Arizona has one of the best receiving corps in the Pac-12, if not the nation. Going forward, it has the potential to become even more deadly, as Rich Rodriguez has been wanting to incorporate tight ends in the offense more. And this year, it seems as if he has a stable group of tight ends to accomplish that. Arizona hasn't really had a true tight end in the system for quite some time now, as Terrence Miller was often used as an H-back, with Austin Hill filling in nicely last year, despite his lack of size and strength needed for the position.
Tight end is such a unique position that has been so hard to fill for not just Rich Rodriguez, but for coaches and recruiters across the country. They first have to possess the right body and build, along with the blocking technique. Then, they have to have the agility and hands to be in a fast-paced offense, similar to that of Rich Rodriguez'. This year, it seems like Rodriguez has the right guys to finally add another threat to his offense.
Arizona will be able to use Trevor Wood, Josh Kern, Matt Morin, and Darrell Cloy, with incoming freshman Brion Anduze. The two most experienced ends at Arizona, Wood and Kern, are both listed at 6-5, with Wood weighing in at 251lbs, Kern at 229lbs. Morin comes in at 6-2 239lbs, and Cloy at 6-2 255lbs. Anduze will enter the program at 6-4 235lbs.
Trevor Wood, who looked great in the spring game, would provide more of a traditional, blocking style on offense, with the ability to get downfield as well. Josh Kern is definitely the faster of the two, and more like a receiver in the passing game. It's unclear as to who the go-to guy will be, but either will be able to cause problems for defenses.
Morin is a JUCO transfer from Riverside CC, who was originally a quarterback at SDSU in his first two years. Rich Rodriguez has said the lefty has a pretty nice arm, and wouldn't mind opening up the playbook for some trickery. Both Morin and Kern are former quarterbacks.
Although Darrell Cloy enrolled early and joined the team this spring, it would be wise to redshirt him, considering the three experienced tight ends ahead of him. The same thought would apply to Brion Anduze as well.
These offensive mismatches are probably what Rich Rodriguez dreams about at night. Fake to Nick Wilson, with him slipping into the flat. Cayleb Jones on a vertical route. Trey Griffey on a comeback. Samajie Grant on a deep in route. With Josh Kern splitting right through the two safeties up top. The possibilities are endless with a versatile tight end.
Is the tight end going to stay in and block? Chip block and sneak into the flats with Anu Solomon on the rollout? Sit on a comeback in the middle of field? Sneak down the seam and split the safeties? So much can be done with this group, sacrificing little to no speed in the offense. The potential is certainly there. We'll see what Rich Rodriguez can do to use his personnel and game plan accordingly.