PRIMER: Tight End

IT'S READILY DISCERNIBLE that the tight end position has a lot of potential coming out of the spring. But does that mean the tight end spot at WSU will again become a significant force in the receiving game for 2011?

It's hard to make that leap.

Not because the talent is lacking – the Cougs saw solid production from not one, but two tight ends this spring.

But when you look at the vast quantities of receiving talent at the wideout position, it seems to make more sense to throw it their way rather than for the tight end to become a major force.

That doesn't mean, on any given Saturday, the tight end position won't have a grabmaster kind of day. Both Andrei Lintz and Aaron Dunn showed good hands this spring.

More importantly, though, was their blocking skills and in particular there, in the run game.

Lintz had his best spring as a Cougar. In the past, he hasn't been as physical as he can be. This spring, it's as if a light bulb turned on and he realized just how good he can be when he really gets after it. Like Dunn, Lintz has all the physical tools and athleticism to be not just a decent player but an impact kind of guy at the Pac-12 level.

As for Dunn, he was, not surprisingly, bigger this spring. WSU didn't release official weights this spring but Dunn was right around 250 pounds at the outset of drills. The second year player from Spokane still needs to get bigger to unleash his full potential -- but 250 is right about the sweet spot where the 6-foot-6 Dunn can start to be physically effective at the Pac-12 level.

Back to the run game and max protect. Both Lintz and Dunn showed clear improvement in both areas. Their work in sealing the edge was particularly noteworthy.

And that will also help open up their receiving output, although as mentioned earlier, it would be a stretch to project tight end to become the primary pass options given the WR talent.

But it's not a stretch to project the tight end position to have more receptions, and make more plays, than has been the case in recent years.

Not given what both Lintz and Dunn did this spring.

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