Syracuse will start training camp the first week in August as they prepare for the 2014 season. CuseNation.com takes a look at the tight end position entering camp.
Current Depth Chart
Starter: Josh Parris
Josh Parris emerged last season as the top tight end for the Orange. While not used as a pass catcher for most of the season, Parris made an impact in other ways. He was a strong, sturdy blocker in run support as he helped pace an Orange ground attack that was solid all season.
Towards the end of the season, Parris became more involved in the passing attack as well. He had a breakout game against Boston College with seven catches for 47-yards and two touchdowns.
While that performance contributed more than half of his yards for the season and his only touchdown receptions, it showed the type of ability he has. For the 2014 season, Parris has to be more of that threat he was against Boston College.
It will give the Syracuse offense a different dimension. He can force defenses to cover another receiving option and open up the field for playmakers like Brisly Estime, Ashton Broyld and others. Combine that with his blocking ability and Parris has the potential to become an all-around tight end.
Kendall Moore had a solid freshman season. He showed his strong potential as a blocking tight end, and may be moved to offensive tackle in the future if he bulks up. Moore has strong footwork and upper body strength to be an impactful blocker.
If Moore can develop into a more consistent pass catcher, he has the ability to have a breakout season of sorts. Parris wills till be the primary option, but he can provide depth and give Syracuse two receiving threats in two tight-end sets.
Last season, Moore showed the ability to be a decent route runner. His hands, however, let him down on multiple occasions. His development in that area will be interesting to watch during camp and the 2014 season.
Syracuse did not land a traditional tight end in the 2014 class. They did, however, land two players that many thought would translate to the tight end position at the collegiate level in Jamal Custis and Adly Enoicy. Both are listed as receivers on the current depth chart.
Both also have the ability to make an impact as a receiving threat and could transition to tight end down the road depending on the depth there and at wide receiver.
For now, both will be play receiver and there is not a freshman on the roster who will make an impact at tight end.
Most Important Player
It’s clearly Parris. He is going to see the most time on the field of any of the tight ends. His ability to develop as a consistent receiving threat will be important for the passing attack to take that next step.
He has shown flashes of that ability but most continue to become an all-around player. Of the tight ends currently on the roster, he is the most physically gifted. Parris could become a matchup problem for opposing defenses, giving Syracuse another weapon in their arsenal.
It would be a major upset if Josh Parris is not the starter with Kendall Moore as the primary backup. Tyler Provo may rotate in a bit more and is a skilled blocker, but may need another year of development before he comes a consistent threat and can challenge Parris or Moore for playing time.