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Offseason Cheatsheet: Tight Ends

Aug 22, 2010, 8:30 PM EST

The series continues with your Du Lac approved crib-sheet for the upcoming season. For previous entries, check out quarterbacks and running backs here.

POSITION OVERVIEW:

Many worried what the role of the tight end would be in a Brian Kelly offense. But if the Blue-Gold Game and the beginning of fall camp are any indication, the tight end will likely thrive in the new Irish offense, especially with the personnel the Irish have at the position. Kyle Rudolph is arguably the best tight end in the country, and while the junior battles a balky hamstring, he’s also giving back-ups Tyler Eifert and Alex Welch a chance to get noticed. Mike Ragone, who seemingly received a death row pardon from Res Life after his arrest on the Indiana Toll Road for marijuana possession, suffered from heat illness during the steamy fall camp, and has been slow to get back on the field after being hospitalized. Bobby Burger will spend some time as a tight end and H-back and sophomore Jake Golic is battling for playing time as well. None of the injuries will be enough to keep anyone off the field against Purdue, and the stable of talent at tight end makes it one of the deepest positions on the roster.

ROSTER READING:

Short a program? Here’s every tight end listed on the roster:

     No.    Name                   Yr.     Ht./Wt.     Hometown/High School
     41      Bobby Burger      Sr.     6-2/248    Cincinnati, OH (LaSalle)
     80      Tyler Eifert           So.    6-6/242    Fort Wayne, IN (Bishop Dwenger)
     88     Jake Golic            So.    6-4/235    West Hartford, CT (Northwest Catholic)
     83     Mike Ragone        Sr.     6-4/245    Cherry Hill, NJ (Camden Catholic)
      9      Kyle Rudolph        Jr.     6-6/265    Cincinnati, OH (Elder)
     82     Alex Welch           Fr.     6-4/240    Cincinnati, OH (Elder)

KELLY ON TIGHT ENDS:

Kelly on Ragone: “He’s going to move the chains for us and do some things that allow us to get in two tight ends as well. He’s very important in terms of what we’re going to be doing in the fall.”

Kelly on Eifert: “I had some good players at the other schools at that position, but he’s as good as I’ve coached. Now I’ve only coached Eifert. I really haven’t coached Rudolph yet and I hear he’s pretty good, too. But Eifert’s really a good player.”

Charley Molnar on Rudolph: “I think we have the best tight end in the country and in Michael Floyd we probably have one of the best wide receivers in the country. Those are great tools to have.”

CRYSTAL BALL:

For the Irish offense to be high octane, they’ll need a healthy Kyle Rudolph, something the Irish didn’t have as they collapsed down the stretch last season. Right now, Rudolph is a preseason All-American for the potential and ability he has, not necessarily for the numbers he’s put up in his two seasons. If there’s a player that’s forced himself into the limelight, it may be Tyler Eifert, someone many worried might not recover from a serious back injury. He’s pushed tight end Mike Ragone back to number three, where he’s battling true freshman Alex Welch, who was singled out for his great fall camp. That much depth is a nice problem to have if you’re offensive coordinator Charley Molnar. Also I expect multi-purpose weapon Bobby Burger to be utilized in some formations, either out of the backfield or attached to the line of scrimmage.

POSITION STRENGTH:

B+ The only proven commodity at the position is Rudolph, but if we’re to believe anything we’ve heard from the coaching staff, the depth — however untested it may be — could be the strength of the position.

  1. Michael Maisonneuve - Aug 23, 2010 at 2:48 PM

    Not related to the tight ends.
    My question: Will the football uniforms change this year.
    Michael

  2. #1irishfan - Aug 23, 2010 at 5:20 PM

    Yes they have! UND.COM has a preview (MR Michael Floyd video)

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