BY Todd Dybas 02:27PM 01/08/2011

UW football unit review: Tight ends

The Washington tight ends accomplished little in 2010, something Steve Sarkisian vows to change.

Washington Huskies tight end Chris Izbicki had a down year prior to leaving the team. (Drew McKenzie/Sportspress Northwest)

All week here at Sportspress Northwest, we’ll breakdown the different units that comprise the Washington football team. A look back and a look forward for the (gasp!) 7-6 Huskies of 2010. On to the tight ends. Washington would scheme to often use the tight end as a receiving option.

What was thought prior to the season: Chris Izbicki would take on the role vacated by Kavario Middleton when Middleton left. Marlion Barnett would backup Izbicki and true freshman Michael Hartvigson would get a look.

What we saw during the season: A disaster. Izbicki was not able to become the pass-catching replacement envisioned, Hartvigson hurt his shoulder and Barnett wasn’t quite ready. As the season progressed, the use of the tight end regressed. Washington essentially discarded all aspects of the tight end in the passing game, a major blow to head coach Steve Sarkisian’s scheming. Izbicki eventually left the team shortly before the Holiday Bowl and finished with two catches on the year.

What’s next for this group: An anticipated large upgrade via Hartvigson’s recovery and the arrival of Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Large is the key term, with Hartvigson at 6-6, 236 pounds, anticipate that to move to 245 by spring, and Seferian-Jenkins, who is 6-6, 250. Those two coupled with Barnett, who will be in his third year in the system, suddenly produce apparent depth at tight end. It will be interesting to see if Washington ultimately pictures Seferian-Jenkins as a pass-catching tight end or if it moves him to the offensive line.

“I think the tight end position is an area one where we can really improve in — not only with the current players on our roster, but as a focus in recruiting,” Sarkisian said. “It’s an aspect of our offense that we’re accustomed to using not only in the pass game but in the run game. So it’s going to be a point of emphasis for us to get back to being a part of who we are as an offensive football team.”


YourThoughts

  • Harry

    We all have dreams Jimmy. “Whst’s up there” is that none of us know what the future holds. Is Coach Sark currently happy to be at the UW? By all appearances, yes. Is this where he will remain for the rest of his coaching career? The man is 35 Jimmy, think about it. Don James was head coach at Kent State before coming to the UW, Jimmy.

  • Chuck

    ASJ is listed at 265 by current reports. Barnett is a quality football player who should contribute in some way, but he lacks ideal height and adequate bulk. I think that the TE position should be able to contribute a lot in 2011, particularly with a new QB potentially needing checkdown receivers. Walkon Evan Hudson was also a 3-star tight end coming out of HS, according to Rivals.com.

  • Mickey Mouse

    UW used to be “Tight End U” and maybe this is a restart. I suggest one thing though, given the sad string of Stevens, Middleton and Izbicki – Make darned sure these guys are interviewed thoroughly, as given the above 3, something is definitely up once they put on the uniform.

    If the current group does prove out, it will be a heckuva group to watch!

  • http://sportspressnw Jimmy

    Tight end has always been an important piece of the DAWG football success. We put what 10 tight ends into the NFL since the 80′s?. Anyway we gotta get a couple good ones untracked.

    I was a little taken aback by Sarkisian’s answer to his possible move to the NFL. Sure sounded like that’s where he wants to be in the future. Originally I thought he was a college guy through and through? What’s up there?