football Edit

Top 10 TE recruiting classes for 2017

National Signing Day coverage continues as breaks down each position to see which school did the best. Here is a look at which teams loaded up at tight end in the 2017 recruiting class.

TOP 2017 CLASSES BY POSITION: Quarterback | Running Back | Wide Receiver



Despite all the turmoil and disappointment from last season, Notre Dame managed to land two of the top three tight ends in the 2017 class. Never has one team dominated the top of the tight end rankings like this. The only other teams to sign two of the top five tight ends in one class are Miami in 2002 (No. 2 Eric Winston, No. 4 Curtis Justus), Ohio State in 2004 (No. 3 Chad Hoobler, No. 4 Rory Nicol) and USC in 2010 (No. 1 Xavier Grimble, No. 4 Christian Thomas). Wright and Kmet should provide some much-needed depth at a position Notre Dame has become known for in recent years. After all, Notre Dame had a lot of success with the last No. 1 tight end (Kyle Rudolph in 2008).


The Cardinal and Notre Dame have been battling for the moniker “TE U” but this year Stanford came in second on the recruiting trail. Parkinson might have the highest ceiling of any of the tight ends this year and will be an important piece to an offense looking for playmakers. Fisk, No. 20 in the tight end rankings, should really help Stanford’s ground game and could be a nice outlet for the Stanford quarterbacks. This duo will pair well with 2016 Rivals100 tight end Kaden Smith at Stanford.


The Washington Huskies put the college football world on notice last year and this tight end class could be key for them to take that next step. Bryant is a versatile tight end that should make catches all over the field and could be a matchup nightmare for defenses because of all the different places he’ll line up on the field. Chris Petersen will love moving him all over and using a variety of formations to get him the ball. Otton is a huge target and will be very useful in short yardage and goal-line situations. Look for him to catch his fair share of short but extremely important passes.


The Crimson Tide haven't used the tight end like many think they should but it’s not for a lack of talent (see freakshow tight end O.J. Howard). Four-stars James and Tennison will provide the standard versatility to the Alabama offense that tight ends normally do but the change of pace and tendency-breaking qualities these two bring to Tuscaloosa are extremely important. Many coaches believe that a quarterback’s two best friends are a strong running game and a reliable tight end. Alabama always has a strong running game and now sophomore quarterback Jalen Hurts has two more very reliable tight ends.

5. USC

In what could be a three-way tie for fifth - USC, Florida State and UCLA each signed a 5.8 four-star and a 5.7 three-star at the position - the Trojans get the slight edge because Falo and Krommenhoek fare better in the overall tight end rankings. Falo’s size and speed will give defenses headaches and he could end up seeing the field fairly early in his career. Physically, Krommenhoek is further along than Falo but he isn’t nearly as explosive or as good a receiver. He could still end up as an important red zone target and will assist in the running game.


Marshall represents one of the best combinations of size and athleticism in this class. He has very good hands and has the attitude and swagger to fit right into the environment in Tallahassee. McKitty is also an athletic specimen but not as big as Marshall. Both have the frame and potential to flex out wide or put their hand in the ground as an end-line tight end. Quarterback Deondre Francois should enjoy exploiting the mismatches Marshall and McKitty present to defenses.


Even though the Bruins fell slightly behind their crosstown rivals here, they have to be excited about what Jaggers and Robinson-Carr bring to the table. Both 2017 signees are well-rounded tight end prospects that will contribute in a variety of ways for UCLA. Josh Rosen needs a few more weapons but it’s even more important that Jaggers and Robinson-Carr help improve UCLA’s pass protection. Don’t be surprised if both Jaggers and Robinson-Carr are relied upon early as quick outlet options for Rosen.


Similarly to USC, Florida State, and UCLA, the tight end classes that Michigan State and Texas signed average to a 5.7 three-star. Michigan State gets the nod here because Dotson is the highest-ranked of the bunch. Dotson has proven he is an excellent receiving tight end and can excel as a flexed tight end but is a willing blocker with good technique. Camper will add to the depth on Michigan State’s roster and could take a year or two to develop and see meaningful playing time.


There are high hopes for Tom Herman at Texas; Leitao and Brewer were two of the first prospects to commit to the Longhorns after Herman was hired. Both should do well in Herman’s system as reliable pass-catching tight ends. Leitao is more physically developed than Brewer and should see the field first. Brewer has good speed and will cause some matchup problems for defenses once he is physically mature. Expect a lot of production from these two new Longhorns.


Just behind their in-state rival, Texas A&M’s combination of McZeal and Horry could prove to be an impressive duo. McZeal has a lot of versatility and should be lining up in a number of positions for the Aggies. Kevin Sumlin could use McZeal in multiple formations as a flex or end-line tight end and create some mismatches. Horry is a bigger tight end that will mainly play with his hand in the ground. If he gets much bigger in College Station he could turn out to be an offensive lineman.