Spring Blitz: Tight Ends

With the Horned Frogs beginning spring ball on Feb. 24th we continue to get an early look at individual position battles and how each position we at HornedFrogBlitz.com feel will turn out. Up next, the Frogs tight ends.

1. Corey Fuller | 6-6, 255 | Redshirt senior
2. Stephen Bryant | 6-5, 242 | Redshirt sophomore
3. Walker Dille | 6-4, 242 | Redshirt senior
4. Dominic Merka | 6-4, 230 | Redshirt freshman

2011 Stats (Returning leaders)
Fuller | 2 catches, 35 yards Unit Ranking: B

Replacing the production of Logan Brock and Luke Shivers will be key. The two tight ends combined for 21 catches and 5 scores in 2011 and the next closest was Fuller's two catches for 35 yards. The group is athletic and more known for their skills as pass catchers, the main improvement will be the development of their blocking skills, which they will need in a big way in the Big 12.

What to watch: Corey Fuller utilized more in the passing game

Fuller blends great size with a 6-foot-6 frame to go along with decent speed. He's gradually added weight since arriving to campus in 2008, but he's been behind some very good tight ends in his career. The Frogs can utilize his size and speed over the middle, especially in mismatches against smaller safeties. Fuller has also shown the ability in prior camps that he has the ability to make big catches over the middle. While he will be asked to do more blocking, having his athleticism at tight end is a plus and this could be his breakout year as the top guy on the depth chart.

Bryant could be the next Shivers

Stephen Bryant played behind Shivers in 2011, this year he will get his chance to shine. Like Fuller, Bryant blends excellent size and speed at the tight end position. This is a guy who rushed and passed for over 1,000 yards as a high school quarterback his senior year. Word is Bryant will get a chance to play the same role as Shivers, but also keep an eye on Antonio Graves.

Back to tight end – full time

Dominic Merka has experimented at tight end and defensive end in his first year on campus. Also a high school quarterback, Merka has the speed (4.6) to split the seams down the middle. He has to add more weight to become more of a blocker, but he's only spent one year in the system so the weight should come easy as his career progresses.

Spring predictions:
- Fuller becomes a favorite target of Pachall in the spring
- Bryant locks down the #2 spot and gets reps with the 1's in some packages
- The position battle will be more interesting when Gerren Ballard and Griffin Gilbert arrive

Horned Frog Insider Top Stories