Spring Practice Wish List: Tight Ends


Nov 23, 2013; Little Rock, AR, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs tight end Malcolm Johnson (6) carries the ball against Arkansas Razorbacks safety Rohan Gaines (26) during the second half at War Memorial Stadium. Mississippi State won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Spring Practice started March 18. The Bulldogs will start their preparation for the 2014 football season and it ends on April 12 with the Spring game, the marquee event of Super Bulldog Weekend. Mississippi State is poised to have one of their best seasons in 2014, but there are a number of things that need to be developed to get the most out of this team as possible. Today we look at the Tight Ends.

There are a total of six tight ends listed on the roster for Mississippi State. Depth is not a problem for this unit. The biggest problem has been consistency. There are a number of things that I would like to see out of this group.

Find a Gronk: Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots revolutionized the tight end position a few years ago. Tight Ends used to be smaller versions of offensive linemen that could catch. When Rob Gronkowski tore up the NFL (and his legs in the process), it changed the tight end mold to one of bigger wide receivers that could block. Most of the tight ends on the roster fit that same mold. Malcolm Johnson has shown flashes of being brilliant at the position, but we need to see more of it.

Get Artimas Samuel on the Field: With six players on the roster, we need to find ways to incorporate as many of those guys into the offense as we can. The biggest question is who will be the number two guy? The coaching staff decided to burn the red shirt of Artimas Samuel about halfway though the 2014 campaign, so they obviously think highly of him. The coaching staff needs to find ways to get him on the field and maximize his potential.

Figure out What to do with Brandon Hill and Christian Holmes: Both Hill and Holmes will be seniors in 2014. They have both received some playing time, but neither has been able to keep a foot hold on the tight end position. We have seen these players provide positive contributions in the past, so I’m hoping the coaching staff can figure out creative ways to use these guys. They are definite in between players. I’d hate to see their talent go to waste.

Tight end is probably the group that needs to make the biggest step forward outside of the Special Teams in the Spring. There is a wealth of talent at the coaches’ disposal. Having talent doesn’t mean much if they don’t perform on the field. If Johnson and Samuel can make significant strides this Spring, our offense could put up some big numbers.