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Miami Hurricanes Preseason Position Previews: Tight Ends

As the 2013 season draws near, SOTU breaks down each position on the field for you player by player, so you can go into game one knowing the team as best you can.

Look at him. Seriously, look at him. He's dreamy, right?
Look at him. Seriously, look at him. He's dreamy, right?

Miami will open the season in the not so distant future, and to help you prepare for what is sure to be a great year, we are back to preview each position on the team. We will let you know who is back, who is new, and how each player projects for the 2013 season.

The tight end spot was admittedly sort of a disappointment in 2012. Sure, the recruiting class was completely void of any players at that position, but the team did have guys that had been there before. The lone bright spot was Clive Walford, and he didn't really pick things up until later in the year.

This year, however, features a new offensive coordinator in James Coley, and with him comes a new spread based offense. His is an offense that utilizes a tight end a bit more, and Golden was sure to provide him with the very best talent at the position he could find. Let's take a look at how the position is shaping up in 2013.

ASANTE CLEVELAND/ Senior / 6' 5", 260 / Sacramento, CA

2012 stats: 2 rec, 12 yds

Cleveland literally doubled his 2011 production of 1 catch for 6 yards. These two years combined have equated to a very disappoint career so far. Cleveland was never going to be incredible, but he showed flashes of brilliance that made you want to think that he had what it took to start. For whatever reason, though, it has not materialized. Things don't get any better in 2013, with Walford looking improved and two new stars in Sandland and Dobard coming in. If he expects to play, he had better dig VERY deep and figure out what is holding him back.

STANDISH DOBARD/ Freshman / 6' 5", 235 / New Orleans, LA

2012 stats: n/a

Standish was a three (or 4, depending on where you looked) star tight end coming out of high school. The biggest knock on him was that, while he had the necessary skills, he had too much extra weight. Well, he must have read those scouting reports, because he has slimmed down considerably, and is shining during the off season programs. He has good size and runs around a 4.5, which is great for a tight end. The camps seem split down the middle as to who will be the better player early between Dobard and Sandland. My thoughts definitely lie on one side of that debate, but it certainly is never a bad thing when that type of argument has validity.

JAKE O'DONNELL/ RS Freshman / 6' 6", 250 / Doylestown, PA

2012 stats: n/a

O'Donnell doesn't have any 2012 stats here, because O'Donnell was a defensive end in 2012. He swapped spots with former DE turned TE now turned back to DE Dyron Dye. While the move makes a bit of sense, don't expect Jake to light up the offensive stat boards. He was moved here mainly to be a blocking tight end for running sets, goal line situations, etc. He should be a valuable asset for the Canes in that way, as it will keep the offensive weapons at the position doing what they do best.

CLIVE WALFORD/ Junior / 6' 4", 259 / Belle Glade, FL

2012 stats: 25 rec., 451 yds, 4 TD

Walford well exceeded his 2011 production last year, coming on in the second half of the season to be one of Morris' favorite targets. That late season production has many thinking that his 2013 campaign will be yet another improvement. He has added weight, and spring ball has shown that he still has the ability to be a down field threat. Walford is the one guy at this position that you can go ahead and pencil in as a starter, unless something crazy happens or he gets hurt.

SEAN HARVEY/ Junior / 6' 4", 265 / Largo, FL

2012 stats: n/a

Harvey is a guy that has spent the majority of his career behind the scenes and with the practice squad. He is in the same vein as O'Donnell in that he won't be leading the team in catches, but will make his marks blocking as an extra lineman. With O'Donnell moving to the TE spot to do just that, and Walford and Sandland having the size to block on their own, Harvey is likely looking at another year of working for the team.

BEAU SANDLAND/ Junior / 6' 6", 255 / Woodland Hills, CA

2012 stats: n/a

The crown jewel, the Prince Ali Fabulous He, the legend, the one and only, the monster of the TE recruiting class, Sandland is about as close to an all-around tight end as you will get. He has the height, size, speed, and build to succeed at the position. Coming out of the JUCO ranks, he is basically game ready and will contribute from day one. He was compared by a lot of folks to former Cane legend Jeremy Shockey, which are huge shoes to fill. Look for Sandland to have a great year, and likely start across from Walford.