning out productive tight ends, including first-round draft choice Tyler Eifert and second-rounder Troy Niklas over the last three years.

• Statistics: Credited with 67 receptions for 1,051 yards (15.6-yard average) and 10 touchdowns as a junior for the Downtown East High School Cougars.

• Assets: A long, rangy, athletic tight end, particularly when taking into consideration the fact that he stands a legit 6-foot-6, 6-foot-7. Really soft, quiet, receptive hands as a pass-catcher with a penchant for using his hands over pinning the football against his body. Excellent high-point ability and a weapon in the red zone. Looks the football into his hands and swallows it. Has the finesse to make over the shoulder grabs.

Good burst off the line of scrimmage in a three-point stance and quality pad level on initial steps. Can split wide or function as a move tight end. Very difficult to stop on those little turnout routes toward the sideline, yet also has downfield ability on seam routes. Knows how to use his body to separate from defenders, and then does a nice job of getting into full stride shortly after making the turn upfield.

Has the agility to make tightrope catches along the sideline. The football nestles into his hands, even when he just puts up one paw to make the grab. Shows the ability to keep defenders out of his lower body with a nimble sidestep. Will use a stiff arm to his advantage as well.

• Room for improvement: Relatively speaking, he’s not a burner because of his excessive length. Very little video of him as a blocker, which is not to say that he can’t do it. But it appears Downington East High chooses to accentuate his athleticism in the passing game over his prowess as an in-line blocker. If he’s like most prep tight ends that are an integral part of the passing game, he’ll likely need work as a blocker on the next level.

• Scholarship offers: Notre Dame. ACC: Boston College, Duke, Miami, North Carolina, Virginia; Big Ten: Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers; Big 12: West Virginia; Pac 12: Arizona State, USC, UCLA; SEC: Alabama; Other: Connecticut, Temple

• Early line: Although Angeline has not declared a top group, some programs have emerged as frontrunners based upon his travel schedule this spring. He visited USC, UCLA and Arizona State in March, and then came to the Midwest where he checked out Notre Dame, Michigan and Michigan State. He’s been to in-state Penn State several times and has talked about returning to Happy Valley soon. ACC schools Duke, North Carolina and Virginia have stood out for Angeline among a large front pack of schools.

“They definitely talk about it a lot,” said Angeline of Notre Dame’s pitch with its history of tight ends. “They have all the guys in the NFL and they know how to use them so well. It’s definitely very intriguing.”

It’s always a good sign for the Irish when a player acknowledges the tradition of the program.

“There is so much history at Notre Dame,” Angeline told Scout’s Brian Dohn. “It was cool to get to see everything and meet all the coaches. The coolest thing was when you’re walking out of the locker room into the stadium, there is the ‘Play Like A Champion Today’ sign that is so famous and has been there forever.

“Coach Kelly is a cool dude to talk to. Plus, I got to sit down with the tight ends coach (Scott Booker), and we got to watch film and see me the way they use the tight ends.”

Angeline also sat down with head coach Jim Harbaugh and tight ends coach Jay Harbaugh in Ann Arbor. They showed him video of how Harbaugh used his tight ends at Stanford and with the San Francisco 49ers. Angeline talked glowingly about the size of the campus and stadium. Michigan State is among Angeline’s large pack of schools under consideration as well.

• ND’s 2016 tight end recruiting: Notre Dame’s recruiting offers at the tight end position have been fairly limited, and two of those offers are on the table to verbally-committed prospects – Isaac Nauta (Bradenton, Fla.; Florida State commit) and Jake Hausmann (Cincinnati, Ohio; Ohio State commit).

Luke Farrell (Perry, Ohio) is another talented prospect on the list, although he’s yet to be offered. Another prospect on the offer sheet – in addition to Angeline – is Devin Asiasi (Concord, Calif.), although the Irish appear to be on the outside looking in.

• ND’s 2016 tight end depth chart: There’s a good chance that Chase Hounshell will stick as a fifth-year senior for the Irish in 2015, which means he would be the only tight end to run out of eligibility prior to 2016.

Durham Smythe will have two years left in ’16, as will Tyler Luatua. Nic Weishar and incoming freshman Alize Jones, who almost undoubtedly will be in the mix, will have three years of collegiate play left. Mike Heuerman, who has had great difficulty getting in the mix, will be down to two.

• Summary: There is a lot to like about Cary Angeline as a major college tight end prospect. He’s long, agile, quick off the snap, nimble of foot, has outstanding hands and offers just about everything you’re looking for in a tight end short of more flat-out speed and a lengthy background as an in-line blocker.

Angeline clearly fits the mold of the long list of agile tight ends that have formed a seemingly never-ending line of success at Notre Dame. It is, of all the positions, the one that has produced the most consistent standout performers, which is a fact the Irish have accentuated in the recruitment of Angeline.

Angeline has been relatively careful about not tipping his hand and stating frontrunners for his services. Clearly, Notre Dame is among the lead group following his visit to the campus in March. He also made a trek to the West Coast to look at USC, UCLA and Arizona State, with the former and latter schools appearing to have the greatest impact on him.

Most recruiting analysts along the way have indicated that Angeline will end up at Penn State, although the Irish certainly have generated some momentum since the calendar turned from March to April. In a recent Master List offering from Irish Illustrated editor Pete Sampson, the arrow was pointing up for Notre Dame as it relates to its chances of landing Angeline. 

A timetable for his decision has remained sketchy, so when he’ll make the call is a bit of a mystery. But whomever lands Angeline will get a pretty complete tight end, at least as it relates to the ability to be a weapon in the passing game.

Notre Dame’s tight end offer list is short, which means the Irish could withstand a swing and a miss at the position. Landing Angeline would give the Irish one of the top tight end groups in the country, although one could make a similar statement with its current group. Top Stories