Thursday, August 07, 2008

Notre Dame Football Position Preview: Tight End

Previously Covered
Running Back
Wide Receiver
Defensive Line

Spotlight: Will Yeatman


Also Returning: Kevin Brooks, Mike Ragone

Lost: John Carlson, Mike Talerico (graduation), Konrad Reuland (transfer)

Gained: Luke Schmidt (semi-position change), Paul Kuppich (walk on), Joseph Fauria, Kyle Rudolph (freshmen)

Charlie Weis has had two starting tight ends in his Notre Dame tenure, and both are expected to be NFL starters this year. Still, for all that success, the position is arguably thin this year. Konrad Reuland found himself behind the younger Mike Ragone on the depth chart and decided to return closer to home. Will Yeatman almost made the ranks thinner due to an off the field incident in the spring, but he is expected back this fall.

Yeatman, who I would not want to run into on a lacrosse field, hopes to be the next ND tight end-come-NFL starter. If he struggles, Mike Ragone is said to be an even more talented pass catcher. Last year John Carlson's numbers suffered when he had to stay in to block so often. But in the spring Luke Schmidt practiced at H-back/tight end, so presumably Schmidt can stay in to block and let Yeatman and Ragone run patterns.

The newcomers are a talented group, lead by Kyle Rudolph. Walk-on Paul Kuppich is also up for long snapping duties.