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Miami Hurricanes Football: 2018 Tight End Spring Preview

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Miami has to rebuild a once proud position

NCAA Football: Florida A&M at Miami Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Tight End position at the University of Miami has a long-standing tradition of excellence dating back to Glenn Dennison and carrying itself through Rob Chudzinski and into the modern era with NFL names like Jeremy Shockey and Kellen Winslow II. For the better part of a decade, Miami put their tight ends into the NFL and many had Pro Bowl caliber success. With the graduation of Christopher Herndon IV, Miami’s tight end position is in a rebuilding phase but a familiar name and some new freshmen could keep the position rolling into 2018.


The Returners

Michael Irvin Jr and Brian Polendey are the only returning scholarship tight ends for 2018. Irvin Jr started three games, only weeks after being suspended, and played in twelve of thirteen games. Irvin Jr is a former three-star tight end from St. Thomas Aquinas in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Irvin Jr is a 6’3 220 pound ‘Canes legacy that will be expected to set the tone this spring in the position group heading into his junior season.

Polendey is a 6’6 230 pounder from Denton, Texas. The former three-star tight end played in six games in 2017, mostly on special teams. Polendey is a big body that should be able to help out in the blocking game as an inline tight end.

Compared to Herndon IV, or the past history of ‘Canes tight ends, this isn’t a talented group compared to past Miami teams that had two or three future NFL tight ends on the roster.


The Freshmen

Thankfully, Miami has a highly touted four-star tight end coming this summer in Brevin Jordan. Jordan is from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Nevada and will make an immediate impact once on campus. Jordan is 6’3 and 250 pounds. Jordan ranked as the 33rd overall player in the country and top rated tight end per 247 Sports. Jordan scored 13 touchdowns on 63 receptions for 1,111 yards in 2017.

Joining Jordan is three-star freshman tight end Will Mallory. Mallory is a Jacksonville native out of Providence High School. Mallory is 6’5 and 207 pounds and will probably redshirt in 2018 to gain much needed weight on his lanky frame. Mallory also arrives this summer.


Summary

Miami is going to need to benefit from talent development if they plan to incorporate the tight end as more than an extra blocker in 2018. Don’t expect the H-Back level of role that Herndon IV was able to play in Coral Gables the past three seasons. The tight end position might have to require pulling guys on and off the field in different packages rather than leaving one player in all groups and formations. That player should be Michael Irvin Jr, if he can live up to his potential. It could be Brevin Jordan if he can get college-ready in only a summer, an early enrollment would’ve been helpful for Jordan.