The tight end position has been reborn over the course of the last few years. The trend has changed, at least somewhat however. Quicker, more athletic tight ends are now lining up wide, but still have the physical size and strength to overmatch defensive backs.
One player that fits this description to a "T" is Konrad Reuland, TE, 6-6, 240-pounds, Mission Viejo, Calif. Reuland is being recruited from coast-to-coast.
"I haven't narrowed it yet," Reuland said of his college choices. "I'll try to narrow it down to six to eight schools by Sep. 1."
Reuland recently took unofficial visits. In order, he went to Nebraska, Miami, Notre Dame and Ohio State.
"I had a good time, especially at Notre Dame."
Since Reuland brought up Notre Dame randomly, I asked him who was recruiting him for the Irish and what his thoughts were.
"Coach Brian Polian," Reuland said. "I really think coach Weis is going to turn Notre Dame around quickly."
Reuland was actually born in Springfield, Ohio. His childhood favorite was Ohio State. So naturally I asked what he thought about the Bucks.
"It was good. Their facilities are great."
What other schools is Reuland interested in?
"I like the four California Pac 10 schools, Southern California, UCLA, Stanford and California."
When will Reuland make his decision?
"I'm going to try to narrow it down to three to five schools by the end of my season," Reuland answered quickly. "Then I'll take my (official) visits."
And what is exactly is Reuland looking for?
"The school that fits me the best both academically and athletically.
"Well, I want to retire in Orange County," Reuland continued. "So I want a school with really good networking in Orange County. I know Notre Dame has really good networking."
Ask anyone and the prognosis about Reuland is he will end up at either Southern California or UCLA, the two local schools. Reuland talked about that.
"Distance really isn't a factor for me. I could definitely end up at one of those two schools. They're both really good programs, but I could go anywhere."
SMITTY'S TAKE - Reuland is a lot of fun to have a conversation with. He is a straight-forward young man with high ambitions for his future.
Going into this interview I figured Notre Dame had very little chance to land Reuland. After speaking with Reuland, however, I was dead wrong. He randomly brought up Notre Dame twice during our conversation. Good sign for Notre Dame. It was clear that he enjoyed his Notre Dame trip the most of the four unofficial visits he recently took. Another good sign.
The only concern I have is that Reuland is yet another big-time recruit that will likely decide very late in the recruiting process. He has late January written all over him. So this begs the question, when will Notre Dame offer Andrew Quarless? Will the Irish wait, or will they go ahead and tender an official offer now that it is obvious Reuland is going to make a late decision?