With college offenses trending toward the spread option, the tight end position often is one that's underutilized.
But the guys who make up the Rivals.com top 10 tight ends for 2006 are hardly overlooked. Many of them are first options for their teams - and they
should be. The value targets such as Zach Miller and Greg Olsen provide their offenses is almost immeasurable.
At Missouri, the Tigers have an abundance of riches at tight end. Mizzou is the only school with two tight ends, junior Martin Rucker and
sophomore Chase Coffman, amongst our top 20.
Talk about an offense that believes in getting the ball to its tight ends. Rucker and Coffman each had 47 receptions. Together they topped 1,000 yards
What will happen to their numbers without quarterback Brad Smith pulling the trigger? Will the tight end remain a key target for the Tigers?
Here are the Rivals.com picks for the top tight ends in 2006:
Rivals.com 2006 Preseason Top Tight Ends
1. Zach Miller, Arizona State, Jr., 6-5, 262
The key for the Sun Devils' tight end is staying healthy. Following a season in which he established ASU freshman records for receptions and receiving
yardage, Miller had shoulder surgery. He was ready for the season opener, but an ankle sprain against LSU in the second game of the season forced him
out of the next three games. Still, Miller posted 38 receptions for 476 yards and four touchdowns. With all-time leading receiver Derek Hagan gone, Miller
figures to have plenty of opportunities.
2. Greg Olsen, Miami, Jr., 6-5, 252
The Notre Dame transfer has developed into a dangerous target. He had 451 yards and four touchdowns last season on 31 receptions. Need proof of how
important he is to the Hurricanes offense? He didn't have a catch in UM's upset loss to Georgia Tech nor in its embarrassing rout at the hands of LSU in
the Peach Bowl. Olsen had at least two receptions in Miami's other 10 games.
3. Joe Newton, Oregon State, Sr., 6-7, 258
There may have been no better news in Corvallis than the fact Newton appears to be healthy this fall. He missed the 2005 season with a strained tendon
in his left leg, that after posting a superb junior year of 56 receptions for 687 yards and seven touchdowns. If the Beavers hope to make up for the loss of
wide receiver Mike Hass, Newton will be the main target.
4. Fred Davis, USC, Jr., 6-4, 245
Despite his modest numbers last season the Toledo, Ohio, native is poised for a breakout year. He started three games last season and finished with 13
catches for 145 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He figures to take over as the full-time starter, but he'll have to fight a talented group of wide receivers to
get his share of passes.
5. Clark Harris, Rutgers, Sr., 6-6, 255
Harris was one of the main contributors to the Scarlet Knights' bowl run. He grabbed 38 receptions for 584 yards and four touchdowns a year ago. A big
target with good hands, Harris has made at least one reception in 30 consecutive games. He had one of his best games of the season in the bowl loss to
Arizona State with 85 yards and a touchdown on six catches.