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Miami’s Tight Ends Shining Bright In 2019 So Far

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Miami’s current tight ends are carrying on the programs rich legacy at the position

Central Michigan at Miami Al Diaz/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

When Dan Enos was hired as offensive coordinator back in January, there were many reasons to be excited about him coming to Miami. For one, he had a great track record developing quarterbacks, such as Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts last year at Alabama. His offense also had been known to put up points at ease.

Though the reason why I was so ecstatic about Enos and his offense, was that he loved to use tight ends. If you go back and look at some of the teams Enos had coached, the tight ends had been a critical part of the success of the offense.

Miami has been known as Tight End U (#TEU) for many years now, with their ability to develop successful TE’s in college and then in the NFL. Jeremy Shockey, David Njoku, Jimmy Graham, Bubba Franks, just to name a few. All of them had success playing in Coral Gables, and then took that to the pros.

Going into 2019 however, while Miami had talent at the tight end position, there was doubt after beloved TE coach Todd Hartley was let go at the end of the 2018 season.

His replacement would be Stephen Field, who had spent the previous two seasons as recruiting director for the Oregon Ducks.

A native of South Florida, Field picked up right where Hartley left off, and has a great knowledge and respect for the legacy that tight ends have at Miami.

Today, the Hurricanes are blessed with an extremely talented tight end room, one of the best possibly in school history, in my opinion.

Starting you have sophomore Brevin Jordan. The Bishop Gorman product out of Las Vegas has been a fan favorite since he was being recruited. Fellow sophomore Will Mallory is right there with Jordan in terms of talent and potential. Then you have redshirt junior Michael Irvin II who has great size. Throw in true freshman Larry Hodges and you have a plethora of weapons for Miami at tight end.

If you follow me on Twitter or have read my articles for awhile, you know that I'm a huge fan of Brevin Jordan. In my opinion, he’s the best tight end in the country already as a sophomore, and I truly think he can be the best to ever play the position at Miami. And the best part is, Enos realizes that.

Through the first four games, Jordan is tied for first in receptions (16) and leads Miami with 233 receiving yards, and he’s averaging an impressive 14.6 yards a catch. He’s also scored a touchdown.

Enos knows that Jordan is perhaps Miami’s most talented player on offense, and looks to target him often. One of the most effective ways that Brevin is used is with the tight end screen. Here against the Gators and Central Michigan, you see that the screen is used when Jordan is lined up on the line with the quarterback under center.

But it can also be used with Brevin spread out wide as a receiver and Jarren Williams in the shotgun. The wonderful thing about Jordan’s game is that he’s so versatile, and can be too fast to be covered by a linebacker, but too big for any defensive back.

In their most recent game against Central Michigan, Jordan led the team with three receptions for 70 yards.

Moving on to Mallory, #85 is someone who was a Greentree all-star in the offseason, flashing his obvious skills and showing why he was a top-10 tight end in his recruiting class. There was even talk that he should be starting over Jordan.

While his offseason was great, Mallory struggled against the Gators, dropping several passes, and showing his inexperience and just lack of reps in big game. Against the Tar Heels in week two, William caught a late touchdown but then dropped a crucial two-point conversion.

This past week against Central Michigan, Mallory jumped out on the first drive with two receptions for 59 yards. Instantly you thought that Will was going to finally have his breakout game, but he didn’t record any catches the rest of the day.

While the two-headed monster of Jordan and Mallory have shown flashes of what they can do when they’re both utilized, we’re still waiting for them to hit that next level and both turn into main components of the offense.

Irvin II, son of UM and NFL Hall of Famer Michael Irvin, has been slower to jump out to Jordan and Mallory levels, but the talent is undeniable. Standing at 6-3 and weighing 240 pounds, Irvin presents himself as a dangerous weapon, especially in the redzone. Injured for all but one game in 2018, Irvin has worked his way back to being healthy and is a valuable option for Enos’ offense.

Just like Mallory, Irvin had himself a successful offseason, dropping down from 16 percent body fat to 12. He’s recorded just one catch this season so far, but there’s reason to believe that more is coming.

Finally we have the youngster, true freshman Larry Hodges. To be completely honest, I didn’t expect to see much of the Tampa native this season. Seeing him in fall camp, he definitely looked a little slimmer, and I questioned whether he could make an impact right out of the gate.

Hodges has recorded two catches, and both went for touchdowns in Miami’s game against Bethune Cookman. Yes, I know that Bethune Cookman isn’t Alabama or Ohio State, but to see the kid making plays and raising his confidence goes a long way.

Another thing about this tight end group is that it’s not just the receiving aspect, but they’ve also established themselves as key blockers. And with the struggles of Miami’s offensive line, blockers are needed.

On this screen pass to Jeff Thomas on Saturday, look at Jordan holding his block and allowing JT4 to pick up a nice gain.

This was back in August, but watch how well Mallory does when up against Romeo Finley.

Even the boy wonder Hodges led the way blocking for a DeeJay Dallas touchdown against Bethune.

While there is still much work to be done, here are the combined stats from Miami’s tight ends so far: 22 receptions, 314 yards and four touchdowns. And trust me, it’s only going to get better.