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Top 5 Big Ten Tight Ends for 2013

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Top 5 Big Ten Tight Ends For 2013

Top 5 Bix
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten has always been a conference known for producing top tight end talent. Many former Big Ten tight ends have gained numerous accolades and have gone on to play in the NFL for years.

With the downhill running style of many teams across the conference for many years, the Big Ten has produced tight ends that are not only good receivers but great blockers as well. Players like Dallas Clark and Dustin Keller, who have been some of the top professional tight ends over the last 10 years, both came from the Big Ten.

The 2013 season will be no different for tight ends in the conference. There is a ton of experience returning to the position with guys who have been starters for quite some time.

While some of the top tight ends from 2012 like Dion Sims from Michigan State, Jake Stonebrenner of Ohio State, and Ben Cotton of Nebraska are gone, there is still some star power at the position for 2013.

For some teams, the tight end position will be absolutely crucial in this upcoming season as many teams around the conference are breaking in new quarterbacks or quarterbacks without much experience.

Schools like Iowa, Penn State and Wisconsin will all be playing quarterbacks who don’t have much experience. A solid tight end is essential for a new quarterback because it provides a major security blanket in the pass game and takes a lot of pressure off of the quarterback if the play breaks down.

Look for the Big Ten to possibly have a tight end become an All-American at the end of the season, as well as a couple tight ends hearing their names called in the 2014 NFL Draft. Here are the top five tight ends in the Big Ten for the 2013 season.

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5. Ted Bolser, Indiana Hoosiers

Ted Bolser
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Bolser has had a great career for the Indiana Hoosiers football team. Entering his senior season, Bolser already has over 1,000 career receiving yards. In 2012, he earned numerous All-Big Ten accolades. He posted 41 receptions for 445 yards and three touchdowns. His numbers should be just as good in 2013 playing in the pass happy Hoosier offense.

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4. Kyle Carter, Penn State Nittany Lions

Kyle Carter
Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

After redshirting in 2011, Carter made some noise for the Nittany Lions in 2012. He posted 36 receptions for 453 yards and two touchdowns on the season, despite playing with weak quarterback all year. Carter is going to see many more targets this season as Penn State breaks in a new quarterback.

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3. Devin Funchess, Michigan Wolverines

Devin Funchess
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Funchess hasn’t even come close to scratching the surface of his potential yet. A freak of an athlete, he received freshman All-American and honorable mention All-Big Ten honors as a freshman in 2012. He only had 15 catches, but five of those were for touchdowns. He is a dangerous threat in the red-zone due to his phenomenal ability to go up on jump balls. The sky is the limit for Funchess.

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2. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa Hawkeyes

C.J. Fiedorowicz
Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Fiedorowicz is a huge tight end for the Iowa Hawkeyes and is trying to be the next great Hawkeye tight end. In 2012, Fiedorowicz received honorable mention All-Big Ten honors while putting up 45 receptions for 433 yards and a touchdown. His numbers would have been much higher if he would have had more consistent quarterback play.

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1. Jacob Pedersen, Wisconsin Badgers

Jacob Pedersen
Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

The consensus top returning tight end in the Big Ten, Pederson has had a great career for the Badgers. Receiving the Kwalic-Clark Big Ten Tight End of the Year award as well as first-team All-Big Ten, Pederson had 27 catches for 355 yards and four touchdowns in 2012. He should be among the best tight ends in all of football for 2013.