With Miami Hurricanes offensive coordinator James Coley now in charge, Canes fans should expect to see a re-emphasis on the tight end position. This is a football program that has produced NFL talent at the tight end position like Bubba Franks, Jeremy Shockey, Greg Olsen and Kellen Winslow. In recent years, the tight end has been a disappointment. This year’s crop looks to change that trend.
The old horse in this race is Asante Cleveland (6-foot-5, 260 pounds). Cleveland is a senior, and has been a huge disappointment since he showed a few flashes of greatness two years ago. He had just two receptions last season for twelve yards, and with much better competition this season, Cleveland may only see the field on special teams.
The top receiving tight end for the Canes last year was junior Clive Walford (6-foot-, 259 pounds). He is at the top of the depth chart to start of the season. He had 25 receptions for 451 yards and four touchdowns last year. He is bigger and stronger than he was last season, and he should remain quarterback Stephen Morris’s favorite target.
The sleeper in this tight-end battle is the much-heralded JUCO star Beau Sandland (6-foot-6, 255 pounds) . The junior is the prototype tight end and has been compared favorable to former Hurricane Jeremy Shockey. Sandland should leapfrog the senior Cleveland on the depth chart, and has an shot at earning the start position.
With Walford and Sandland playing well, Canes fans could see some double tight end sets
While Miami’s tight ends will not be the focus of the offense, they will certainly be an important cog.