|Photo courtesy of scout.com|
For the colleges seeking the next best tight end through the 2014 class, looks like California is a good area to make a stop.
One prospect already has the likes of Alabama, Florida, Norte Dame, Oklahoma and USC all after him. Another in the 805 region is generating a lot of attention from the same schools. Then there's a group of sleepers at this position too.
Time to unveil some quality tight ends in the 2014 class here in California:
TYLER LUATUA, LA MIRANDA-LOS ANGELES
Luatua (photo) is a straight freak. For a big 6-foot-4, 230-pound kid, he moves so quick and poses as a match up nightmare down in the Los Angeles area.
He's a rugged blocker who looks to knock someone to the grass with his powerful shoulders. As a receiver, he's dangerous at making the corner grabs, then going up field for the long gain or touchdown run, almost like Gronkowski or Graham. His first step when running his routes also makes linebackers covering him play catch-up.
He does hold the football away from his body, so he'll need to place an emphasis on holding the ball closer to him after the catch. Luatua, though, is already one of the more prized prospects of the 2014 class with 22 offers already on the table for him.
More on Luatua can be found here.
BRYCE DIXON, ST. BONAVENTURE-VENTURA
Dixon, who holds seven offers, is quite similar to Luatua in terms of size and speed, plus the ability to turn the corner on out routes, then burn defenses.
The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Dixon is a tough competitor who's hard to bring down, even across the middle. One thing I like about him is his knack for coming down with the football despite three defenders surrounding him. Dixon has an impressive vertical jump and will be a match up advantage in the red zone.
More on Dixon can be found here.
DARRELL CLOY, LA HABRA-LOS ANGELES
Cloy, who was once at St. Paul High School in Santa Fe Springs, is an emerging tight end prospect with one offer from Colorado.
He's slightly shorter than Dixon and Luatua at 6-foot-3 and 215-pounds. He moves just as fluidly and is tough across the middle.
He does have a questionable get-off once the ball is snapped. He looked slower coming off the ball compared to Dixon and Luatua. He's not the most effective blocker right now, either. However, he has shown to be an effective decoy in the run game and his best trait is being a valuable red-zone target with his stature and small hands. A big off-season and bigger senior year could make him highly coveted.
More on Cloy can be found here.
ZACK BORNSTEIN, OAKS CHRISTIAN-THOUSAND OAKS
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Bornstein is on an Oaks Christian team who's real talent heavy heading into the 2013 season. His own set of skills is making him gain attention from recruiting coordinators and college coaches.
Bornstein is a mismatch when someone tries lining up one-on-one with him. He'll win that battle with his speed and jumping ability. His background in track and field and in the decathlon makes him one solid athlete with a high conditioning level.
He does tend to come off too high as a blocker. However, Oaks Christian may not ask him to do much blocking. With his size, hands and athleticism, it's hard to ignore him.
More on Bornstein can be found here.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKFT8Zjo_Eg
ALEX EGURBIDE, WESTLAKE
Though he's listed as a wide receiver, Egurbide has enough size and bulk at 6-foot-6, 215-pounds to be a future tight end in the making.
Egurbide is freakishly fast for a player built more like an NBA small forward. He has a quick first move that can get him in front of the cornerback, then have a strong leap that allows him to out-jump 2-3 defenders surrounding him. Much like all these guys on this list, he's another red zone advantage with his soft hands. However, it was his body control that scored major points with me.
Along with his football skill set, Egurbide is also a big academic kid who's drawn interest from Harvard, Yale and Stanford.
More on Egurbide can be found here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dotUEIv35CA.
AUSTIN WOLCOTT, NORDHOFF-OJAI
Wolcott could emerge as a sleeper prospect at tight end, especially on a team that's becoming a sleeper powerhouse on the Central Coast.
Though Wolcott caught just 20 passes for 274 yards and five touchdowns, his height at 6-foot-5 should make him intriguing for someone at the next level. He can be an effective possession type with his size, especially after averaging over 13 yards a catch last season.
He'll need to add muscle to his 200-pound frame. He'll also need a huge off-season at different camps to get people to pay attention to this possible sleeper prospect.