The tight end position is extremely important in both, the passing game and the running game. A versatile tight end can really change an offense and put them over the top. In the past few years, the state of Florida has produced some very talented prospects, such as Gerald Christian from Dwyer high school, who is currently playing at the University of Florida, Brandon Fulse from Fort Meade high school, who signed with Auburn University, A.C. Leonard from the University Christian School, who is currently at the University of Florida, and Nick O'Leary from Dwyer high school, who signed with Florida State University.
The 2012 tight end class is one of the strongest in years. All if the tight ends listed in the FlaVarsity Top 160 have the potential to play early and often at the next level. We have game breaking, offensive weapons, we have blocking machines, and we have the dual-threats, that are solid at both aspects of the game.
The State of Florida is loaded with at the very least four division one prospects in the state of Florida with Godby tight end Laith Harlow, Land 'O Lakes tight end Kent Taylor, North Marion tight end Sean Price, and Yulee tight end Kelvin Rainey. All have made public commitments except Taylor.
Each tight end has their own strength with Taylor being the most effective as a pass catcher, Rainey and Price are major all-around weapons, and Harlow is one of the best blockers in the state. This shows that there is a lot of balance throughout the state for 2012.
Here is the list of the tight ends that made it into the FlaVarsity Top 160. The top list for FV is expected to be released early next week so keep an eye out for your top prospect and who might make the list with the release date approaching.
6-foot-5 | 220 | Land O'Lakes
Buzz: Taylor has great size and runs like a receiver. He is a notch below Nick O'Leary from last year, but he has the ability to be an exceptional tight end.
Schools in the mix: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Penn State, Southern Cal
6-foot-3 | 220 | Yulee
Buzz: Rainey can line up at tight end, defensive end, or linebacker. He is truly an all-around athlete. He has good hands and has a future as a big time tight end.
6-foot-4 | 220 | North Marion
Buzz: Price is a huge target and has very soft, reliable hands. He will grow to be a 240-250 pound tight end that will be a major threat in the passing game in college.
6-foot-5 | 240 | Godby
Buzz: Consistency is what Harlow brings to the table. He's a great kid to have in your program as he's solid at all facets of the game. He is also a very good leader.
6-foot-3 | 230 | Chaminade Madonna
Buzz: David is an old school tight end that is a very impressive blocker. He creates massive holes for his running backs. He has very good hands and deceptive speed.
Schools in the mix: Alabama, Cincinnati, Illinois, Louisville, Miami, Nebraska, Ohio State, Rutgers, UCF, USF
6-foot-5 | 235 | St. Andrews School
Buzz: Sheehy has tremendous size and is an asset in the passing game. His frame allows him to be a terrific blocking tight end. He is similar to, the recently drafted, Kyle Rudolph.
Schools in the mix: Boston College, Florida State, Georgetown, UCLA, USF, Virginia Tech
6-foot-5 | 220 | Indian Rocks Christian School
Buzz: Culkin can really stretch the field. He is similar to Kent Taylor, but doesn't have the speed and agility of Taylor. Culkin is someone to watch this year, as I expect him to rise on the tight end board.
Schools in the mix: FIU, Furman, Iowa State, Liberty, Samford, Western Michigan
6-foot-3 | 220 | Hagerty
Buzz: Physically, Boudreau looks a lot like Nick O'Leary from last year. He can run very well and is an asset in the passing game. He will need to improve his blocking.
Schools in the mix: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Marshall, Miami, Notre Dame, Oregon, Purdue, UCLA, West Virginia
If you have any questions or comments, Tom Loy, FlaVarsity.com Recruiting Analyst, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can follow him on Twitter - @tomloy2002.