I continue me position group breakdowns with TE.
Malcolm Johnson (JR)
Last year saw Johnson get off to a rocky start with a torn pectoral muscle suffered in pre season that caused him to miss the first half if the season. When he returned, fans saw highlight reel catches like the 1 at the back if the end zone in the 4th against Tennessee. In his limited action he had 9 grabs for 154 yards and 2 TD’s. At 6’2 and 230 lbs, Johnson is a different kind of athlete (more of a bigger WR) that will cause matchup problems. A 100% healthy Johnson and the fact that MSU lost a lot of receivers should have fans excited about his production in 2013.
Brandon Hill (JR)
After a nice spring, I expect to see a bit more production from Hill who had 5 catches in 2012. He is similar to Johnson in size (6’2 235) but a bit thicker and not quite the athlete. He does block a bit better so he can be used more when the scheme calls for an attached TE.
Rufus Warren (soph)
At 6-6 and 250 lbs, Warren is a different kind if TE than the first 2. He is a much better blocker and more of the traditional attached TE. The reason I have him as a Co #2 is because certain situation could force him to be the second guy off the bench. He does process exceptional athletic ability for someone his size. He moves well and has pretty good hands.
Christian Holmes (JR)
Holmes made the move to TE from LB this spring. At 6’1 235 he had the size and athleticism to do so. I’m going to watch the Chris Hughes situation to see if Holmes stays at TE. What Holmes showed at TE was really good hands and a knack for short yardage situations. As of right now, I’d say he is a go to in goal line situations with the chance to earn more reps.
Gus Walley (RS freshman)
Walley spent all of 2012 redshirting and rehabbing an ACL tear from his sr year of high school. This spring was fans first look at Walley and he surprised some folks. He’s a big target at 6’4 220 and moves well. He looks to be 100% recovered. Also showed very good hands. He was 1 of the guys who surprised me this spring.
Artimas Samuel (true freshman)
Samuel was an early enrollee for the class of 2013 from Hargrave but was originally a 2013 signee. He was brand new this spring and he was forced to learn on the fly. The first thing that jumps out at you about Samuel is how massive he is (6’2 260). I do expect Balis to get him in the 240 range but Samuel’s biceps are still the size of mini basketballs. He’s just a big guy. He has good hands but is needs to work on agility (losing those lbs would help).
TE has to be 1 of the strongest positions at MSU depth and talent wise. Malcolm Johnson is a star waiting to blow up. Hill and Warren are both really nice players. The versatility MSU has with the skill sets of those 3 is great. Walley and Samuel really set MSU up for the future. The wildcard is Christian Holmes. In the spring he looked to be a goal line specialist, so that’s where I’d expect to see him most.