The tight end position group is sometimes forgotten about in modern football, but Texas A&M possesses some of the top talent in the country at tight end. We continue our position preview series by looking at the big targets near the line for Conner Weigman.
Who did we lose?
Tight end represents another position where the Aggies have a wealth of talent returning while not losing a ton of production at the position. Texas A&M does lose Blake Smith, as the Southlake Carroll product transferred to Oklahoma during the offseason. Smith had two catches for one yard against Auburn in 2022.
Who do we bring back?
Donovan Green: Green made an immediate impact as a true freshman in 2022. The talented tight end made an immediate impact and had 22 receptions for 233 yards and two touchdowns. Expect him to be one of Conner Weigman’s favorite targets in 2023.
Jake Johnson: Johnson only had one catch for two yards in 2022 but did see some injury struggles limit his participation. With a clean bill of health in 2023, Johnson looks to present a real one-two punch at the tight end position with Donovan Green.
Max Wright: The value of Wright’s experience and leadership in the tight end room can’t be overstated. Wright will be moved around a bit, sometimes used as more of an h-back, sometimes as an inline blocker. He had nine catches for 129 yards in his eight games in 2022, including a touchdown against South Carolina. However, as mentioned previously, it’s his value as a locker room leader that this Aggie offense needs which makes him such a key player on this offense.
What other names should we know?
I expect the big three of Green, Johnson, and Wright to get most of the playing time at tight end but talent at the position also waits in the wings. Theo Melin Öhrström saw some action late in the season against UMass and LSU and the redshirt freshman out of Sweden will look to continue to grow and adapt to the game stateside. Fernando Garza secured a touchdown in the spring game and will look to play a greater role in the offense in 2023. Finally, highly rated prospect Jaden Platt was an early enrollee at A&M giving him a chance to see early playing time as a true freshman as well.
Overall Grade: A-
How will the tight end usage change in 2023 with Bobby Petrino helming the offense? We’ll see, but there is no doubt Conner Weigman has plenty of weapons to choose from. The talent in the tight end room is incredibly impressive and should create mismatches against SEC defenses. Next to the defensive line, this is the position group I am most excited about in 2023. The sky is the limit.