HERE WE GO AGAIN. It’s beginning already. The “tight ends are poised to make a comeback at A&M” narrative is kicking off. We hear this almost every August, and it has yet to happen. Last year the big story was Virginia Tech transfer Kalvin Cline. A few years ago it was the arrival of Cam Clear via JuCo and Tennessee. Before that it sort of melts into a murky stretch of vague recollection. Go back far enough, and you’ll eventually get to 2007. The last time we had a productive tight end was under Franchione ten years ago, when Martellus Bennett set the school record for receptions by a tight end in three seasons.
For a while, A&M had great tight ends. Rod Bernstine in the ‘80s. The tandem of Derek Spiller and Dan Campbell in the ‘90s. Greg Porter playing the hybrid position in the early 2000s, and then Martellus. Tight end has never been a flashy position, and offenses have evolved significantly, but it’s still a much more prominent role in modern football than say, the fullback position. Productive tight ends and wide open offenses are not mutually exclusive. Except at Texas A&M. After all the hype at the beginning of last season, Cline had one reception in 2016. At least it went for a touchdown. In 2015, starting tight end Jordan Davis finished the year with 2 catches for 7 yards and a TD. In 2014, Cam Clear had 5 catches for 34 yards on the year. And so forth.
There’s no curse; no deep and ominous reason that tight ends do not produce at A&M any more. It’s a combination of a number of factors: offensive strategy, a wealth of wide receiver talent, whatever. But forgive us if we’re a bit hesitant to jump on the Resurgent Tight End Hype Train again. As far as we can tell, it’s still sitting in the station, building up steam and trying to navigate a course out of a standstill. Go ahead and prove us wrong, please.
Is *this* actually the year we finally see dynamic tight end play?
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