Beau Sandland (Woodland Hills, CA) just committed to Miami as a highly regarded JUCO recruit for the 2013 class. Miami has recruited JUCO tight ends in the past to varying degrees of success ranging from Jeremy Shockey to Kevin Everett to Chase "ragdoll" Ford. This article will provide insight into Sandland's skills, and you the reader can decide where you think he will be ranked among past Cane TEs. Read until the end to see Sandland's player comparison, which I feel very strongly about.
- Big (6'6" 250) target with ideal height
- Releases quickly off the line
- Long strider with the speed to go vertical
- Manipulates speeds to separate versus man coverage
- Good body control in the air
- Extends his hands to catch away from his body
- Strong and physical after the catch
- Has NFL aspirations so he will be highly motivated to make plays
- Lower-body bulk, strength and power
- Could be more aggressive as a blocker
- Not overly sudden making cuts
- Lacks elusiveness in the open field
Sandland is a classic example of a pure receiving tight end. He has the athleticism to separate against man coverage and the skills and intelligence to find seams in zone coverage and catch the ball in traffic. He's a rare big man who can release cleanly out of the slot, making him an excellent candidate to be a flex TE in shotgun spread packages. He's not overly dynamic after the catch but he runs through contact and carries tacklers for extra yards like Rob Gronkowski.
Sandland's blocking ability leaves a lot more to be desired. He has a top-heavy frame and lacks the bulk and power to move down linemen in the run game. His frame doesn't appear to have much room to grow, but Sandland can be an effective blocker if he uses his long arms and upper-body strength to extend and lock up linemen. For that reason I don't think he'll ever be a liability like Chase Ford was as a blocker, but I wouldn't expect him to re-establish the line of scrimmage down the field either.
Sandland profiles to have an immediate impact when he steps on campus. He's faster than Clive Walford, has better hands and is more capable of winning 1-on-1 matchups against man coverage. I expect Clive to be the starting in-line TE with Sandland seeing heavy minutes as a flex TE. His size and skills create major matchup problems which could benefit the team`s taller receivers (Allen Hurns, Rashawn Scott) by drawing taller corners away from them. Sandland is also quicker and stronger after the catch than Walford, so we can expect to see him catching lots of screens and quick passes in the flat to pick up free chunk yards against conservative or over-aggressive defenses.
Sandland is not quite on the same elite level as All-American Tyler Eifert, but I expect him to be one of the best receiving TEs in the nation once he learns the offense. JUCO prospects don`t receive a full grade because of limited eligibility, but Sandland fits somewhere as a high 4* caliber prospect.
Tony Scheffler - Sandland and Scheffler are clones athletically and share similar roles as flex TEs. Scheffler receives lots of targets on 3rd down vs. man coverage and in the red zone, and I expect a similar impact from Sandland. Clive Walford is ironically similar to Scheffler's TE teammate Brandon Pettigrew because of his penchant for big plays and frustrating drops.