Spring Preview: Tight Ends

Washington lost it's top tight end when Michael Gottlieb graduated, but they've added some intriguing prospects into the mix at tight end. Here's a look at the tight end position and what fans should watch out for this spring and very likely this coming fall.

The Players

Jr. Dorson Boyce (6-2, 255)
So. Kavario Middleton (6-7, 260)
RS So. Chris Izbicki (6-3, 250)
RS So. Romeo Savant (6-5, 250)**


**walk-on

Returning starters: none

Key players lost: Michael Gottlieb

Projected depth chart heading into spring:

1) Boyce
2) Middleton
3) Izbicki
4) Savant


The big question heading into camp:

Will Chris Izbicki be able to show why he was rated so high coming out of high school?

Coming out of high school, Izibicki was rated the number four tight end prospect in the country. However, after a so-so redshirt season in 2007, the expectations were he would take the leap and become a factor as a redshirt freshman in 2008.

Things couldn't have gone more wrong as he was arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct at a concert at the White River Amphitheater last summer and he spent the rest of the year in Tyrone Willingham's huge doghouse. Word is he's taken the offseason conditioning program to heart and is poised to push both Middleton and Boyce for playing time.

When he's in good shape and his head is in the game, Izbicki has the ability to be both a good in-line blocker and a mid-range receiving threat.

To say the Huskies could use his contributions would be an understatement.

Keep an eye on…

Middleton and how he comes along as a blocker.

There is no denying that the talented sophomore-to-be has all the talent necessary to be an All-American and a first round selection in the NFL Draft, but according to some he wasn't the hardest worker when it came to the weight room and practice.

If he can maximize his enormous potential, Middleton could be deadly over the next few seasons and move on to the pros as the top tight end in the country.

The future…

Because they are so young at the position, Middleton and Izbicki still have three years of eligibility to make their mark on the program.

This fall, Santiago (Corona, Ca.) TE Marlion Barnett will arrive and he's already bulked up to 230 pounds while maintaining his 4.65 speed. He will need a year or two in the weight room to be an effective blocker, but he has all the tools and the coaches really love what he brings to the table.

Another playing coming in is Kimo Makaula from Punahou High School in Honolulu, Hi. He's very talented and could end up at tight end, fullback, H-back, defensive end or linebacker depending on how he performs.

He'll get a look at tight end though, with the hopes he can use his size and athleticism to be a weapon as a receiver.

Other position previews:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Tight Ends



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