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USC tight end commit Erik Krommenhoek shines in brief outing

SAN RAMON, Calif. -- With future position coach John Baxter in attendance, Erik Krommenhoek only had a short time to make a strong impression. He did just that.

The Danville (Calif.) Monte Vista Mustangs knew they were going to win. The outcome of their road matchup with Dougherty Valley was never in question.

Monte Vista dominated every facet of the game from beginning to finish in a 59-0 win, but they had one goal in mind before the game even began. 

“Our goal was to not let them past the 50 and I’m pretty sure we [accomplished] that,” tight end Erik Krommenhoek said. “We got the second team in really early, which we love doing. All the starters played great, then we got in and got the second team.”

Krommenhoek didn’t even play the entire first half. The 6-foot-5, 237-pound three-star prospect caught the first pass of the game and snagged a quick pop pass over the middle and juked the safety on his way to a 23-yard touchdown catch.

“It was a hot. Middle linebacker if he blitzed, I was just going to pop over the ball and get the ball, so I got it. Saw the safety, gave him a little move and then split the safeties.”

While Krommenhoek has shown good hands in the past, the post-catch moves to gain extra yards are something he has focused on in the offseason.

“I've been really working on it over the offseason. Seven-on-seven helped a lot, but I've been working. Working on my pass game as well as the blocking. I think a versatile tight end is a player that is really unguardable on the field. That's what I'm trying to become.”

The USC commit put his versatility on display in his brief appearance.

He showed his blocking ability at the tight end position, driving a combo block back more than 10 yards on one play and planting a defender on the edge to open up an outside running lane for an early touchdown. Blocking is an area he is working to improve on a daily basis. He feels being a great blocker in high school will translate better at the next level when he goes up against “bigger, faster, stronger guys in college.”

Krommenhoek also plays defensive end for Monte Vista, but Dougherty Valley didn’t give him very many opportunities to show what he could do as a pass rusher.

Despite the short outing for the first team, Krommenhoek was happy with his performance and excited to have USC tight ends coach John Baxter in attendance to watch him.

“It was great. It's cool having him here. I've talked a lot with him over the past couple months. It's cool just having him here and watching me.”

The No. 7 tight end in California wasn’t able to make it to Stanford to see USC in their annual Bay Area appearance, but does hope to take a trip down to Los Angeles soon to catch a home game. 

Other players may be still shopping themselves after committing, hoping to take all five of their official visits. Not Krommenhoek. He doesn’t have much communication with other schools, telling them ‘thanks, but no thanks,’ after he committed to become a Trojan. He said one or two coaches still reach out and wish him good luck on occasion, but his only official visit plans are for USC.

Krommenhoek should fit in nicely with USC’s tight end group. He met the other tight ends during his trip to USC for the Rising Stars Camp this summer and said the group has been very supportive, offering advice and tips on everything from blocking to life.

“They’re great guys and I can’t wait to work with them.”

He should slide in nicely with the graduation of Taylor McNamara this season, taking over as the block-first big body rather than the F-back split out tight end role that the other USC tight ends fit. And Krommenhoek thinks Monte Vista’s offense will enable him to make a smooth high school-to-college transition.

“I think [USC’s offense] goes a lot with what we've done here, which is awesome because it'll be an easier transition than some guys that run a spread offense in high school. But they've been using [the tight ends] a lot and I've been watching. It's great.”

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