How Often Will USC Utilize Tight Ends in 2020?
Claudette Montana Pattison
Offensive Coordinator Graham Harrell has been vocal about wanting to utilize tight ends in USC's 2020 air raid offense. There is nothing more weaponizing than a tight end whose catch, run and blocking game is strong.
Now, USC has strong receiver options, tight ends coach John David Baker acknowledged that on Tuesday,
"When you look at our team right now, we've got some really talented receivers, but we don't have a ton of them."(David Baker)
Although players like (WR) Amon Ra St. Brown and (WR) Tyler Vaughns stand out, USC does have talented tight ends on their roster as well. Senior tight end Erik Krommenhoek is 6'5" and 260 LBS. He looks to evolve as a receiving tight end and become a difference maker this year.
"Our goal is to have an increase. Obviously we probably haven't gotten as many balls in the past two years as we wanted to. That is what we have been working on. Obviously we're going to do some in line stuff, some inside zone, some outside zone...we are not as deep at receiver as we have been and that is going to be an enhanced role in our offense. I'm excited, I think we're going to get a lot more opportunities on the outside than we have in the past and [we] got to make the most out of those opportunities and do our best to catch some touchdowns and help our team out" (Krommenhoek).
A depth chart will not be released until next Friday, but Krommenhoek looks to be a promising starting option for the Trojans.
Last season, he appeared in all 13 games with 11 receptions for 122 yards (11.1 avg). USC has some other TE's to watch. Josh Falo, another senior player is working his way back into shape after missing time in the offseason. As a junior, Falo appeared in 11 games, he had 4 receptions for 23 yards with 1 touchdown and one tackle. Freshman Jude Wolfe out of St. John Bosco has proved to be very talented and coachable in his short time at USC.
"We'll be sitting in a position meeting and I'll tell him, 'You need to do this exactly like this,' and 30 minutes later we're on the practice field and the same situation comes up, and bam, he fixes it. And that's impressive for a young guy." (David Baker)
Wolfe's quick progression is vital for USC's offense this season because Clay Helton stressed to the media that each player will contribute this year.
"I asked them to build from the ground up. To coach our guys from the bottom up because each and every kid is going to have to contribute this year with what is going on whether it is injuries, testing, or depth" (Helton).
If Helton's words are true, Wolfe could see some play action in his first season with the Trojans.
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