Post-Spring Analysis: Tight End / H-Back

THE CONCERN for many coming into the spring, when it came to the TE / H-Back position, was that Oregon State would face a darned near impossible task in trying to replace departing senior Joe Halahuni. So after 15 spring practices, how did the Beavs do?

Not bad, all things considered, says Andrew Kilstrom, who covered every single one of the 15 spring practices for BF.C. We asked him to lend some of his observations about the Beavers' tight ends coming out of spring drills...

TE / H-BACK
Colby Prince
He's your projected starter – but, you can add the words "as of now," because it's still subject to change depending on the offseason and fall camp. Prince is by far the best blocker of the group. He can also catch the ball out in the pattern but that's not his best attribute. What sets him apart most? He knows his assignments really well. He's a solid blocker and he's consistent. The rest of the group can make bigger plays in the passing game, but they weren't consistent in the overall like Prince was this spring.

Connor Hamlett
I liked him a lot. He just seemed to get a lot better from Day One. He's not a great run blocker yet. But he is good in receiving game. He's got a lot of potential.

Tyler Perry
He sat out quite a bit injured so it was really hard to get a good read on him. He did have a couple catches in the spring game and while not for big yardage, he seems to have good hands.

Caleb Smith
You would just never guess he was fresh out of high school – he is the biggest tight end the Beavs have. He clearly has talent, there were plays where he knew what he was doing. But he just doesn't know the offense yet, and he didn't get much playing time in spring game, he was on the third string if memory serves. He might end up being a star, but I think it's asking a lot for him to be that as a true freshman.

Beyond Prince, the group is a work in progress. Prince probably isn't going to be a big cog in the receiving game. But the group, they can get there. Still, Riley said following the spring that consistency is what they need most in fall camp from Hamlett, Perry and Smith.

And if not, you're going to see a good play, followed by one where they get beat. And if that ends up being the case after fall camp or in the early going this season, then what's probably going to happen is the tight end position will not be as much a factor in the offense as is being hoped for here in the spring.

But if things do start to click more in fall camp for those three, then it also opens things up that much more for the WRs and on the offense in general.


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