CORVALLIS--Ever since the loss of fan favorite Joe Newton, it's been a position with more questions than answers. The depth at tight end this year, however, could add numerous weapons to an already potent offense. The combination of blocking and receiving tight ends add options to both the passing and rushing attack, and might the two-tight end set be a consistent mainstay in this year's offense?

Senior Howard Croom is expected to be the Beavs' starting tight end this coming fall. He leads all tight ends on the depth chart with 27 catches for 228 yards and three touchdowns.

Croom displayed good hands this spring, along with good route running ability for a tight end, and seemed to catch nearly every pass thrown his way.

Fellow senior John Reese looked this spring to have all but solidified his grasp on the starting H-Back position. The 6-foot-3, 240 pound Reese proved a powerful blocker during the 15-practice session, with good downfield capabilities that will undoubtedly aid in the Oregon State rushing attack.

While Reese may not see as many passes as other tight ends, there is a reason behind the H-Back position, being more-so a blocking position than a receiving position.

HE'S LISTED AS the No. 2 H-Back behind Reese but the tight end with the most athletic promise this spring came in the form of sophomore Joe Halahuni. His sole reception last year came in the Civil War, a three yard touchdown catch from Lyle Moevao.

But Halahuni made several athletic grabs throughout the spring, including an eye-opening grab in the second week of practices, one where the young H-Back fully extended to make a catch in the end zone off a Ryan Katz pass. He'll likely enter fall camp as backup to Reese at the H-Back position and in line for special teams play but stay tuned to see if he comes out of fall camp in the same spot.

Junior Brady Camp has slowly emerged the past few years as a big target for Oregon State quarterbacks, one that can not only make a good play on the ball, but throw big blocks on the end of the line, something that is increasingly hard to find at the tight end position in this age of specialization.

Camp, a 6 foot 4, 259 pound redshirt from Barlow High in Beaverton should see more action this year than in years previous.

Will Darkins, a former linebacker, has switched positions to RB/FB/H-Back. He had some moments this spring but is naturally still learning the position(s) and fall camp should tell more about how he fits into the mix.

REDSHIRT FRESHMEN Colby Prince and Kevin Pankey both battled injuries in the spring, with Pankey missing the entire month with a knee injury.

Prince, however, was the most productive tight end in the spring game, bringing in five receptions for 33 yards. The Albany, Oregon product has some bulk at 6-3, 250 pounds but the surprising attribute is his athleticism -- he was a sprinter in high school.

The depth at the tight end position is there for Oregon State, it remains a matter of implementing them into the game-plan, and then seeing the group execute.

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