Position Analysis: Tight ends

A flurry of commitments and recruiting action put the position-by-position post-season analysis on hold, but ScarletReport.com picks it up again with a look at the tight ends. It was a position that did not produce a lot, and one that has room for plenty of growth heading into the spring.

Rutgers hoping to make the tight end a vital cog in its offense once again, but dropped passes, committed inopportune penalties, struggled blocking and weren't a factor in the offense.

D.C. Jefferson made 10 catches for 166 yards and a touchdown and Paul Carrezola had two catches for 18 yards. That was the tight end production for the season, and leaves plenty of room for growth in the position next season.

Jefferson, who is 6-foot-6, 255 pounds, is supposed to be the future of the position, but he struggled with his routes, his blocking, committed some ill-timed penalties and dropped passes as his transition from quarterback continued.

Jefferson, who will be a red-shirt junior, remains a physically imposing player, but his offseason development will be crucial to Rutgers' ability to use the tight end next season in the passing game.

Some of the reason the position wasn't more productive stemmed from the protection issues of the offensive line. It caused the Scarlet Knights to keep the tight end in to block on a regular basis, thus limiting his ability to impact the passing game.

Carrezola was used as a fullback and an h-back as the season wore on, and did line up at tight end as well as Jefferson struggled with an ankle injury. As a red-shirt freshman, Carrezola was unable to continue his momentum from a quick start to training camp, but still offers plenty of potential for the upcoming seasons.

Red-shirt junior Evan Lampert served as a blocking tight end, and will return to that role next season and give the Scarlet Knights a veteran presence. He played in 10 games, but like Jefferson, was limited by injury the second part of the season.

The spring will be a big time for red-shirt freshman Malcolm Bush, who is 6-4, 240 pounds. He has the size and athleticism to be a factor, but will need to prove his is ready to step into a role. Fabian Ruiz was lost to graduation, and the Scarlet Knights already have a commitment from one tight end and could get another.

Tyler Kroft of Downingtown East (Exton, Pa.) committed in the summer, and the Scarlet Knights are in the mix for Middletown (N.J.) North's Shilique Calhoun and Pt. Pleasant (N.J.) Boro's Ryan Malleck.

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