Today we’ll tackle the tight end position.
As we’ve laid out over the course of the last couple years, the tight end position might be the one position at Washington that is in perfect balance. They have the right number, and every class is represented throughout the five-year cycle.
To be fair, as long as Washington grabs one tight end per recruiting class, it’s an easy job to keep that balance alive - but what is a tougher task is making sure they have a proper spread of the two main types of tight ends the Huskies like to employ; the bigger, more traditional in-line tight end, and the more athletic receiving tight ends that are used to create mismatches down the field against linebackers.
Since Jacob Kizer played both tight end and defensive end for West Salem, he brings a defensive mentality and toughness to the field. And at 6-foot-5 and nearly 240 pounds, he fits physically with players like David Ajamu and Drew Sample.
And when do you see a kid at 230-plus pounds run 100 meters and participate in the high jump for his high school in track? That should give you some indication as to Kizer’s athleticism.
There’s no reason Kizer should play early, as he has four scholarship tight ends ahead of him, as well as talented walk-on Connor Griffin. It takes on a double meaning when Kizer missed almost all of his senior season due to back surgery. He is well on his way to a full recovery, and all signs point to Kizer being better than he has been the last couple years. It was a needed surgery and Kizer had it done early enough that it shouldn’t affect him past his redshirt year. And in all truth, the Huskies could even research the prospect of grayshirting Kizer the way they did with Myles Rice last year. It could work out for both parties, as long as Kizer is fine with delaying his enrollment until next winter.
Because of Kizer’s injury, it allowed Washington to throw bait over the side in the hopes they could land a big fish, and they almost did. De La Salle’s Devin Asiasi would have bumped the quality of the position immediately and is big enough and athletic enough to start in college from day one. But Asiasi chose Michigan, so they didn’t finish with the splash they were hoping for.
So in the final analysis, Kizer alone is reason to feel very good about Washington’s recruiting effort at tight end for the 2016 class, but his injury and rehabilitation takes a little bit of the shine off.
That, and not being able to reel in a player of Asiasi’s quality means the recruiting grade at this position is right at average. It was okay, it addressed the need with the number they wanted and a quality athlete that could be developed in time but is still a bit of an unknown quantity.
Getting Asiasi with Kizer would have bumped the final grade up at least one level, if not more. But that didn’t happen. So in the end it wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad either. It was bang in the middle.