With spring practice in the books and the second transfer portal window closing, it’s the perfect time to evaluate some pre-summer 2023 positional unit rankings.
We kickstarted the series with quarterbacks, examining the Top 10 QB rooms in the country in the fall. We’ve also looked at the 2023 running back unit rankings, as well as the 2023 top receiver depth charts.
Today, we examine the top 10 tight end rooms in college football.
The Bulldogs have the best tight end room in the country once again, headline by John Mackey Award winner Brock Bowers.
While the All-American will be the No. 1 tight end off the board in the 2024 NFL Draft — Bowers led the nation in yards after the catch in 2022 — Georgia also has a pair of former Top 150 recruits who figure to see significant playing time in the Dawgs’ 12-personnel packages in sophomore Oscar Delp and freshman Lawson Luckie, who was one of the stars of UGA’s spring practices.
2. Ole Miss
Trigg underwhelmed in his first season in Oxford, finishing the year with just 17 catches for 156 yards and three scores after missing the final seven games with an injury. Still, he has real NFL talent and is now pushing for playing time with the addition of Prieskorn, who had close to 50 receptions and seven touchdowns for the Tigers last season.
The Longhorns have the No. 2 tight in the country in former 5-star Ja’Tavion Sanders, who had 613 receiving yards last season — second-only to Bowers among all returning Power 5 tight ends in 2023.
Texas doesn’t use too many two-tight end sets, so backup Gunnar Helm would have big shoes to fill if Sanders were to miss any time with an injury.
The Seminoles have a pair of intriguing transfer tight ends to lead their room in 2023.
They swiped South Carolina right end Jaheim Bell, who projects as a Top 5 player at the position in the fall, plus D-II All-American Kyle Morlock, a 6-7, 245-pound rock who had 30 receptions for 446 yards and six touchdowns and was a run-blocking cog for Shorter University.
The Gophers return perhaps the most underrated tight end in the country in Brevyn Spann-Ford, a 6-7, 265-pound sixth-year senior who some scouts consider the best combo blocker-receiver at the position. Spann-Ford had 42 catches for 500 yards and two touchdowns in 2022, and could see an increase in production this fall.
Minnesota also likes what it has behind Spann-Ford in redshirt sophomore Jameson Geeres, who is now in his third year in the program.
With wideouts Josh Downs and Antoine Green off to the NFL, Tar Heels tight end Bryson Nesbit is back as Drake Maye’s top target in 2023. The draft-eligible junior averaged close to 15 yards a catch last season, with over 500 yards and four scores.
7. Ohio State
The Buckeyes are so loaded at receiver that their tight ends oftentimes get overshadowed, but senior Cade Stover is a future NFL Draft pick who actually finished as the fourth-leading receiver for Ohio State in 2022 (36 catches for 405 yards and five touchdowns).
Stover will see the majority of snaps in the fall, but Gee Scott and Joe Royer, who missed most of last season due to an injury and the death of his mother, will battle for the No. 2 role. The Buckeyes also signed Jelani Thurman, a 4-star recruit who flashed a bunch this spring.
The Hawkeyes lost Sam LaPorta, but in steps Luke Lachey, who led the team with four touchdowns in 2022. The junior had close to 400 yards and should see more targets with transfer quarterback Cade McNamara.
Iowa also added fellow Michigan transfer Erick All, who was injured for most of the 2022 season but caught close to 40 balls for 440 yards and a couple touchdowns in 2021.
Mason Taylor returns as one of the better tight ends in the SEC in 2023, as the sophomore made a number of big-time plays for the Tigers last season — namely his 2-point conversion to beat Alabama.
LSU would love to run more two-tight end sets in 2023, and now they might have the personnel to do that with more effectiveness after signing a trio of freshmen at the position — led by 4-stars Ka’Morreun Pimpton and Mac Markway.
10. Arizona State
One of the few positions first-year head coach Kenny Dillingham didn’t have to overhaul was the Sun Devils’ tight end group.
Junior Jalin Conyers returns as perhaps the No. 1 TE in the Pac-12, hauling in 38 balls for over 400 yards and five touchdowns in 2022 and could see an even larger role in Dillingham’s offense. ASU’s backup tight end Messiah Swinson chipped in 15 receptions and two scores.
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