For the past two weeks, Duck Sports Authority has been taking an in-depth look at the 2013 recruiting class position-by-position. Along the way we have revisited our initial projections for how many players will be taken at each position.
Today, we return to the offensive side of the ball and take a look at an under-appreciated asset at many schools; the tight end. In 2011 the Ducks played just two scholarship tight ends who could not have been at further ends of the spectrum if they tried; David Paulson and Colt Lyerla. Duck fans were excited about the potential that lay ahead at the position with Lylerla returning along with redshirt freshman Christian French and incoming freshmen Evan Bayliss and Pharoah Brown. The Ducks had another tight end on the roster, but Curtis White was forced to retire from football due to injuries. That marks the second tight end in two years who has had to give up football.
With that information, let's take a look at who the Ducks have offered and a couple of intriguing possibilities.
Status: Offered, Committed to Notre Dame
Overview: Heuerman is a pretty decisive young man and had set a time for a decision which he was pretty true to keeping. He has a great frame at 6-4 and 225 pounds. Ranked the 10th best tight end by Rivals, the four-star prospect had narrowed his list down to four schools in April: LSU, Ohio State, Miami and Notre Dame. Heuerman has a brother at Ohio State and many people thought he would choose the Buckeyes. Instead, he felt Notre Dame was the right fit. Heuerman got an Oregon offer just a couple of weeks before he made his decision.
Strengths: Heuerman has good hands when catching the ball. He seems to take the right angle and makes good plays to the ball, does not let the ball get to him, he goes up and gets it out of the air. He is also a very good blocker and very effective either out of his tight end position or when split wide of sealing off his man allowing a bigger running play.
Weaknesses: Heuerman is not the crispest route runner often times with his release off the line. He tends to run stiff. As a run blocking tight end, he will definitely need to add some weight to have success at the next level. He also has a tendency when blocking to let his hands get outside where a hold would quite often be called at the next level.
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