Preview 2010 - ACC
Ten Best Tight Ends
- ACC Skill Position Rankings
1. George Bryan, Jr. NC State
Bryan has been a revelation since arriving without a firm position three years ago. In his first full season as the starter, he parlayed 40 catches for 422 yards and six touchdowns into a spot on the All-ACC first team. At 6-5 and 265 pounds, he possesses the outstanding balance, agility, and hands to ponder early entry to the NFL at the conclusion of the regular season. He has developed that quickly in Raleigh.
2. Chris Pantale, Soph. Boston College
The Eagles have a budding star in the 6-6, 244-pound Pantale. While it’s very early in his career, he has his sights set on becoming the kind of complete player that someday attracts the interest of NFL scouts. Although he’s made initial headlines by catching 25 passes for 223 yards and a touchdown, he also takes pride in his physicality and skills as an in-line blocker. A tough match up for most linebackers, he’s a threat underneath and down the seam
3. Dwayne Allen, Soph. Clemson
The 6-4, 255-pound Allen could be a breakout star after joining the Tigers as one of the nation’s top tight end recruits of 2008. He put down the building blocks of a terrific career, starting a handful of games and making 10 catches for 108 yards and three touchdowns. A dynamic threat at as a receiver, he has the athletic skill set to abuse most linebackers down the seam or in the flat.
4. Beau Reliford, Jr. Florida State
After laying a nice foundation, the 6-6, 253-pound Reliford plans to build on it this fall. An unexpected starter over the final five games, he wound up with 11 receptions for 101 yards and two touchdowns. He’s made great good use of his offseason, adding considerable muscle and moving a step quicker. Although the upside as a pass-catcher is evident, to stay out of the dog house, he has to do the little things better, like blocking and running the right routes.
5. Zack Pianalto, Sr. North Carolina
If 6-4, 255-pound Pianalto can ever stay healthy for an entire season, look out. While he has battled injuries throughout his career, yet remains one of the most reliable targets among the receivers. Even after missing five games with a foot injury, he still set a school record for catches by a tight end, making 33 for 334 yards and a touchdown. More of an H-back than a traditional tight, he has good hands and knows how to find soft spots in the defense
6. Joe Torchia, Sr. Virginia
The Cavs are set with the 6-6, 250-pound senior, a second-year starter. One of the league’s better blockers at the position, he uses his big hands and long arms to control opposing linemen as if he’s the third tackle. That’s not to suggest he isn’t a viable weapon in the passing game, though like all of the Virginia receivers, he’s been underutilized. Showing soft hands when the opportunities were there, he caught 15 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns.
7. Brett Huffman, Sr. Duke
Ultra-consistent throughout his career, the 6-4, 250-pound Huffman is back for his third year as the starting tight end. Proven to be a quality pass-catcher on intermediate routes and near the end zone, he enters the year with 33 career receptions, including 18 a year ago for 167 yards and three touchdowns. He’s added some muscle, which should help with run blocking.
8. Andrew Parker, Jr. Wake Forest
After scratching the surface of his potential, the 6-5, 225-pound junior is looking to break out as the team’s starting tight end. He played plenty a year ago, but was underutilized in the passing game, making just nine catches for 90 yards and two touchdowns. A big target, with a sizable catch radius, he’s capable of finding the soft spot underneath or occasionally splitting the seam and getting the best of a linebacker.
9. Richard Gordon, Sr. Miami
In terms of tight ends, this is not going to be a vintage Miami squad. Not even close. The ‘Canes are banking on a 6-4, 270-pound Gordon to somewhat offset the losses of Dedrick Epps and Jimmy Graham. He earned a medical hardship after missing all but the opener with Florida State. A better blocker than receiver at this stage of his career, he’s only caught four passes for 32 yards.
10. Andre Smith, Sr. Virginia Tech
The graduations of Greg Boone and Sam Wheeler have left the Hokies thin at tight end. First in line to fill the void is the 6-5, 271-pound Smith. A dominant run blocker in the mold of a pulling guard, he’s hoping to become more of a threat in the passing game after catching just three balls for 27 yards and a touchdown in 2009.