Like the fullback, the role of the tight end is slowly diminishing in college football today. Remember the days when teams trotted out their "Jumbo Package" in short yardage situations with three tight ends and a fullback? Nowadays it's not uncommon to see a team line up in the shotgun with four wide receivers on first and goal at the five yard line. But Penn State has a rich history of tight ends from Ted Kwalick, to Kyle Brady, to Troy Drayton. Joe Paterno still loves him big guys that can pancake a linebacker or run ten yards down field and catch a pass. So let's look at Penn State's needs in recruiting tight ends for the class of 2011. Here's how the 2010 tight end roster is shaping up.
|Andrew Szczerba||Mark Wedderburn||Kevin Haplea|
The depth chart has been dominated the past two years by Andrew Quarless and Mickey Shuler, so this season we should get a look at some new guys. If you recall the 2008 Blue White game, Andrew Szczerba blew everyone away catching five or six passes leading many to believe he was going to be a deadly weapon that fall. But it never did materialize and he rarely saw the field. Mark Wedderburn has been even more absent. I don't recall reading anything about him since the day he signed on with Penn State.
Even with freshman Kevin Haplea coming in this fall, I think Penn State needs some help with the tight ends. Even if Szczerba turns out to be a solid player, he's only got two years left. Wedderburn doesn't seem to be making a name for himself on the scout team, so right now I'm not expecting big things there. Until we see Haplea play I don't think we can assume he's going to lock down the position. If Penn State gets in a pinch, they could switch Garry Gilliam or Kyle Baublitz over from defense. But even so I'm looking for Penn State to bring in one tight end with this class.
|Projected 2011 Scholarship Totals|
Click on links for previous projections.