It seems like as the years have gone by, the position of tight end has grown more in popularity, and developed into a main fixture of some offenses. Once a position which was used for blocking more often than not, tight ends have developed into athletic freaks, posting 1,000 yards in receiving per season, and hauling in touchdown after touchdown.
Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, Julius Thomas, the list goes on. Every year it seems like a new star tight end breaks onto the scene, and the same goes for the college level. Eric Ebron, a tight end out of the University of North Carolina, was selected 10th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft, and many more are sure to be selected in the same range in the future years.
Junior tight end Pharaoh Brown has taken the reigns as the Ducks' best tight end, hauling in five touchdowns, and 380 receiving yards over the course of 2014. Standing at 6'6", he's become a threat in the end zone to get up and pull down the long balls. The more we see tight ends like Brown utilized in Oregon's offense, is a heightened recruiting effort at the position to follow?
Jacob Breeland: The son of former USC linebaacker Garrett Breeland, Jacob is one of the more interesting standout recruits. Converting from quarterback to wide receiver in high school, his 6'5" frame makes him the ideal tight end at the college level. For his size, he has deceptive downfield for his size, which can only come in handy in Oregon's fast-pace offense.
When he committed to Oregon back in April, it seemed like he was set for good:
"I won't be taking any other visits. This is it for me," he told 247Sports. "I'll be back for my official visit in September during my bye but that will be it."
John Carroll: A 6'3", 220 pound tight end, John Carroll is both an effective blocker, and has solid hands to snag balls over the goal line. With his size and athleticism, he's your typical security blanket. He can use his speed to get open in the flat, but can also serve as a red zone threat. Like many tight-ends, he's a star on the hardwood, and has translated his athletic abilities over to the field. Several SEC and Pac-12 teams are looking into Carroll.
Jared Rice: Another big target (6'5", 210 pounds) the Modesto, California product could be another big pickup for the Ducks offense. With a 33-inch vertical, Rice can get up over defenders to make the catches. In 2013 as a junior, Jared made 17 receptions for 365 yards, and two touchdowns. Throw in a 4.66 40 time, and he's a very similar to Breeland size and speed-wise.