Top 5 Tight Ends of 2014 College Football Recruiting Class
2014 College Football Recruiting Class Top 5 Tight Ends
With the 2013 recruiting season in the books, it’s time to shift the focus to the 2014 college football recruits and breaking down the top players at each position. The first position we will take a look at are the top tight ends in this class.
Obviously, things are changing all the time with recruits, and these rankings will not stay the same as the year goes on, especially as the football season resumes in the fall.
The tight end position today has evolved from what your dad is used to. Gone are the run block-first type of tight ends, and in are the type who are physical but speedy, and who can run down the field and be prolific receivers. Sure they can run block, but it’s a catch-first mentality nowadays.
This mentality and style of play from the position has certainly trickled down to the prep level. Not only are these top tight ends great run blockers, but they can go across the middle as good as anybody and are threats down in the red zone.
I’m not quite ready to start making comparisons between these top recruits and the likes of Tony Gonzalez, Rob Gronkowski etc., but I will say that all five of these top recruits have all the tools and athleticism for those comparisons to made at the next level.
There are a couple recruits in this list who have already made verbal commitments. However, one thing is certain. All five of these top tight ends will see the offers start to roll in as the football season commences once again in the fall.
Without further ado, lets get this party started with who I think are the top tight ends in the 2014 college football recruiting class.
5. Cannon Smith (Columbia, SC/Hammond School)
We start off the top tight ends of 2014, with our first of two players who have already made a commitment as the Clemson Tigers have received a verbal commitment from Smith.
At 6-foot-5 and around 230 pounds, Smith has a very nice frame for a tight end already, and he loses absolutely no speed or athleticism with his build either. He’s a good run blocker, but his bread and butter is going down the field catching passes and making plays happen. Smith can go up and catch the jump ball and has absolutely no worries about going down the middle. He is definitely a go-to guy down in the red zone as well.
Smith is a four-star TE and a great pick up for head coach Dabo Swinney and the Clemson Tigers.
4. Bryce Dixon (Ventura, CA/St. Bonaventure)
Dixon is another four-star TE that is already starting to see the offers roll in from some very prominent football programs.
Another TE who stands at 6-foot-4 tall, Dixon’s long arms make him seem even taller than what he actually is. He has great ability to go up and get the ball over the defender. Once Dixon gets the ball and gets into any open field, it’s trouble for defenders as he has speed to outrun most.
Bryce fits the mold as a more athletic tight end that you see mostly today. He has great ability to go down field and will catch almost anything thrown to him, and is a threat over the middle and around the end zone as well.
Look for more and more offers to come Dixon’s way in the next 11 months.
3. Jacory Washington (Westlake, LA/Westlake)
The No. 3 TE in the class of 2014 is also the second player who has verbally committed. Four-star Jacory Washington has decided to stay in-state and play for the LSU Tigers.
Washington has played wide receiver primarily during his high school career, but at 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, he should fit nicely as a tight end. He is another new age tight end that can run the field very well and snag the ball out of the air. Washington can out-run and out-jump nearly any defender put on him as he is another player who plays taller than what he actually is, and has no problem being physical. His run blocking ability is good, and I see that improving as the next few years go on.
The Tigers are starting off their 2014 campaign off very well by nabbing Washington. Look for head coach Les Miles to use him in a variety of ways as Washington will be a threat to many opposing defenses at the next level.
2. Tyler Luatua (La Mirada, CA/La Mirada)
Luatua is a physical TE that has all the tools to be a star at the next level. The four-star recruit from California is not only one of the top recruits at his position, but is also one of the top overall recruits in his home state which is full of talented prospects.
One thing I noticed looking at Luatua’s highlight tape is that he has that tight end look about him. He’s got a nice frame (6-foot-4 and around 225 pounds) and can get very physical. Luatua is deceptively quick, meaning he may not seem the quickest on the field; but once he gets out into the open, no one is able to run him down.
Whether its short passes, going over the middle or down-field, Luatua can make plays. I’m excited to see what the future holds for this very talented tight end. A lot of offers have poured in for Tyler already and some top programs (Alabama Crimson Tide, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, USC Trojans among others) are at the top of the list.
1. Dalton Schultz (South Jordan, UT/Bingham)
My No. 1 TE of the 2014 class is from the great state of Utah, Dalton Schultz. The four-star recruit has all the tools is takes to be an exceptional tight end.
The one thing that jumped out first for me about Schutlz is how well he can flat-out play all aspects of the position. Schultz is a mix of new school and old school tight end. Not only does he have exceptional back catching skills, his run blocking is second to none. Standing 6-foot-5, Schultz has nice height for his position to go up and catch the ball.
Schultz is also very athletic, and knows the game very well. With run blocking, he makes the first block and keeps going to the second level looking for more defenders to take down. He can catch the ball over the middle and also has the ability to stretch the field.
With all the tools it takes to be a very successful tight end, Schultz is on his way to be a star at the next level. While being in a state that does not generally attract many outside offers, Schultz has been able to receive some prominent offers from top programs in the nation.