For a time, it looked like Penn State wouldn’t take a tight end in the 2019 class. The Nittany Lions were after Jahleel Billingsley, but after he committed to Alabama, viable tight end options appeared few and far between. But then Brenton Strange camped for the staff on July 29, and left Happy Valley with an offer. While Ohio State (who also offered after a camp performance) made things tight, the Nittany Lions landed Strange’s commitment coming off the heels of his official visit on October 1.
|6-foot-4, 214 pounds
Like many tight end prospects now-a-days, Strange played exclusively as a wide receiver in high school, frequently being featured on go routes hoping to get him in one-on-one situations. When there, Strange was able to utilize his 6-foot-4 frame to dominate opposing defensive backs, whether that was by high pointing the ball or showing good body control to haul in passes.
Obviously, the big question mark comes in the form of how Strange will perform as a blocker on the inside. While I doubt he’ll ever be used much as an inline blocker, he’ll still need to show some blocking chops from the likely h-back role he’ll play in.
Even with a bit of movement at tight end this offseason, it’s tough to envision any way that Strange doesn’t redshirt. Pat Freiermuth will see the bulk of the load, while Nick Bowers and Zack Kuntz are primed to see any of the extra work in the two tight end sets.
More than anything though, Strange could just flat out use the redshirt year. He’s filled with potential, but with him enrolling at just 214 pounds, he’s got a lot of work to do in the weight room. Plus, he essentially only played wide receiver in high school, so making that jump to tight end (see: blocking) will take some time. Fortunately for Strange and Penn State, they have the time.