2006 VU position overview: Tight ends

Vanderbilt's tight end position was an important part of the Commodore offense in 2005. If the 'Dores are to be successful in 2006 they must get quality offensive production out of their tight ends. Today VandyMania takes a look at the Vanderbilt tight ends.

LOSSES

Dustin Dunning

THE SKINNY

Dustin Dunning was a big play maker for the Vanderbilt in 2005. The now graduated Dunning was Vandy's third leading receiver with 35 catches. The tight end is certainly more than an extra blocker for Vanderbilt. They must be able to catch the ball too. None of the returning Vanderbilt tight ends have ever registered a college game reception so it is crucial that one of them steps up and fills the void left by Dunning.

THE MEN

Brad Allen (6-4, 238 SO): Allen saw action in all 11 games but did not catch a pass. Allen was a heavily recruited prospect out of high school. Caught 13 passes for 217 yards as a senior in high school. Earned All-State honors.

Jake Bradford (6-6, 245 FR*): Redshirted during the 2005 season. Caught seven passes for 156 yards and four touchdowns as a high school senior.

Thomas Welch (6-6, 250 FR*): Redshirted during the 2005 season. Caught 16 receptions for 354 yards and four touchdowns as a prep senior. Suffered a recent injury during preseason practice that has kept him out of drills.

THE FUTURE

Jonathan Massey (6-2, 245 FR): Caught 46 passes as a junior in high school. Caught just 15 during an injury prone senior season. Massey could eventually move to H-Back.

Justin Green (6-7, 210 FR): Green caught 25 passes in his first year of football as a senior in high school. Green has gotten rave reviews in preseason camp. Some say he is future NFL material.

REMARKS

Brad Allen is the front runner for the starting tight end position but Jake Bradford or Thomas Welch may have something to say about that. Green and Massey might both be redshirted but they'll challenge for the starting position in 2007.

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