2013 Football Preview: Tight Ends

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Throwing the football to the tight end … a topic of conversation that is brought up many times a year by Tech fans on the message boards.  There has never been any consistency in Virginia Tech’s efforts to throw the ball to the tight end.  Much of that is because there has never been any consistency in the talent level at the position.

Here’s how the tight ends have fared in the passing game since the start of the ACC Era.

2012: 32 catches, 318 yards, 4 TDs
2011: 21 catches, 270 yards, 4 TDs
2010: 22 catches, 208 yards, 5 TDs
2009: 12 catches, 132 yards, 1 TD
2008: 35 catches, 444 yards, 3 TDs
2007: 34 catches, 488 yards, 1 TD
2006: 18 catches, 267 yards, 3 TDs
2005: 37 catches, 405 yards, 7 TDs
2004: 42 catches, 550 yards, 6 TDs

Tech tight ends haven’t combined for 40 catches or more since 2004, when Jeff King and Jared Mazzetta formed a very good one-two punch at that position.

In 2004, the Hokies played a bunch of freshmen at wide receiver, so senior quarterback Bryan Randall became more dependent on his tight ends than any other VT quarterback in recent memory.  With the youth that will surround Logan Thomas in 2013, we could see a repeat.  However, do the Hokies have the talent at tight end that they featured back in 2004?

Ryan Malleck

The Starter is Good

Jeff King has played in 108 NFL games and started 84 of them.  He is probably the best tight end Virginia Tech has ever had, and he is still currently playing with the Arizona Cardinals.  It’s going to be tough to replicate his talent level.

Ryan Malleck (#88, 6-4, 249, Jr.) will be Virginia Tech’s starter for the second season in a row.  He caught 17 passes for 174 yards last season.  Malleck is a talented player who chose the Hokies over Miami, Nebraska and others coming out of New Jersey as part of the 2011