The Arizona Wildcats landed their first pass catcher for the 2020 recruiting class on Wednesday in Cy Ranch (Cypress, TX) tight end Drake Dabney.
Our original story can be found here, and below is more in-depth analysis on Dabney from Brandon Combs and Gabe Encinas.
Height/Weight: 6-foot-4, 225 pounds
School/Hometown: Cy Ranch High School (Cypress, TX)
Offers: Arizona State, Baylor, Boston College, Cal, Houston, Iowa State, Kansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisville, Memphis, Minnesota, Oklahoma State, Prairie View A&M, Purdue, Rice, SMU, South Carolina, Southern Miss, TCU, Texas State, Toledo, Tulane, Tulsa, Utah, UTSA, Vanderbilt
2018 Stats: 4 receptions, 60 yards, 1 TD (only in 4 games)
Rankings (via 247Sports): 755th overall, 28th tight end, 103rd in Texas
Gabe Encinas: I love what Dabney brings to the table. He’s a big body pass catcher with some strong hands. From the film it’s hard to gauge exactly how fast he is and get a good assessment of his routes, but it’s hard not to like him as a pass catcher.
Where he really shines is as a blocker. He has the power and command to steer guys in another direction and appears to be someone who enjoys blocking.
Tight end was not utilized much in 2019 which was frustrating given the production we saw from Bryce Wolma as a true freshman in 2018.
Dabney has a great frame and could either play as a true tight, hybrid receiver or h-back. He looks similar to current receiver Zach Williams from the 2018 class, who played tight end in high school and has since been converted to a wide receiver. He is also similar to former tight end/h-back Terrence Miller.
He might be a tweener when it comes to tight end and receiver, but someone with his combination can definitely find a role in the offensive and brings a nice wrinkle to the game plan.
I think he’s appropriately ranked around the 700-800 mark, and his offer list makes him a highly-sought-after prospect.
Brandon Combs: Not only did Arizona add another player from Texas but they added a darn good one. Dabney held 27 offers and for good reason.
I love Dabney’s game. He is just a gritty player—tough, effective, and good at what he does.
His main niche is blocking, and he is dang good at it. He plays with nice pad level and drive. He also has a great motor and is a relentless blocker.
But blocking isn’t the only thing he is good at. He is surprisingly atheltic for someone his size. He is a smooth route runner and has better hands than one would think. As Gabe alluded to above, he has strong hands, allowing him to win those contested catches.
Dabney was a wanted man and the fact that UA was able to land him should be considered a win by all accounts. All around, another great pickup for Arizona as the 2020 class takes shape with a lot of solid pieces.