Coordinator Jay Johnson Talks Identifying and Recruiting Tight Ends

Hondo S. Carpenter

East Lansing, MI—New Michigan State Spartan football offensive coordinator Jay Johnson has made the tight end position one of the most critical in his offense.

That is why in his short time in East Lansing, the Spartans have scoured the nation looking for and offering scholarships to the nation’s top players at that position. He discussed how he evaluates and recruits for that spot on the roster.

“Yeah, that’s a great question because it is kind of challenging because even when you begin to watch it kind of varies, of course. Obviously, even in high school football, you don’t see as many true tight ends anymore. Hence, I think sometimes it is a projection, looking for the bigger, longer body type that can handle weight up but still has the athletic ability, so often times it’s the bigger wide receivers, but then you get a little nervous because they haven’t been in there, in the trenches with those guys up front from a physicality standpoint. We’re looking at all different types, you know, I do think kind of have that athletic mold of the type. Still, then you have more of the more blocking perspective of it so you can define at least in my experience. Lately, it’s been a lot more of the more the big, wide receiver types that are kind of filling those spots and when you see how these are being used and how they are using them at the NFL level. We’re kind of approaching there, but we certainly are taking, you know, great stock and what they’re doing in the run game. If they’re in their high school being able to be put in that position, so it’s a little combination of both, and it is pretty challenging with that position, so that’s how we’re trying to approach it.”

The Spartans kick off the season on September 5, 2020. They will be hosting in the Northwestern Wildcats with a rare, season-opening Big Ten game.

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