With the way we've seen college offenses transition towards running some variation of a spread offense, and with coaches trying to get more speed on the field, the Tight End position has evolved into an important part of many teams game plans in today's game. Here, we take a look at five guys from the ACC to keep an eye on at the position this season.
5. Brandon Fitts, UNC
In 11 games (8 starts) the 6’ 4 senior hauled in 25 catches for 177, with 4 TDs for the Heels offense in 2017. He was being counted on to lead a fairly deep group of TEs for UNC in 2018, but an ACL injury in the final week of spring practice has his overall status for the upcoming season up in the air. When, and if he can get back remains to be seen.
4. Evan Butts, UVA
One of the Cavs most reliable receivers, the 6’ 4 senior is poised for a major role in 2018 after finishing up 2017 with 32 catches for 266 yards and 2 TDs. He looks to have a big season in Bronco Mendenhall’s offense.
3. Daniel Helm, Duke
The 6’ 4 senior was named preseason 2018 Third Team All-ACC by Athlon after a solid 2017 season for David Cutcliffe’s Blue Devils. He reeled in 22 catches for 261 yards and 2 TDs. Phil Steele lists him as a second team preseason All-ACC selection in his 2018 College Football Preview.
2. Ravien Pierce, Syracuse
Some experts think Pierce could end up being one of the top tight end prospects nationally. In 7 starts last season, the 6’ 3 junior had 29 catches for 263 yards, with 4 TDs. Pierce is a preseason 2nd team All-ACC selection by Athlon.
1. Tommy Sweeney, BC
The 6’ 5 senior led BC in receptions last year, totaling 36 for 512 yards, and 4 TDs, earning himself 3rd team All-ACC honors in 2017. Some experts have him pegged as a potential 2nd round draft pick in 2019, and Athlon has him as a preseason 1st team All ACC selection for the upcoming season.
These days, it has become a rare occurrence to see a list of “Top 5 ACC players” from any position and not see a Clemson Tiger on the list, but this is one of those cases. Maybe a healthy Garrett Williams and a more productive passing game from the Tigers in 2018 can change that.
Keep checking back with STS for more 2018 season previews.