Recruiting Report: Tight Ends

Scout.com National Recruiting Analyst Greg Powers took the time to talk with LonghornDigest.com about 2013 tight ends and finding the perfect fit for Texas.

LonghornDigest.com: Texas is looking for complete tight ends, players who can block in the running game and stretch the seams in the passing game. Are there any of those guys in the 2013 class, and is Christian Morgan one of them?


Greg Powers: "I think Morgan is definitely one of those guys. When you first look at him, the thing that you notice is that he has a big-time frame at 6-foot-4 and 240 to 250 pounds. He's a big-bodied type of tight end that you think right off the bat, he can be the guy in the trenches that can move around defensive ends in the Big 12. And then, watching him play in camps, he runs really good routes and has really soft hands. Of course, Texas will look at his junior film extensively, and he could be in-line for a Junior Day type of offer. If not, he's the type of player who could impress enough at a camp to earn an offer from the Longhorns."



The Longhorns elected not to go for anybody in the 2012 class at the position. Was this year a down year in-state for tight ends?


GP: "I don't think that tight end is that strong this year, and not necessarily just in-state, but nationally. A big part of that is the spread. But coming off last year, there were quite a number of really good tight ends throughout the country. This year it isn't quite as deep top-to-bottom in the upper echelon guys. This year, there aren't any five-stars, and 11 guys in the top-300. Last year there were two five-stars and 14 in the top-300. Last year there were two four-star tight ends in the state of Texas, Jace Amaro (who went to Texas Tech) and Max Stevenson (Oklahoma). This year, there weren't any four-star tight ends in the state. Texas didn't recruit (Amaro or Stevenson), although maybe (Brian) Harsin will go for guys like that in the future. I think it's a surprise that they didn't take Griffin Gilbert (in 2012). He's a stud. If tight end was really a big, important position, I don't understand why they wouldn't get him in there. He would fit perfectly."



LD: Where did M.J. McFarland fall in with that group in 2011?


GP: "McFarland was a four-star for a while, but with the numbers crunch at the end of the year, he wound up in that next little batch of guys, in that next 20-25 players. He didn't play for the biggest program, but he was definitely a guy who could go out and make big-time plays. He dominated where he played at. I think that the Harsin offense uses a lot of tight ends, employing two or three a majority of the time, so that's a position the staff needs to get the right kind of players to fit that system. Does McFarland fit? Well, he was offered and committed under the previous staff. So we'll have to see how that plays out."



LD: McFarland played a lot of wide receiver in high school before bulking up to play tight end. Is (2013 recruit) Ricky Seals-Jones in a similar position?


GP: "I think right now, he's more receiver than tight end. He actually runs really good routes and can tun a lot of the underneath stuff you wouldn't think he would be able to. He's so big already and so young that a lot of people throw the tight end tag on him really quickly. He's 6-5 215 and plays quarterback and safety for his high school team. He's a physical kid for that size, and he could be a tight end if he continues to grow. But right now, he's a major big-time receiver. He's talented enough that he could play that role."



LD: Speaking of size-speed guys, what are your thoughts on Derrick Griffin?


GP: "I see Derrick Griffin as more of a Jermaine Gresham-type tight end, the kind of guy who can be a game-breaker in the passing game. With Griffin's ability as a basketball recruit, the biggest question right now isn't what position he wants to play in college, but can college football coaches convince him that he's better off playing football? I think with either (Griffin or Seals-Jones), you get them on campus telling them whatever they want to hear and figure it out once they get there. They both can be pretty special."



LD: Are there any other tight end prospects to keep an eye on from a Texas standpoint?


GP: "There's a guy at Clarksville, Gary Moore. With the size and weight that he has (he's listed at 6-6 220), he's somebody to keep an eye on."


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