Coach Peter Vaas, USF's former quarterbacks coach, who has moved back to coach the tight ends likes what he sees from his group.
“The initial impression is that we have a tremendous group that has some experience, they know what to do, and have a great ‘I want to’ mentality,” said Vass.
Vaas does have a focus and a goal for the spring.
“One of our biggest challenges this spring is can we find some people that want to play with their hand in the ground?” said Vaas. “Can we be more physical in the running game at the point of attack? That's our big, big emphasis this spring,"
“We’ve been decent as skilled players, when you stand up, spread out and look pretty catching the ball,” said Vaas. “But let’s be better at inside drills, let’s be better on 3on3, lets be better on third and short, those are the situation we really want to improve on this spring.”
There are eight in the tight end group, including senior s Andreas Shields and Evan Landi, along with Mike McFarland Isaac Virgin, as well as hybrid full backs/H-backs, including Jeff Hawkins, Ty Tuner, and Chris Breit.
One player back is Jeff Hawkins, who hasn’t played since 2010, is the most physical and punishing player at the position.
"He's as big, as physical and probably as true a tight end as we have," said Vaas. "He's got some physicality to him and we all want to get to that point."
Considering the way the staff uses the tight ends as in a hybrid TE-FB-HB role, possesses challenges for the players as well as the coaches.
“You’re not only competing with your own position, you’re competing with the minds of Coach Fitch and Holtz mind that’s what’s our best personnel grouping,” said Vaas. “Do we want to be in two backs and one tight end? Do we want to use two tight ends, or do we want to go with four receivers? So that’s a competition right there.”
Watch full video interview here
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