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Position analysis: Tight ends

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First off, with this being the final edition of position analysis, here are links to all eight position group breakdowns:

 

Quarterbacks with Mike Bajakian

 

Running backs with Jahmile Addae

 

Wide Receivers with T.J. Weist

 

Tight Ends with Mark Elder

 

Offensive line with Don Mahoney

 

Defensive line with Ronald Stripling, Part I

 

Defensive line with Ronald Stripling, Part II

 

Linebackers with John Jancek

 

Defensive backs with Kerry Coombs

 

TIGHT ENDS

 

This is the eighth and final part in a series of looks at the 2010 UC football roster through the eyes of its position coaches. It concludes with a glimpse at the tight ends with tight end coach Mark Elder. 

 

Elder is in his first year at UC but spent the last three seasons with Butch Jones coaching linebackers at Central Michigan.

 

Starter: Ben Guidugli, RS Sr.

 

Backup: Adrien Robinson, RS Jr.

 

Reserves: Blake Annen, RS Fresh., Demetrius Richardson, Soph.

 

Overview: Ben Guidugli established himself as one of the premier tight ends in the Big East last year and landed as second team preseason All-American by The Sporting News this season. It would appear his value would only increase under Butch Jones, who has a history of running the ball more out of the spread than Brian Kelly.

 

Biggest Question: How will the versatility of Guidugli be utilized in Butch Jones' offense?

 

Elder: "He's so versatile it is an unbelievable asset to what we want to do with him. He is not just a tight end, he is a wide receiver, he is a tight end, he is an H-back for us. He can do all those things.

 

"We can stay in 11 personnel and we can be anywhere from him being stretched out as a receiver to him being a threat, not just a big body out there that you're running off with, but he is out there and is a receiving threat.

 

"Or he can be in an off-the-ball position, motioning around, pulling around, leading up on blocks, going out on routes from there.

 

"Or he can be a traditional tight end in the three-point stance, attached to that tackle and what's great is his versatility is a nightmare for a defense not knowing with him in the ballgame what they need to defend. They need to defend such a wide variety of things."

 

BEN GUIDUGLI

 

Tangibles: 6-1, 230 pounds, RS Sr.

 

Last year: 13 games, 12 starts, 27 receptions, 364 yards, 3 TDs

 

Elder on new ways to use Guidugli: "Some of the H-back stuff, we can use him even more. He was used quite a bit as a WR, we will still use him quite a bit as a WR, but more as an H-back than he probably has in the past. And a little bit more as true tight end more than he was in the past."

 

Elder on how Guidugli being used as an H-back could help the offense: "In H-back, there are (blocking schemes) not available if he's in a traditional tight end position. Him pulling around and leading up in on the inside linebacker, those things you can't do with him in a traditional tight end position. Not to mention bootlegs off things to get him the ball."

 

PDJ Projection: Tight ends in spread offenses are difficult to gauge as far as production goes. However, considering Guidugli's numerous skills, it seems a no-brainer Jones and offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian will find creative ways to get him the ball. Not to mention, his ability as a blocker on running plays and bubble screens will be a much larger asset this season. I expect his numbers to surpass those of 2009.

 

ADRIEN ROBINSON

 

Tangibles: 6-5, 270 pounds, RS Jr.

 

Last year: 10 games, no starts, 10 receptions, 174 yards, 1 TD

 

Elder on how Robinson is different from Guidugli: "Adrien is a bigger body. We are doing a lot of the same things with him. He would traditionally be a true wide tight end and less as an H-back. We don't change the offense because he is in the game.

 

PDJ Projection: Robinson adds a bigger body on the line. While most of the snaps will go to Guidugli, Robinson would be a more than serviceable backup, particularly on running plays.

 

BLAKE ANNEN

 

Tangibles: 6-5, 233 pounds, RS Fresh.

 

Last year: Redshirted

 

Elder's take: "He's been doing a nice job. He's still developing, but he is eager to learn. It's important to him."

 

PDJ Projection: Annen was the top tight end in the state his senior year, according to Ohiovarsity.com. His ability is there, but if he continues to progress he could see some action by the end of the season.

 

DEMETRIUS RICHARDSON

 

Tangibles: 6-2, 237 pounds, Soph.

 

Last year: Did not play

 

Elder's take: "He's playing more and more physical every day."

 

PDJ Projection: Richardson needs to continue to improve before makes a serious contribution this season.

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