Spring practice begins this week so we will breakdown each position group as we gear up for football season. Note: We will not guess on what impact freshmen who are not on campus yet will have on the team.
Position Coach: Xavier Dye
Key departures: Mitchell Brinkman (14 catches, 173 yards, 12.4 YPC, 1 TD)
Key returnees: Chris Carter (7 catches, 50 yards, 7.1 YPC, 1 TD, 1 game-saving tackle); Gunnar Greenwald (Nine games, no stats);
Key additions: Jayson Littlejohn (JUCO transfer)
When you don’t throw the ball much (or well) for large chunks of the season, it’s tough for tight ends to make an impact as we saw with the 2021 edition of the Bulls.
Gone is two-year starter Mitchell Brinkman who was a steady(ish) presence in the tight end room, and now it’s up to Temple hero Chris Carter to lead a room headlined by the gem of the 2021 recruiting class, and a JUCO transfer in Jayson Littlejohn.
The tight ends were mainly asked to block in 2021, and Carter proved more than capable when former OC Charlie Weis Jr went with 12 personnel (one running back, two tight ends).
Carter has shown flashes of athleticism throughout his USF career, but will now be called upon to provide a more in the counting stats category. Greenwald is also a work-in-progress TE as he adjusts to the college game.
Littlejohn went from 205 pounds to 236 pounds to play tight end at the College of the Sequoias, and was an all-conference selection with 37 catches for 417 yards, and six touchdowns in 2021.
This may be the least experienced unit on the roster as we head into spring, and how new offensive coordinator Travis Trickett utilizes them will be telling on their progress.