Many teams can look into their history to find a position or two that have been more stacked with talent than most other teams in the country. For Miami, one of those positions is unquestionably Tight End, where Miami has had elite player after elite player after elite player for more than 20 years. Sure, other programs erroneous claim to be “Tight End U”, but everybody knows that honor really and truly belongs to the Miami Hurricanes.
Heading into spring practice, Miami is still loaded at TE, with all 4 players who caught passes at the position returning to the team, along with a former blue-chip recruit who only lost his ranking due to missing the majority of his junior year of HS with a shoulder injury. So, it should be a banner year for Miami Hurricanes Tight Ends yet again. Like clockwork.
- Brevin Jordan, the best Tight End in America, is now a junior. He’s the total package at TE, and one of the best and most talented players on the Canes’ roster. Unfortunately, Jordan will be out for part or all of spring to recover from injury, so we won’t see him on the field right now. But, he’s still an elite player, the #1 TE on the roster, and should be in line for a huge year when the fall comes around.
- Will Mallory is another junior at the TE position. The former HS WR has grown into his body — Mallory was 6’5’ 207lbs coming out of HS and is now a chisled 6’5” 231lbs with room to add more size — and has flashed great potential at times. He was inconsistent with his hands last year, and dropped several catchable passes. Mallory will be TE1 this spring with Jordan out, and look to use this practice session to make another leap forward, one that he and the Canes hope translates from Spring to Fall.
- Michael Irvin II is a redshirt senior this year. The son of the former UM great WR of the same name, Irvin II has great hands and has developed into a good all-around player at TE. He’s not as athletically gifted as Jordan or Mallory, but Irvin II will have a role on the offense this year. If this is your #3 TE, your room is loaded. Which Miami’s TE room is. Because, duh.
- Larry Hodges is a redshirt freshman. He took advantage of the “play 4 and RS” rule last year, and earned valuable game experience along the way. Hodges had 2 TDs vs Bethune Cookman from his traditional TE spot, and also got game action against North Carolina, Central Michigan, and Louisiana Tech at fullback. Hodges is an H-Back type who can move around the formation to utilize his skills. It will be interesting to see how Rhett Lashlee tries to use a player with Hodges’s skillset.
- Dominic Mammarelli from Naples, FL was the Canes’ signee at Tight End this recruiting year. The 6’4” 245lb Mammarelli was listed as a 4-star recruit early in the process, but had his ranking dropped due to missing the majority of his junior year with a torn labrum. Upon his return to the field last fall, however, Mammarelli proved himself to still be an elite blocker from the TE position — Naples runs a run-heavy offense — while adding a good receiving threat up the seam as well. Mammarelli scored a 71 yard TD against eventual State Champion Miami (FL) Central, so there’s performance to support what I’m saying here. Mammarelli will look to learn the offense now, but with such an incredible amount of talent in front of him, he may be on the Hodges “play 4 and redshirt” plan this year.
With Brevin Jordan out for spring, the situation is perfect for the other 4 players at the TE position to develop their skills and increase their abilities. Miami has and will use the TE on offense, because the position is so incredibly talented. This will give all the players a chance to showcase their varied skillsets, and make a case for why they should earn playing time in the fall.
It would be great to see Will Mallory in particular take a big leap forward to be more of a 1A to Jordans TE1 at the position. And, if Michael Irvin II, Larry Hodges, and Dom Mammarelli can become rotation-type players, Miami’s offense will be all the more dynamic this fall.
TE Coach Stephen Field has a great group of players at his disposal this spring. Now let’s see what he’s able to do to make the individuals, and the group, even more dynamic than they already were.