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Next Bronco Up: Tight Ends

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NCAA Football: Boise State at Utah State Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Next up in this series is tight ends.

Graduated/Left

Jake Roh - 6’3 227lbs - 39 receptions for 410 yards, 9 TDs

Alec Dhaenens - 6’3 246lbs - 13 receptions for 135 yards, 2 TDs

Jake Knight - 6’4 232lbs - medically retired before senior season

Current

Chase Blakley - RS Senior - 6’4 240lbs - 1 reception for 13 yards. Injured most of the season

Matt Pistone - RS Junior - 6’3 256lbs - No receiving stats. Served primarily as a blocking TE.

Garrett Collingham - RS Junior - 6’4 229lbs - Walk-on, no stats

Cody Shoemaker - RS Junior - 6’1 224lbs - Walk-on, no stats

John Bates - RS Sophomore - 6’6 247lbs - 3 receptions for 34 yards

Daniel Cantrell - RS Freshman - 6’ 219lbs - Red shirt, Scout Offensive POY

Incoming

Tyneil Hopper - 6’2.5 230lbs - 22 receptions for 350 yards (15.9 ypc), 1 TD.

Cole Ramseyer - 6’4 216lbs - 43 receptions for 602 yards (14 ypc), 5 TDs.

The Broncos will definitely miss the sure hands of Jake Roh this season. The combined stats of the current Bronco tight ends is 6 receptions for 78 yards and 0 TDs.

Matt Pistone has impressed so far in spring ball, which is intriguing because he has no catches in his career as a Bronco. He’s laid some pretty serious blocks, but no catches. I think this could be the year he gets his first catch. While I still anticipate Pistone to function as a blocking tight end, I think he will be more involved in the receiving game due to inexperience.

John Bates will emerge as our go-to guy. While I don’t know this for a fact, he showed flashes late in the season and his height will be a great mismatch for us. He still has some work to do, but as a sophomore he has some time to blossom. I expect he will see a lot of work through spring and fall camp.

I really want Blakley to have a solid season, but the injury bug has followed him pretty closely in his career as a Bronco. The last two seasons have been hampered by injury resulting in 3 catches for 44 yards. I have faith, though, that if he can remain healthy, we will see him on the field.

I don’t anticipate seeing much of Shoemaker and Collingham, BUT, as I have stated before, I won’t write off walk-ons. Collingham has spent time at a lot of different positions and that could play in his favor. Shoemaker is an unknown walk-on from California, so he could surprise.

Cantrell is a wild card for me. Last year he was listed as a walk-on long snapper from BK. At the end of the year, he won Offensive Scout Player of the Year. Um, what? Without seeing him play, that’s a head-scratcher. Not because I doubt his ability, but it isn’t often you hear of a long snapper earning Offensive Scout POY honors. Based on what I have heard, he was used in a lot of different places on offense and showed his worth. He will be a name to watch through camp, me thinks.

Tyneil Hopper was a signing day edition to the team, and a big one at that. Pulling a 4* TE from SEC country is a huge coup for the Broncos and he could be a future star at TE for the Broncos. I do expect Hopper to play this season, but in what capacity, I don’t know. At this point, the position seems wide open as no one has really separated themselves and with little production, he could earn himself a starting spot out of fall camp.

I think Cole red shirts this year as he could stand to gain some weight. I love getting local players and he played for a good school up in Coeur d’Alene. He was very productive as a TE up there and that will serve him well as a Bronco. I don’t anticipate both him and Hopper playing this fall.

Tight end is pretty open at this point, but Pistone has been mentioned as a stand-out. I look forward to seeing what the buzz is coming out of spring camp as well as the start of fall camp. GO BRONCOS!