©M. Samek / SCOUT

Dawgman.com Season Awards - Tight End

Now that the regular season is complete and the No. 4 Washington Huskies begin preparations to slay Goliath - aka No. 1 Alabama - in the Peach Bowl on New Year's Eve, the guys from Dawgman.com start their yearly review with their thoughts on every position group. We started Monday with the quarterbacks: now we're on to the tight ends.

Luke Mounger - Intern

TE MVP - Darrell Daniels

Daniels was a sort of sneaky big play threat this year; his 18.1 yards per reception was second highest of any Husky with double digit receptions in 2016. He was on the receiving end on a lot of Dante Pettis double passes, and showed off his athleticism on his 15-yard touchdown against Colorado. He also contributed well as a blocker for Gaskin and Coleman.

TE Most Improved - Will Dissly

The benefit to a tight end like Dissly is you essentially have a sixth lineman. He's been an integral part of UW's tight end rotation, which is remarkable considering he played defense for his first two years at UW. He even got to showcase his hands in the apple cup, with a nice third down conversion early on.

TE Waiting in the Wings - Drew Sample

As a redshirt sophomore, Drew Sample already has a perfect body for the NFL. He looks the part of an old school, tough, and physical tight end. He also had the second most receptions of Washington's tight ends. His size, blocking ability, and hands make him a prime candidate for a breakout junior year in 2017.

©M. Samek / SCOUT

Scott Eklund - Recruiting Editor

TE MVP - Darrell Daniels

This one was a tough one because the tight ends definitely weren't much of a feature in the Husky passing game this year, but Daniels' freakish athleticism definitely gave defenses something to think about and he did finish with 17 receptions for 307 yards and three touchdowns, so he was somewhat productive. Daniels was also a solid blocker and that allowed him to stay on the field for most of the game.

TE Most Improved - Drew Sample

Sample finally saw his most extensive playing time as a sophomore this season. He showed the ability to block very well and his hands were used on several key first downs in games vs. Utah and Arizona State. Sample is an underrated athlete, so he has the ability to stretch the middle seam and as he gets a better feel for the Husky passing game, he should be used more as a target.

TE Waiting in the Wings - Michael Neal

He's 6-foot-4, 235 pounds and he's got outstanding hands. Word is that he's improved as a route-runner, so the biggest concern with him moving forward is his ability as a blocker. Once he gets that down, Neal has the ability to be an All-Pac 12 player.

@Bruce L. Dickson / SCOUT

Chris Fetters - Editor

TE MVP - Darrell Daniels

Washington hardly used the tight end at all this year in the passing game: about 13 percent, to be exact. That's nothing. But when Jake Browning did target the tight ends, he targeted Daniels more than half the time. He finished the year with 17 catches for 307 yards and three touchdowns. It's a far cry from what we expected from the senior, but Browning just didn't find him very often. Many times he was running free. 

TE Most Improved - Drew Sample

Sample caught eight passes for 98 yards, hardly the stuff of a strong season. But he was so good in the run game and showed he could be that threat the Huskies are going to have to rely on in 2017 once Darrell Daniels graduates. He's gotten big enough and strong enough to handle himself on the line of scrimmage. Once he gets back to what he was known more for as a recruit at Newport - pass catching - he'll become the all-around tight end we've all expected when Sample switched his commitment from Boise State to UW, following Chris Petersen to Montlake. 

TE Waiting in the Wings - David Ajamu

The junior from Shelton was just starting to show what he was capable of being getting hurt pre-game at USC last season. It's been a long road back for Ajamu, who only caught one pass so far this year. With Daniels graduating after this year, the Huskies are going to need a second tight end to step up and help Drew Sample carry the load. Will Dissly has shown moments, but David Ajamu is one of those candidates to have a breakout senior season in the vein of Andrew Hudson, Jake Eldrenkamp, Tani Tupou, Damion Turpin, etc... 

©M. Samek / SCOUT

Kim Grinolds - CEO

TE MVP - Darrell Daniels

It's not just about catches for the tight ends. That's just what fans notice the most. In Washington's offense, being able to catch the ball is a bonus. You have to be able to block like a fullback as well as an offensive lineman on the move . Daniels does all of that. And he does it with an edge. He's also one of the most vocal leaders on the team.

TE Most Improved - Will Dissly

Dissly is a converted defensive lineman. He's also become a devastating blocker who became vital to Washington's run game. He's light years ahead of where he was a year ago.

©M. Samek / SCOUT

TE Waiting in the Wings - Drew Sample

Sample played a lot this year and played well. With the departure of Daniels, he'll be asked to do more. He'll thrive when asked.

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