SI All-American: Honorable Mention Tight End Prospects
Edwin Weathersby II
As SI All-American details a deep dive into the college football recruiting class of 2021, by position, the tight end talents took center stage last week.
After sorting through the elite tight ends nationally, SIAA released its top 10 'H' and top 10 'Y' prospects ahead of the 2020 season on Wednesday and Friday, respectively. It's the seventh and eighth of 14 positions to be ranked over the next several weeks. The tail-end of the discussion featured candidates with the resume to contend for spots in either top 10.
These are the prospects right on the edge of the ranking, or honorable mention, listed alphabetically.
Dametrius Crownover, Grandview (Texas)
6-foot-5, 230 pounds
Considering Ohio State, Baylor, Texas, Texas A&M and Nebraska
Crownover has one of the most impressive frames on the hoof of any tight end prospect in this cycle. Blessed with excellent length, he carries his 230-pound range weight well. A college strength coach likely will be able to add appropriate strength and additional mass to the Texan’s frame, while a position coach develops him on the field. He shows smooth movement skills on tape, which convert from his background as a basketball player. Crownover has no trouble winning at catch points with length and good hands, after getting schemed into crossers and shallows. His length also will undoubtedly give him a chance to factor in an offense’s redzone package as well.
Jameson Geers, New Lenox (Ill.) Providence Catholic
6-foot-4.5, 240 pounds
Committed to Minnesota
Whether it’s in-line, left slot in 2x2 and 2x1 sets or as the backside X in 3x1 sets, Geers has proven he can be an effective asset. He shows disciplined route running on tape, good processing in his releases versus squat coverage and awareness of depth. We feel he can be a good piece to be schemed open on in-breaking routes, plus he shows solid receiving skills. Geers can impact as a blocker in the run game, where he can not only take advantage of leverage and angles, but also play stout and strong at the point with some 1-shot shock value. There’s also space production traits as a blocker in his game, too. The Minnesota commit also has the ability to be used in split-flow concepts as well from the wing.
Nick Elksnis, Jacksonville (Fla.) Episcopal School of Jacksonville
6-foot-6, 220 pounds
Committed to Florida
The first of two Florida pledges on the list, Elksnis does possess the ability to factor at both H and Y tight end roles. He can be seam-stretcher both when flexed and in-line, thanks to a long stride that allows him to eat grass at a good pace. He has soft hands and a large strike zone, illustrated by his comfort to attack and pluck. When working on the perimeter, Elksnis can tempo his releases, plus he shows route running traits to set up and spin coverage some at breakpoints. Although he will need to increase his strength and improve his consistency in his punch accuracy, the future Gator is more than willing to assist as a blocker in the run game, attached or flexed. Elksnis has good traits for a productive tight end in Dan Mullens’ spread offense.
AJ Rollins, Omaha (Neb.) Creighton Preparatory School
6-foot-6, 220 pounds
Considering Nebraska, Iowa State, Missouri and others
Another prospect with quality frame potential, Rollins is a tight end who has the ability to play both H and Y before he leaves Nebraska. He currently works in-line and on the perimeter, where he flashes solid wiggle and urgency in his releases. The future Cornhusker can climb the ladder with ease on fades and corner routes, and use his size and length to high-point throws over back end defenders. Rollins can be effective in the mid-range passing game on in-breaking routes, as he shows a knack for pinning coverage at his hip at breakpoints before using his mitts to pluck while on the move. His long stride and fair open-field vision make him a solid threat to acquire additional yardage in the RAC-phase, plus there’s pin and seal ability on the edges as a blocker. Head coach Scott Frost will certainly enjoy phasing Rollins into his offense in Lincoln.
Fredrick Seabrough, Swainsboro (Ga.)
6-foot-4, 215 pounds
Committed to NC State
While his twin, Cedric, is indeed among our top-10 H/Flex tight end prospects, Fredrick isn’t far behind. He has a similar high-cut frame that oozes ideal length on the hoof, as well as good balance and lower-half coordination. Also, like Cedric, he currently works as a big receiver who makes his presence known on the perimeter, where he flashes a shuffle release and easy adjust ability as a big boundary target. Seabrough also is capable of making the first defender miss post-catch. There will be a period of adjustment needed in Raleigh to acquire strength and mass to hold up as a blocker versus ACC defenders, yet we like the receiving traits Seabrough possesses now.
Gage Wilcox, Tampa (Fla.) Jefferson
6-foot-3, 230 pounds
Committed to Florida
Wilcox can be deployed from several alignments, including attached, as a wing and as the backside X receiver in the boundary. We’ve even seen the Florida commit execute slug-go route concepts, along with classic fades in his red zone route tree. Wilcox’s confidence in his hands is noticeable on tape, as he routinely attacks the football with his mitts. He also possesses a quick upfield transfer and strength post-haul, which shows up when he’s schemed to flat in levels concepts or executing stop routes on the perimeter. The future Gator can also be relied upon to assist in pass-protection, showing production in space in take-on phases. It will be interesting to monitor the development of Wilcox in Gainesville.
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