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MSU Look Ahead to 2012 - TEs

Yes, the 2011 just officially came to an end with State's showing in the Music City Bowl. But before you know it, spring football will be here and it's never too early to look ahead to 2012. We continue that 'look ahead' today with the returning and incoming players at the tight ends position.

Despite being injured over the past few seasons, former Bulldog Marcus Green was still the top name that came to mind when discussing the MSU tight ends. With Green now graduated, the Bulldog tight ends will look a little different in 2012.

Leading that group will be a pair of rising sophomores - Malcolm Johnson and Brandon Hill. As we all saw late in 2011, Johnson has the ability to stretch the defense and create all kind of mismatches against opposing defenses. Johnson had 11 catches for 206 yards in 2011 and tied for third on the team with three touchdown receptions.

Not only can Johnson produce the big gains in the passing game, he also displays some of the best hands on the team and has proven to make the tough grabs in traffic.

Hill got lesser reps than Johnson in 2011 but still got good experience on offense as well as special teams. With his size, Hill is a better blocking tight end for the Bulldogs but his athleticism also allows him to be a target in the passing game. Although still a bit young compared to the experience Green possessed, Hill and Johnson make for a potentially solid duo at tight end for the next three seasons.

Also entering the mix in 2012 will be Rufus Warren, who redshirted as a true freshman last fall. Warren surprised many with his pass-catching ability in fall camp and bowl practice and has a bigger frame to give MSU another attached tight end. Like Hill did in 2011, Warren must work into the rotation on special teams first and then should see time on offense in 2012.

Last year as well, rising sophomore and offensive lineman Ben Beckwith often lined up at tight end in two tight end sets near the goal line or in short-yardage packages. With his versatility, Beckwith is likely to keep that same role in 2012.

2012 Bulldawgs247 Projection at Tight Ends
(In One Tight End Packages)
TE: So. Malcolm Johnson, So. Brandon Hill
(In Two Tight End Packages on Goal Line)
TE: So. Malcolm Johnson, So. Brandon Hill
TE: So. Ben Beckwith, RFR. Rufus Warren

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