COUNTDOWN 2008 - Tight Ends

The Aggies have literally zero experience returning at tight end, so who will fill the shoes of Martellus Bennett and Joey Thomas? Aggie Websider continues its preview of the 2008 season with a look at tight end.

After taking a close look at the Aggie offensive line coming into the 2008 season, this year's tight end preview will certainly have a familiar theme. Same song.... second verse. New names in new places will be counted on to step into roles vacated by some star-studded talent. The "Legion of Doom" is now the "Legion of Whom?" Martellus Bennett and Joey Thomas have departed, and replacing that kind of talent is a tall order, indeed. So... who's gonna fill those shoes?

One name Aggie fans will recognize at tight end this fall is none other than junior Jamie McCoy. The speedy, athletic McCoy came to Texas A&M as a QB, but was moved to wide receiver prior to the 2006 Holiday Bowl, and saw action at that position in five games during 2007, though he didn't earn a letter.

The 6-foot-3, 224lb McCoy appears to have finally found a place on the field to showcase his talent, as he positively blossomed at tight end during the spring. McCoy has the size and strength to play the position, but his greatest asset at tight end may well be his speed, which gives him the ability to stretch the defense and makes him extremely tough to cover.

Billy Chavis, 6-foot-4 and 233lbs, is another player making the move to tight end from a different position. The sophomore played in eight games last season at linebacker, but this fall he will be counted on to add quality depth at tight end. Chavis is an extremely versatile athlete who, like McCoy, turned a lot of heads last spring with his play at tight end.

After McCoy and Chavis, the Aggies will be looking for someone among three redshirt freshmen to step up and earn his way onto the field this fall. 6-foot-4, 207lb Frank Avery and 6-foot-2, 238lb Michael Ebbitt will be competing for a chance to play, along with Harold Turnage, who, at 6-foot-4 and 246lbs, brings some serious size and strength to the table.

For Texas A&M, if there's a position on the field that rates currently as a huge question mark, tight end is that spot, hands down. However optimistic coaches and fans may be over how impressive McCoy and Chavis looked in the spring, the fact remains that not one of the players who will line up at tight end this fall have ever played a single down at that position for the Aggies. It's tough to replace guys like Tellus and Joey Thomas as it is, but it doesn't help matters when the replacements have no experience at all.

Does that mean tight end will be a weakness for the Ags in 2008? Once again, only time will tell.

Aggie Websider Grade: D+




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