2015 Virginia Tech Football Preview: Tight Ends

Tight end is expected to be a strength of the Virginia Tech offense in 2015. The Hokies have three players with experience, and Scot Loeffler loves to get the tight ends involved in the passing game.

Note that Virginia Tech has not put a depth chart online (their depth chart link loads a chart from last spring). They gave the media a two-deep on Friday, which we included in this article, but we have no idea what the rest of the depth chart looks like. We won’t even know when there are changes to the depth chart. Information control is in full effect.

Therefore, these position previews that I’m writing will include depth charts, but anything past the two-deep will be nothing more than an educated on guess on my part.

Here’s my educated guess on the tight end depth chart…

1: Ryan Malleck, r-Sr.
1b: Bucky Hodges, r-So.
3: Kalvin Cline, r-So.
4: Xavier Burke, Fr.

Those top three guys will play a major role this year, and it’s possible that Xavier Burke could play as well in a blocking role. I decided to include Bucky Hodges with the tight ends only because that’s what he’s listed as on the roster and depth chart. In reality he’s nothing more than a big wide receiver who can be lined up in a lot of ways.

Ryan Malleck
Ryan Malleck was the Offensive MVP of spring practice.

Ryan Malleck (6-5, 252, r-Sr.)

Ryan Malleck hasn’t had much luck as far as injuries are concerned. He was going to be the main cog in Virginia Tech’s passing game in 2013, but he injured his shoulder, and surgery forced him to redshirt. He got off to a hot start in 2014, catching nine passes for 104 yards over the first two games of the season, including six for 64 at Ohio State. Then the nagging injuries start popping up again, and he wasn’t healthy for the remainder of the season.

Hopefully he can finally stay healthy and he can maximize his potential during his final season in Blacksburg. Malleck is a good, reliable receiver, though he’s not the type to do a whole lot after the catch. His strength is his edge blocking. He is without a doubt Tech’s best blocking tight end.

Here are some video examples from the Military Bowl…

On the play above, Malleck crashes down on the defensive end and completely takes him out of the play.  With Wyatt Teller pulling and cutting down the linebacker, the play goes for a big gain.

Malleck is the tight end at the bottom, and he gets inside the end and cuts him down.  With no backside pursuit, J.C. Coleman has an easy touchdown.

On the play above, Malleck is quick enough to get to the next level and shield the linebacker to the outside, allowing Coleman to run up the middle for a nice gain.

Malleck is the tight end on the left side of the line. He takes the defensive end