May I make a quick confession on Tight End Tuesday?
One thing that has confused me this season is how national pundits have wrung their hands over the loss of.
OK, yeah, sure, he was a 4-year starter and a pretty solid tight end. But he was part of a Ron Prince system of guys who had physical abilities yet never quite lived up to their promise because they never learned how to give 100 percent.
Plus, he was slow as hell. Anyone remember that long catch against Kansas as a freshman?
So, who do we have lined up to replace the Round Mound of Oregonian? Follow the jump to find out.
The Stand-up Citizens
#18 Andre McDonald
Andre McDonald is 6-foot-8, 282 pounds. Let me repeat that. He's 6-8, 282.
He's a freaking right tackle prospect playing tight end. But make no mistake: He's not some big, lumbering lug out there. Anyone who watched the spring game can attest that he probably was Sammuel Lamur's best receiving option on the White team, receiving multiple rollout passes. McDonald nearly didn't redshirt, but I'm glad he did because he will be a major weapon for us. Imagine what he will look like after another year with Chris Dawson.
#41 Zach Nemechek
Zach is a walk-on who just was added to the roster Tuesday. He hails from Quinter, Kan., which mostly registers in my mind as a place that seems to get a lot of tornadoes in May and June.
#47 Gabe Gantz
Man, it seems like Gabe has been around forever. Didn't Prince inherit him from Bill Snyder? I don't think he'll play much, but it's always nice to have an old hand around in practice to set an example of hard work for the younger guys.
#80 Travis Tannahill
Travis is pretty much penciled in as a starter, but I'm guessing McDonald is pushing him pretty damn hard. It's kind of a moot point, though. Snyder has made a living with two-tight-end sets and I see no reason for that to change, given this season's likely emphasis on the running game.
#81 Jeremy Sutton
I don't know too much about Jeremy Sutton, who comes to us from Fort Scott Community College. He redshirted last season and hails from Welda, Kan. Seems like a standard sort of small-town Kansas walk-on.
#84 Curtis Hubbell
Ditto for Curtis Hubbell, who transferred out of an Iowa community college. Still, it's nice to have so much depth at this position, when a few short years ago, Mastrud pretty much was all we had.
#85 Zach Trujillo
Zach's probably at least the third-most talented tight end on the roster, but you can bet house money that he'll redshirt. Look for him to be a factor in the next few seasons, however.
Depth Chart Predictions
- Starter: Andre McDonald (That's right, I'm calling the upset.)
- Backup: Travis Tannahill
- Third-String: Gabe Gantz