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Position Breakdown: Tight End

You say Tight Endo, I say H-Backo, etc, etc.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 31 Allstate Sugar Bowl Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Kansas State has one of the best tight ends in the nation leading this group. Ben Sinnott, a former walk-on, turned down a scholarship at South Dakota in order to play his way onto the field in Manhattan. The 6’3”, 220 tight end coming out of high school is now a 6’4”, 245 monster coming off a First Team All-Big 12 season. With a fully-weaponized Will Howard, this season could see Sinnott in the national spotlight.

In addition to Sinnott, the ‘Cats have several options with disparate skill sets. Will Swanson and Christian Moore are both solid blocking options. Garrett Oakley and Brayden Loftin are better in the passing game and still developing as blockers. Youngster Will Anciaux is essentially a giant wide receiver at this point in his career, while fellow freshman Andrew Metzger is the closest to Sinnott’s mix of blocking and receiving prowess.

Depth is nice, but Sinnott is the man, and there is a significant drop off after him. It’s not that the other tight ends are bad, they’re not, but they’re young and Sinnott is simply that good. Ben’s been nursing an injury in the spring but should be full go for the opener. Kansas State needs him to dominate in order to reach their full potential. I expect him to be in the top 3 on the team in receptions this season. He could lead the way in receiving touchdowns.


Ben Sinnott - #34 - Jr. - 6’4”, 245

Another walk-on-to-star story for the ‘Cats. Last season Sinnott came into his own when Howard took over the starting role, picking up 4 receiving touchdowns in those 5 games. That included a 7-catch, 89-yard, 2-touchdown performance against Baylor. The reigning First Team All-Big12 tight end is looking to surpass his numbers from last season and, barring injury, I see no reason why he won’t.

Enjoy him this season, because if it goes the way I think it’s going to go he’ll be playing in the NFL next season.

Second Tight End - Blocking

Will Swanson - #84 - Jr. - 6’5”, 250

Swanson provides the coaching staff with an extra offensive linemen when they want to go heavy. Can he do more than block? Thus far, it looks like no, but improvement is a staple in the K-State program. He played in all 14 games last season, bringing in 2 receptions against South Dakota for 23 yards. I’d love to see him develop as a red zone option but even if that doesn’t happen he’ll be an important factor in the run game.

Second Tight End - Receiving

Garrett Oakley - #86 - R-Fr. - 6’5”, 230

This is the future of the tight end position. Signing Oakley and Loftin in the 2022 recruiting class signaled a shift in the type of tight end Kansas State wants to deploy. Both came in as big wide receivers who needed to learn how to block, as opposed to the normal small offensive linemen that need to learn how to catch. Oakley has emerged as a second tight end option in the passing game. If Klein wants to throw out of a 2 tight end set, both Sinnott and Oakley are genuine threats.

That top spot in what looks like an emerging signature position for the ‘Cats under Klein will be open next season. A solid season as a complementary receiver and a willingness to block should position Oakley well heading into next season as the potential top dog.


Christian Moore - #44 - Jr. - 6’2”, 240

Moore is listed as a tight end, but is more of an H-Back, capable of shifting into the backfield and playing like a fullback. Like Swanson, he’ll be involved in short yardage situations. He’s also an important blocker on the kick return team. Look for him to reprise that role again this season. He might not put up stats, but he does the little stuff that helps other players put up stats.

Brayden Loftin - #87 - R-Fr. - 6’4”, 235

After dealing with injuries in camp, Loftin is a little behind classmate Oakley, but not that far behind. He’s a true receiving threat, capable of getting down the seam and splitting safeties. The biggest thing for Loftin is getting (and staying) healthy in order to further develop his game both as a receiver and especially as a blocker. There is a bit of a log jam in front of him at the moment, but he’s talented enough to force himself onto the filed this season and compete with Oakley for the starting job.

Will Anciaux - #82 - Fr. - 6’6”, 230

One of the top recruits in the state of Kansas for 2023, Anciaux brings size and athleticism to the tight end position. I don’t expect to see him on the field this year because of the experienced talent in front of him, but in terms of sheer athleticism you won’t find many better than Will. The tight end position is stocked with young players, and Anciaux’s huge frame and athletic ability will be important in the near future.

Andrew Metzger - #81 - Fr. - 6’5”, 240

Metzger will most likely redshirt this season. He’s an interesting tight end recruit. He’s not the receiver that Oakley and Loftin are, but he’s capable. He’s a solid blocker, but not to the point of getting pigeon holed as an auxiliary lineman. Overall, he’s probably the most well rounded tight end outside of Sinnott. If anything happens to Ben, Metzger could move up the depth chart, but let’s hope he has an uneventful freshman season. He’ll be another factor next season if Sinnott exits to the NFL.