Here is a peek ahead at five of the top tight end recruits in the Class of 2015.
We’ve pinpointed five of the best tight ends in the Class of 2015 and given them a full breakdown, including scouting report, pro/college comparison and recruiting update. To finish it off, we introduce one under-the-radar recruit to watch.
School: Avon Old Farms (Avon, Conn.)
The native of New Jersey attends high school in Connecticut. After going virtually unnoticed on the national scene early in his high school career, Clark burst onto the scene in 2013 to the tune of 39 receptions for 417 yards and six touchdowns. Since the end of his junior season, he has been offered by more than 30 programs with more sure to follow during the spring evaluation period.
Scouting Report: Clark has size, ball skills and good in-line blocking skills. Very talented athlete who can win with speed or physicality and completely dominates his current level of competition. He has big upside when projecting to the college level with a well-rounded skill set to mold. Check out Clark’s video highlights here.
Comparison: Hunter Henry. Clark has similar size to the Arkansas Freshman All-American coming out of high school and comparable physical upside as well as athleticism and range in the passing game.
Recruiting Skinny: The one time North Carolina commit has Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State, Auburn, Virginia and the Tar Heels at the top of his list. The Buckeyes and Wolverines have seemingly leaped to the head of the pack after mid-April unofficial visits.
School: Central (Columbia, Tenn.)
Not only is Harris a big target at 6-foot-6, but he is also a talented blocker as a true in-line tight end who could very well be recruited at defensive end. More than a prospect with gaudy statistics, it’s his versatility and athletic ability at his size that makes him a nationally coveted prospect.
Scouting Report: Harris is already built like a college tight end and has the well-rounded physical tools along with the ideal frame coaches look for in the Y position. For his size, he is athletic and can cover ground. He’s not a big-play threat at this stage as a pass catcher but is still a tight end who can create mismatches. Check out Harris’ video highlights here.
Comparison: Coby Fleener. The size and athleticism combination is what Harris has in common with the Colts’ budding star. They also have a knack for being productive without a lot of flash in their game.
Recruiting Skinny: Harris intends to make a decision this summer and is choosing from a top 10 of Georgia, Ohio State, Penn State, Florida State, Alabama, Purdue, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Clemson and Florida. His brother played at Purdue.
School: Helias (Jefferson City, Mo.)
Hentges has been a Friday night standout since his freshman season. After catching 13 passes for 150 yards in 2011 as a freshman, he became a household name to college coaches as a sophomore following a 43-catch, 500-yard campaign. He took his game and production to another level in 2013 with 61 receptions for 940 yards and 15 TDs, earning All-State honors for a second consecutive season.
Scouting Report: Hentges is a well-rounded tight end who lacks elite speed or elusiveness but has still put up plenty of production. Has few weaknesses to his game at this stage and possesses a tough, competitive mindset. He will enter college with polished catching and blocking skills but still a high ceiling for development. Check out Hentges’ video highlights here.
Comparison: Nick O’Leary. The FSU Mackey Award finalist may have slightly better athleticism and size than Hentges, but these two are very comparable in their blue-collar style and well-rounded skill set.
Recruiting Skinny: Hentges plans to make a decision this summer, and has Florida State, Ohio State, Alabama, Missouri, Michigan, Michigan State and others under consideration, with the Buckeyes, home-state Tigers and Seminoles considered the favorites.
School: Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas)
Jones is one of the top pass-catching tight end threats in the country. After a nine-reception, 224-yard, three-touchdown performance as a sophomore, the latest nationally recruited Bishop Gorman prospect was named first team All-State as a junior after catching 35 passes for 571 yards and 10 TDs.
Scouting Report: Jones is a big-play pass catcher from the tight end position with a lot of physical upside. He wins most one-on-one battles with his size and athleticism and is fast enough as a route runner to stretch the seam vertically. Blocking is one area that will need improvement but this is a very impressive tight end prospect. Check out Jones’ video highlights here.
Comparison: O.J. Howard. Like the Alabama tight end, Jones will enter college as a more proficient pass catcher than blocker but has similar room for growth to develop as an in-line player.
Recruiting Skinny: Jones ended the speculation early in his recruitment, committing to UCLA in November of 2013. While he remains a solid pledge to the Bruins, programs such as Auburn, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and a host of others continue to pursue.
School: Campolindo (Moraga, Calif.)
Petite has been a fast-rising prospect in recent months. After catching fewer than 10 passes as a sophomore, the athletic vertical threat hauled in 25 passes for 495 yards and nine touchdowns as a junior earning All-League and All-State honors.
Scouting Report: Petite has major upside at the tight end position and already possesses college-ready pass receiving skills. Runs well given his large frame and is polished as a route runner, making it very difficult for less mobile linebackers to cover him one-on-one. He’s an aggressive blocker with room to develop this facet of his game and grow into an every-down tight end. Check out Petite’s video highlights here.
Comparison: Arthur Lynch. Like the former Georgia tight end, Petite will enter college with a lot of growth and development ahead of him but should finish as a productive, well-refined player in both the run and pass game.
Recruiting Skinny: Petite has a top two of USC and Stanford after being offered by both in-state programs in the last month. Programs trying to run down the Trojans and Cardinal are Northwestern, Duke, Miami (FL), Wake Forest and Arizona.
School: Fayetteville (Ark.)
O’Grady has quickly risen up the charts of college programs after a junior season of more than 40 receptions and 800 yards. Big and athletic, he is an instinctive route runner who can stretch the seam and make the difficult grab. With the frame to carry more than 250 pounds, he has become a top tight end target of Oklahoma, Texas and Louisville, along with early favorite Arkansas. Check out O’Grady’s video highlights here.