Husky Football: Position Preview – TE
Husky Football is here! The Dawgs are entering their second week of fall camp and game day is right around the corner. We will continue our preview of the 2014 Huskies by addressing yet another question Coach Pete must answer: Who will replace Washington’s all-time great, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, at the TE position?
Austin Seferian-Jenkins: ASJ is arguably the best TE in the history of the University of Washington Football program. His blend of size, speed, and soft hands is considered a rare combination that is highly coveted at the professional level. Throughout his career at UW he was the “go-to guy” on third down situations. Seferian-Jenkins is the kind of player that could fight his way through coverage and make the difficult catches in traffic or in the red zone. Replacing ASJ’s historic production at the tight end position might be impossible; however, Coach Pete has a lot of depth and talent to help mitigate the loss of an NFL tight end.
Joshua Perkins: (6-4 227 lbs; Junior; 2013 Stats: 5 catches, 57 yards, 3 TD’s) Perkins is the most experienced among a very inexperienced bunch of TE’s. With that being said, Perkins has showed his tremendous athletic ability on game day. Perkins is a converted WR, and is going to be one of the Husky’s best receiving TE options in 2014. Blocking continues to be an area of concern for Perkins.
Michael Hartvigson: (6-6 251 lbs; Senior; Played in all 13 games, but was held without a reception) Hartvigson is a big bodied, blue collar, run-blocking TE. Throughout his career he has struggled to be a consistent pass catcher, which is necessary to be an every down TE. However, Hartvigson is an excellent run blocker and will certainly make his presence as a blocking TE felt once again in 2014.
Darrell Daniels: (6-4 235 lbs; Sophomore; Played in 11 games without a catch, Special Teams demon) Daniels is an extremely intriguing prospect at the TE position. Like Perkins, he is a converted WR with exceptional athletic ability. Daniels has the most upside in this group with is freakish blend of size, speed, and pass catching ability. Husky Nation should be excited to see how Daniels will contribute offensively in his second year as a TE.
Derrick Brown: (6-3 250 lbs; Junior) Brown has been a journey man throughout his first three years as a Husky. He was recruited to play QB, converted to FB, only to end up at the TE position. Brown did not see any significant action last season, and with such a deep group of TE’s I wouldn’t expect 2014 to be much different. Great locker room guy; always appears to be having a good time with his teammates.
David Ajamu: (6-5 242 lbs; Redshirt Freshman) Ajamu redshirted the 2013 season. Ajamu is somewhat of a wild card and there isn’t a strong consensus on what his future may hold. He possesses prototypical size and athleticism for the TE position; however, it is yet to be seen if he can translate his natural abilities to the field on Saturday’s.
Drew Sample: (6-4 236 lbs; Freshman) Sample has a big frame and above-average athleticism for the TE position. I would expect Sample to redshirt due to the abundance of depth at this position. Sample will use this year to get stronger and acclimate to being a student-athlete at the college level.
It would be unrealistic to expect one of these TE’s to single-handedly replace the production of Austin Seferian-Jenkins. I would expect a “by-committee” approach, which is not uncommon for the TE position. Expect Perkins to be the starting TE in Hawaii and contribute regularly throughout the season. Also, look for Hartvigson’s presence to be felt as a blocking first TE. The dark horse for 2014 is Darrell Daniels. He has the pass catching ability to have a huge impact this season. Daniels is a match-up nightmare for opposing defensive coordinators much like ASJ was. Daniels is too big for a defensive back to handle, and too fast for linebackers to keep up with. However, he must become more consistent as a blocker before he sees significant playing time. Overall, the Huskies have three players that each brings something different to the table. It will be interesting to see how Coach Pete and the offensive staff use the TE position this season.