With many college football programs trying to revamp their offenses to incorporate spread offensive principles during the last decade, the big, burly tight end that spends more time in the trenches than out on the edge has become more of a rarity.
There are less traditional hand-in-the-dirt tight ends. Players like four-star Roseville (Calif.) tight end Jimmy Jaggers have become unique. Because of that, they are highly coveted by the niche market of teams searching for the old school tight end.
After switching from the spread systems of Steve Sarkisian to the pound-the-rock-early-and-often desires of Clay Helton, the Trojans have fast become one of the teams in the market for a traditional tight end.
“They definitely need a traditional tight,” Jaggers said. “They have three [guys that are] more H-back type guys.”
Jaggers is looking at USC and a number of other schools currently, but he wants to soon be able to start narrowing his focus onto just a few potential college homes.
“I’m definitely starting to kind of get the pros and cons of the schools that I have offers from. It’s all just kind of about the opportunity, the timing of the opportunity and things like that.”
For USC, potential playing time is a plus, but Jaggers seems concerned about the stability of the program.
“The pros is definitely that they need tight ends,” he said. “I love Coach Helton there. The only thing there is probably the security, which no one definitely has job security as a coach at this level.”
The 6-foot-4, 232-pound tight end said he has seen pretty much everything he needs to from the Trojans, but he does want to return to campus this summer with his mom and stepdad to show them the campus and the area to “let them see what I see at USC and then go from there.”
That unofficial visit may be a final determinant as to whether the Trojans make Jaggers’ cut of schools when he trims his list to a final five this summer and if they have a shot at being the team he ultimately chooses, which he’d like to do prior to the beginning of his senior football season. Before bringing the family to South Central, he is planning to check out Florida in a similar fashion.
After a trip to Atlanta for a camp, Jaggers plans to fly down to Tampa, Fla. and make the hot and muggy drive up to Gainesville for an unofficial visit to see what the Gators have to offer. “I’ll kind of decide whether I want to go that far from home or not.”
Florida has gained viability as a potential landing spot because of the constant attention they’ve given Jaggers from across the country, but he’s also seen plenty of USC as well. USC’s area recruiter, Kenechi Udeze, has been up to Roseville to check in on Jaggers as has tight ends coach John Baxter.
“He came to watch us lift in the morning and then watched spring ball in the afternoon,” Jaggers said.
After the visit, the No. 3-ranked tight end and the No. 280 player over all in the 2017 Scout 300 spent “a lot of time” talking with Baxter on the phone.
“He’s really big into not pigeonholing anyone and really letting everyone develop into their own player. Then I got to talk to all their players when we were there for spring practice. They had nothing but praise for him. They were all big on how much they learned from him and how much they like him.”
Check out Jimmy Jaggers' recent highlights from The Opening Oakland Regional:
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USC recruiting analyst Gerard Martinez contributed to this story.