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2019 Fall Camp Preview: TE

2019 Fall Camp Preview: TE

Stefan Adams
Summer Additions: Larry Hodges (2019 signee)

Summer Departures: None

The University of Miami’s success with tight ends in the past is no secret even to the average football fan, as they currently have six tight ends in the NFL under contract. In 2019, Miami essentially returns the same unit, with a couple of guys returning from season-ending injuries and one newcomer that arrived this summer. Throw in a new coach in Stephen Field, who is no stranger to the Miami culture after serving as a defensive coach from 2007-08, and there might be something brewing for this unit in 2019.

2018 saw the rise of highly-recruited freshman sensation Brevin Jordan. Jordan saw action in 12 of 13 games and finished 2nd on the team in three statistical categories: receptions (32), receiving yards (287) and touchdowns (4). Jordan already cemented his place in Miami history with his go-ahead touchdown in the win over FSU and earned 2nd-team All-ACC Honors.

On the field, Jordan rarely drops a pass and possesses impressive body control to make adjustments when the ball is in the air. He already has a very developed game as equal parts receiver and blocker, and Jordan also has some wiggle in the open field as well. The Vegas product missed the majority of spring with a knee sprain, but the prevailing thought is that he will pick up right where he left off this fall and continue to be the Canes #1 guy as a sophomore.

The real conversation is going on behind Jordan, as new OC Dan Enos proved that he wants to feature two TE sets in what he showed from his offense this spring. You don’t see many 6'5" football players move as fluid as sophomore Will Mallory does. Mallory can make a linebacker look silly just as easily as he can blow by a defensive back. Mallory’s 2018 stats aren’t as impressive as Jordan’s (5 receptions, 37 yards, 1 TD), but he showed an improved build this spring and you can tell he’s becoming more comfortable being a complete TE after taking a year to get used to the college game. With his giant frame and athleticism, he could easily become a true red zone threat this season.

Redshirt junior Michael Irvin II returned this spring from knee surgery in August and was a pleasant surprise at the position, making more than a few notable catches and showing he could contribute if called upon. Redshirt sophomore Brian Polendey will also be back this fall off a knee injury suffered in September, but he has had very limited playing time in his career up to this point and hasn’t proved he can be relied upon in practice either. Even with the return of Irvin and Polendey, though, the spotlight still favors the athletically superior Jordan and Mallory.

The newest member to Tight End U is Larry Hodges, who hails out of Tampa Jesuit High and is a signee from the 2019 class. Hodges is slightly undersized at 6’2”, 235 lbs., but his strength is his versatility as he basically did a little bit of everything as a senior at Jesuit in 2018, even getting a few carries and returning a kickoff for a touchdown. Enos plans to use him in an H-Back role versus a more traditional tight end. Because of the current depth at the position, it shouldn’t be a surprise if Hodges gets the redshirt this season to reshape his body a bit, but he could become useful later in the season if injury strikes.


Bottom Line

Miami is certainly in a better position here than they were a year ago, when they basically played the whole year with only two healthy TE’s, both of which were true freshmen. The freshmen are now a year older and bring back experience, Irvin has shown he can contribute off injury, and Miami has a talented newcomer in Larry Hodges.

Even with Jordan’s phenomenal rookie season, it’s hard to argue against the fact that the tight ends were not utilized to the fullest extent in 2018, much like most of the playmakers on offense. Miami’s tight ends combined for only 37 catches for 324 receiving yards and it’s not like Miami doesn’t have talent at the position. Enos' tight ends averaged nearly 60 receptions per season when he was the offensive coordinator at Arkansas from 2015-17, so he is a guy that’s proven in the past he will feature the tight end.

Once the Canes find out who’s starting under center in 2019, I’m feeling confident about seeing Jordan’s yards total double and Mallory having a mini-breakout, with Irvin in a complimentary role.
 

Comments (13)

Additions: Larry Hodges (2019 signee)

Departures: None

The University of Miami’s success with tight ends in the past is no secret even to the average football fan, as they currently have six tight ends in the NFL under contract. In 2019, Miami essentially returns the same unit, with a couple of guys returning from season-ending injuries and one newcomer that arrived this summer. Throw in a new coach in Stephen Field, who is no stranger to the Miami culture after serving as a defensive coach from 2007-08, and there might be something brewing for this unit in 2019.

2018 saw the rise of highly-recruited freshman sensation Brevin Jordan. Jordan saw action in 12 of 13 games and finished 2nd on the team in three statistical categories: receptions (32), receiving yards (287) and touchdowns (4). Jordan already cemented his place in Miami history with his go-ahead touchdown in the win over FSU and earned 2nd-team All-ACC Honors.

On the field, Jordan rarely drops a pass and possesses impressive body control to make adjustments when the ball is in the air. He already has a very developed game as equal parts receiver and blocker, and Jordan also has some wiggle in the open field as well. The Vegas product missed the majority of spring with a knee sprain, but the prevailing thought is that he will pick up right where he left off this fall and continue to be the Canes #1 guy as a sophomore.

The real conversation is going on behind Jordan, as new OC Dan Enos proved that he wants to feature two TE sets in what he showed from his offense this spring. You don’t see many 6'5" football players move as fluid as sophomore Will Mallory does. Mallory can make a linebacker look silly just as easily as he can blow by a defensive back. Mallory’s 2018 stats aren’t as impressive as Jordan’s (5 receptions, 37 yards, 1 TD), but he showed an improved build this spring and you can tell he’s becoming more comfortable being a complete TE after taking a year to get used to the college game. With his giant frame and athleticism, he could easily become a true red zone threat this season.

Redshirt junior Michael Irvin II returned this spring from knee surgery in August and was a pleasant surprise at the position, making more than a few notable catches and showing he could contribute if called upon. Redshirt sophomore Brian Polendey will also be back this fall off a knee injury suffered in September, but he has had very limited playing time in his career up to this point and hasn’t proved he can be relied upon in practice either. Even with the return of Irvin and Polendey, though, the spotlight still favors the athletically superior Jordan and Mallory.

The newest member to Tight End U is Larry Hodges, who hails out of Tampa Jesuit High and is a signee from the 2019 class. Hodges is slightly undersized at 6’2”, 235 lbs., but his strength is his versatility as he basically did a little bit of everything as a senior at Jesuit in 2018, even getting a few carries and returning a kickoff for a touchdown. Enos plans to use him in an H-Back role versus a more traditional tight end. Because of the current depth at the position, it shouldn’t be a surprise if Hodges gets the redshirt this season to reshape his body a bit, but he could become useful later in the season if injury strikes.


Bottom Line

Miami is certainly in a better position here than they were a year ago, when they basically played the whole year with only two healthy TE’s, both of which were true freshmen. The freshmen are now a year older and bring back experience, Irvin has shown he can contribute off injury, and Miami has a talented newcomer in Larry Hodges.

Even with Jordan’s phenomenal rookie season, it’s hard to argue against the fact that the tight ends were not utilized to the fullest extent in 2018, much like most of the playmakers on offense. Miami’s tight ends combined for only 37 catches for 324 receiving yards and it’s not like Miami doesn’t have talent at the position. Enos' tight ends averaged nearly 60 receptions per season when he was the offensive coordinator at Arkansas from 2015-17, so he is a guy that’s proven in the past he will feature the tight end.

Once the Canes find out who’s starting under center in 2019, I’m feeling confident about seeing Jordan’s yards total double and Mallory having a mini-breakout, with Irvin in a complimentary role.
Good write up Stefan! I always appreciate and read all your articles. Keep up the excellent work!
 
QB just needs to get the ball in the hands of the playmakers. So much talent on this team.
 
Polendey won’t be around next year especially if they grab 2 tight ends. Irvin, Mallory, and Jordan could be scary.

Would be interested to know if Polendy has the frame to grow into a Tackle spot. UM has had success in the past moving TE's to LT.
 
Would be interested to know if Polendy has the frame to grow into a Tackle spot. UM has had success in the past moving TE's to LT.
He's got the height. If he added roughly 50 lbs, he could be a LT but adding that much weight would take a year for it to be decent weight and not just fat. Would be cool to see though
 
I think Irvin has many of the same skill sets as Jordan Reed. If utilized right he could have a breakout season.
 
He does a little bit of everything but would have to make a tremendous improvement athletically to be considered as a next level candidate

This is true.... I was just watching our freshman class highlights the other day.

His athleticism might not be all the way there but he seems like one of those guys that just produces. I’m Thinking of more Clive Walford type production with Hodges.
 
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