Miami is highly anticipating the arrival of two key components of their 2018 offense – tight ends Brevin Jordan and Will Mallory. If you have been watching Miami at all between the time Christopher Herndon IV went down and the spring game, you can see that tight end is a spot that we desperately need help at. And it’s coming.
However, with expectations being that either Jordan or Mallory (or perhaps both) will immediately be THE GUY (or guys) the minute they step on campus, comes massive responsibilities. The Miami Hurricanes have produced tight ends as consistently as any other program in the nation. There is absolutely no arguing that. There is a standard at The U that simply was not being met after Herndon IV suffered an MCL sprain in his knee in that formidable loss to Pitt.
Michael Irvin Jr. simply is not the answer. He has been in Mark Richt’s doghouse a number of times and has never seemed to elevate his game to that next level, which leaves the tight end position vulnerable and open for either one of those freshmen to come in and earn their spot. Tight ends coach, Todd Hartley, has made it known to everybody in that room that both Jordan and Mallory will be given plenty of chances in the summer and fall to win that job.
Brevin Jordan is a 6’3 250 pound pass-catching tight end out of Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas. As a senior for the Gaels, Jordan caught 63 passes for 1111 yards and 13 touchdowns. As a Miami fan, there is so much to be excited about when you think about a guy of his skill set joining the tight end room. From day one, Jordan is the best receiving tight end of the roster, and I don’t think there is any debating that.
Will Mallory is significantly lighter than Jordan, listed at 207 pounds, but that may be his only deficiency. And that will get taken care of quickly in Gus Felder’s system. Mallory is a long 6’5 and, like Jordan, is an excellent pass catcher. Some expect Mallory to redshirt because of his weight, but I see him making an impact on offense in 2018.
Now that all the formalities are out of the way, let’s get down to it. What are some realistic expectations for the two true freshman tight ends this season? The opportunities are going to be there for the taking and I think everyone is pretty much on the same page when I say that Miami needs this duo just as much as they need Miami. However, they are still freshman. Hype doesn’t win jobs, stars don’t matter, and these guys are going to have to come into big-time ACC college football and prove between the lines that they can take Michael Irvin Jr.’s job. Before I get into any predictions about their production I want to show you guys how some of the top tight ends in recent history have fared as true freshman at their respective universities:
Stanford: Colby Parkinson 2017 #1 TE (247) – 10 rec 97 yards 4 TD’s
Southern Cal: Josh Falo 2017 #2 TE (247) – 4 rec 65 yards 2 TD’s
Washington: Hunter Bryant 2017 #8 TE (247) – 22 rec 331 yards 1 TD in 8 games
FSU: Tre McKitty 2017 #9 TE (247) -- 1 rec 23 yards (sorry I had to)
Georgia: Isaac Nauta 2016 #1 TE (247) – 29 rec 361 yards 3 TDs
Penn State: Mike Gesicki 2014 #1 TE (247) – 11 rec 114 yards
I’m telling you right now, so many highly touted tight ends have been absolute busts. I struggled to find “top-tier” tight ends that even played as true freshman. We have seen elite guys like Isaac Nauta, who may be the top tight end in the 2019 draft, and current Miami Dolphin, Mike Gesicki, be successful early, but it is not common by any stretch of the imagination. Yes, Jordan and Mallory are walking into very different situations than a majority of those I listed, and even those I didn’t. I understand that every person is different and it isn’t fair to project based off of other people’s success, or lack thereof. However, it is difficult for me to project that either of these guys are going to have a crazy true freshman season.
BUT I AM ANYWAYS!
After watching Hunter Bryant out of Washington, a 6’2 239 pound tight end, I am convinced that Brevin Jordan can have a similar impact on this team. Bryant had a whole lot of success in short yardage plays that he took for extra yardage by winning his matchup after the catch and refusing to go down easily. Bryant had deep catches off of play-action where he was able to sneak passed the secondary with deceiving speed. When his quarterback was flushed out of the pocket, which WILL happen to whoever is taking snaps for Miami, Bryant consistently found an open spot on the field to get open. I saw so much of Brevin Jordan in Hunter Bryant and I think all Canes fans should go watch his tape and compare. I’m no expert and I could be completely wrong about this, but I would not be the least bit surprised to see Jordan amass 20 catches for over 300 yards and a decent amount of touchdowns. It probably isn’t fair to EXPECT that, but, again, I would not be surprised.
Will Mallory’s weight worries me slightly. As previously mentioned, the weight will come. The biggest thing Mallory has going for him is that we are paper thin at tight end. That alone will keep him in the rotation at the very least. I salivate at the thought of Mallory redshirting for a year and getting bigger, stronger and strictly focusing on his body structure before putting those tailor made hands created for snagging footballs on display on Saturday’s.
Oh, and in case you didn't know — Mallory can FLY. He won the 1A Region 1 titles in both the 110-meter hurdles and 100-meter dash.
Again, I expect him to contribute. How much? That is to be seen. Watching both of these guys develop for the next couple of years is going to be glorious. There is no doubt in my mind that we have the next two great Miami tight ends joining the team this summer.
Who Is Going To Lead the Tight Ends In Receptions?
This poll is closed
Michael Irvin Jr.