National Signing Day by position: Top TE classes
Now that the 2018 recruiting cycle has come to a close, it is time to look back to see which schools signed the best group of tight ends.
The Bulldogs had an exceptional 2018 recruiting class and they ended up with the best group of tight ends as well. It was a close race at the top of this list but Georgia was the only team to sign two of the top five tight ends. Ford has a great blend of size, speed and strength. He is going to be an asset in the running game and a major weapon in the passing game. FitzPatrick is going to develop into a similar weapon. He has a huge frame and will no doubt help in multiple phases of the game.
2. MIAMI (FLA.)
The Canes are surging on and off the field, and it helped them land the second-best tight end class in 2018. Jordan is the best receiving tight end in the country and should be a major mismatch once he gets on the field. He will help add a different dynamic to a pretty explosive Miami offense. Mallory should serve as a more prototypical tight end, helping in the running game and as a big target in the red zone.
3. PENN STATE
Penn State has been churning out big-time tight ends over the past few years and the Nittany Lions added two prospects to help fill the void. Kuntz is an excellent athlete that can get open with ease. His size presents a big mismatch with defensive backs and linebackers just can’t keep up with him. Freiermuth is in the same mold as Kuntz but should be able to help in the running game more. He is a stronger prospect but still has good speed and reliable hands.
4. NOTRE DAME
Signed: George Takacs (5.8), Tommy Tremble (5.7)
Notre Dame has been one of the top tight end producing schools for a number of years and it landed two in the 2018 class that should help carry on that tradition. Takacs has very good hands and is slippery in the open field. He knows how to get open and is also a good run blocker, which will certainly be an asset for Notre Dame. Tremble is an excellent athlete that should bring more playmaking abilities to the position. As he adds weight and keeps his speed, Tremble should become a major mismatch for any defender that comes his way.
5. OHIO STATE
Signed: Jeremy Ruckert (5.9)
Ohio State is the only team on this list to only sign one tight end but the addition of Ruckert is very hard to overlook. Ruckert, the No. 3 tight end in the 2018 class, has a unique blend of size and speed that Ohio State doesn’t have at the tight end position. He has great hands and is one of the best red zone threats in this class. Ruckert does a very good job of getting open and giving his quarterbacks easy throws to make. He is the third-highest-ranked tight end that Ohio State has ever signed and comes in with the expectation that he will add a new dynamic to the explosive Buckeye offense.
Jeremy Pruitt and his new coaching staff did a good job of getting their feet under themselves quickly and ended up with one of the best tight end classes in this past recruiting cycle. Anderson was the top-ranked junior college tight end in the 2018 class. He provides the Tennessee quarterbacks with a big target that should be able to make plays over the middle and after the ball is in his hands. Warren is also a big target that is more of a flex tight end than an end-line blocker.
7. WEST VIRGINIA
West Virginia’s wide-open offense has plenty of explosive playmakers but the two tight ends it signed should be able to use their size to exploit the middle of the field. Banks is a very good athlete with strong hands that isn’t afraid of a little contact. O’Laughlin is very similar in that he has reliable hands and has good downfield speed. Expect both Banks and O’Laughlin to be heavily targeted close to the goal line.
Dan Mullen and his coaching staff hung onto two very good tight ends that were already committed to the Gators prior to the coaching change in Gainesville. Both Pitts and Lang shouldn’t have any problem finding their fit in the new Florida offense. Pitts is a strong blocker with a knack for making the tough catch and is surprisingly slippery in the open field. Lang is a little bigger than Pitts but will still impact the offense in the running and passing game. Expect Lang to see most of his playing time during short-yardage situations.
This recruiting class wasn’t as good as Michigan had hoped but there are plenty of bright spots and the tight end position is one of them. Muhammad was one of the most sought after tight ends in the 2018 class because of his athleticism and size. Mainly a flex tight end, Muhammad will see most of his action in the passing game, using his speed and length to his advantage. Schoonmaker was an under-the-radar addition but he has a ton of physical ability. He played a lot of quarterback as a necessity in high school but his speed and size will definitely provide a positive impact for the Michigan offense.
10. MISSISSIPPI STATE
Joe Moorhead and his new staff at Mississippi State finished with a top 25 recruiting class and Spivey, one of the highest-rated prospects in this MSU class, will be counted on as a major playmaker down the road. Moorhead loves throwing to athletic tight ends (e.g. Mike Gesicki) and Spivey definitely fits the bill. With a huge frame, good hands and great downfield speed, Spivey knows how to take the top off of defenses and make tough catches in traffic. Expect him to be a major problem for defenses if he gets free in the open field.