Texas Trio: Tight Ends

While the 2012 class doesn't boast an elite tight end in the state of Texas, it's still a popular place for recruiters to search out the position.

1) Griffin Gilbert, Lake Travis (TCU)

When talking about receiving tight ends, Gilbert has to earn mention not just around the state, but around the country. Essentially a bulked-up receiver, Gilbert stands between 6-foot-5 and 6-6 and weighs around 210 to 215 pounds, with the frame to add more weight. As a sophomore, he had a nice breakout year with 39 catches for 486 yards and six touchdowns. All those numbers improved as a junior, when he snagged 74 passes for 1,198 yards and 11 touchdowns, averaging 16.2 yards per catch. Gilbert's frame and game is somewhat reminiscent of Missouri's Michael Egnew, a Plainview (TX) product, though Gilbert is bigger and might be more polished at this stage. Egnew was among the Big 12's leaders in receptions, hauling in 90 passes a year ago.

2) Jordan Smith, Waco Reicher Catholic (undecided)

If Gilbert is the state's top receiving tight end, Smith might be the Lone Star's top all-around player at the position. He's heavier, at 230 pounds over his 6-5 frame, and he's a better in-line blocker at this point. But passing offenses shouldn't despair: while Smith isn't the wide receiver type that Gilbert is, he shows an ability to stretch defenses down the seam, and he's tough to tackle after the catch with his power. Colleges are starting to pay Smith more attention, with Kansas offering the tight end this past week.

3) Sean Irwin, Cy-Fair (undecided)

The No. 3 and 4 tight ends both hail from Cypress, with Irwin serving as the better of the two at this point. At 6-4 230, he has nice size, and he caught 13 passes for 300 yards (23.1 per catch) with two touchdowns as a junior. He can also run a little bit, clocking in the 4.74 range in the 40. With offers from schools like Colorado, he's one to keep an eye on.

Watch out for …

Cody Small. The Cypress Woods product has similar measurables to Irwin, with nearly identical size (6-4 230) and 40 time (4.7 seconds). He doesn't yet have the offers that Irwin does, but with a strong fall, those offers should start to come in.

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