Position Preview: Tight End

CuseNation.com previews the tight end position entering the 2014 season.

Depth Chart

Starter: Josh Parris
Reserves: Kendall Moore, Jamal Custis, Tyler Provo, P.J. Batten, Jacob Green, Cameron MacPherson

2013 Statistics

Parris: 13 catches, 90-yards, 2 touchdowns
Moore: 6 catches, 65-yards, 1 touchdown
Green: 1 catch, 4-yards

What We Know

Josh Parris is out for the beginning of the season with a lower body injury. Kendall Moore has been nursing his own lower body injury but should be good to go when the season starts. Freshman Jamal Custis has been emerging as a legitimate option and should see extended playing time.

Tyler Provo is also an option while Parris is out.

Parris was having a very strong fall camp before his injury. He provides Syracuse with the most dynamic options in terms of blocking ability and receiving. Moore is a solid blocker but lacks the receiving ability of Parris. Custis can contribute as a down the field threat but must develop into a solid blocker.

Parris’ injury will be filled by committee, but he should be back without missing more than two games.

Biggest Question

How quickly can Custis get up to speed? Another freshman who has received praise during training camp, Custis has been working with the starters a bit since Parris went out. He provides the most upside in terms of receiving ability of any of the reserves.

If he can become an adequate blocker, he will be in the mix even with Parris returns. His combination of size, speed for the position and ability to catch the ball makes him a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses.

However, he is a freshman and is therefore a question mark entering the season.

Season Outlook

If Parris comes back and can return to his fall camp form, Syracuse will have a solid, deep group with a clear-cut starter who can give the Orange a threat down the middle of the field. If he cannot, Syracuse will have to make it work with the group they have. It make take Jamal Custis some time to become a consistent threat, but he has a lot of upside. Expect to see flashes of that this season. With Parris, the tight end position can be a real weapon in this offense. Without him, it becomes much more difficult. Bobby Acosta’s first year as the position coach will be fun to watch.

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