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Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Five athletes show the future of tight ends

By Brad Bournival

As the tight end positions changes, so has the high school athlete. Mentor (Ohio) coach Steve Trivisonno talked at length in Tuesday’s feature piece about what the future will look like at tight end.

Here are the top five ranked tight ends in the nation and what they’ll bring to the their future teams:

1. Tyler Luatua (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada)

Position: TE-H

ESPN 150 rank: No. 37

Recruiting status: Luatua could join his brother at Alabama or be swayed by a possible official visit to Notre Dame or Ohio State, but USC offered Luatua as early as any recruit in California and is making him a priority in its class.

What he brings: The 6-foot-3, 243-pound Luatua is athletic and brings size that will allow him to be that versatile tight end teams crave. He has great ball skills and can make the catch and turn up field in an instant.

2. Kevin Crosby (Bamberg, SC/Bamberg-Ehrhardt)

Position: TE-H

ESPN 150 rank: 83

Recruiting status: Right now it looks like South Carolina is in the lead. Crosby wants to take visits to Clemson and Florida, so Gamecocks fans likely will have to wait until July before seeing the 6-1, 240-pound Crosby commit.

What he brings: With his speed, Crosby actually could move over to the slot position, but his frame makes him a natural at tight end. A good athlete with even better first-step quickness, he can create big plays on virtually every down.

3. Jeb Blazevich (Charlotte, NC/Charlotte Christian)

Position: TE-H

ESPN 150 rank: 90

Recruiting status: The 6-5, 228-pound Blazevich committed to Georgia on April 23.

What he brings: He has the tools to be a very productive tight end. His height makes him a can't-miss mismatch for offenses, and his frame and good hands make him a lock as a top-flight target.

4. Bryce Dixon (Ventura, Calif./St. Bonaventure)

Position: TE-H

ESPN 150 rank: 101

Recruiting status: The 6-4, 260-pound Dixon has out-of-state programs like Arizona, Miami, Ohio State, Texas A&M and Washington after him, but UCLA is a familiar program with a definite need.

What he brings: Dixon is a big-play tight end ready to happen. With long limbs and a solid frame, the junior has the ability to get things done in a hurry. With a good initial burst off the line he can be a difference maker as well as a viable addition to the run game as a blocker.

5. Ian Bunting (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale Central)

Position: TE-H

ESPN 150 rank: 114

Recruiting status: The 6-6, 210-pound Bunting committed to Michigan on April 23.

What he brings: Bunting is a wide receiver at the high school level but will make the move to tight end in college. Obviously, his height makes him an easy target, but it's his polished skill set that make him even better. He's willing to catch the ball in traffic, making him an immediate asset.