Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
Next up in Hoosier Huddle’s Top Five list are opposing tight ends. In 2015 the Hoosiers were picked apart by some really good tight ends and 2016 features some of the same cast of characters.
1. Jake Butt, Michigan
The 2015 All-American put the screws to IU in last year’s 48-41 double OT win with seven catches for 82 yards and a touchdown. Butt led all Big Ten tight ends in receiving with 51 receptions for 654 yards and three scores. At 6’6” and 250 pounds, Butt is a nightmare to match-up with and is the likely security blanket for whomever Michigan chooses to go with at the quarterback position. He is in the driver’s seat for the Mackey Award, which is given to the nation’s top tight end and will being playing on Sunday’s in 2017.
2. Josiah Price, Michigan State
The Mitten State occupies the top two spots in this list and the drop off isn’t too steep. Price has had a tremendous career out of Greentown, Indiana, amassing 851 yards receiving on 66 catches, 16 of them going for touchdowns. The 6’5” fifth year senior played in 12 games last season and should be able to break the 1,000-yard mark receiving for his career if he can stay healthy.
Price is listed as second-team All-Big Ten by Athlon Sports and should be listed in several other publications as well as being on the Mackey Award Watch List later this summer.
3. Cethan Carter, Nebraska
The Big Ten is really deep at the tight end position this season and the Hoosiers will see one of the best on October 15th when Cethan Carter and the Huskers come to Bloomington. Carter has started in 25 of his 33 games in college, including the final 11 of the 2015 season in which he posted a career best 24 catches for 329 yards and two scores.
Nebraska’s athletics site says, “tight end Cethan Carter heads into the 2016 season in hopes of finishing his Nebraska career in strong fashion. The 6-4, 240-pound Carter is a prototypical tight end in the Husker offensive system and flourished late in his junior season, helping Nebraska's offensive finish strong in the season's final month. Carter was one of six Huskers with more than 20 catches last season, and he continued to show his big-play ability. In addition to his receiving skills, Carter became a strong blocker in the Husker run game. Carter earned honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors in 2015, and is capable of contending for higher honors as a senior. “
4. Jonnu Smith, Florida International
Smith only played in eight games last season due to injury, but in those eight games he put up impressive numbers. He had 36 catches for 397 yards and four touchdowns. Should he stay healthy Smith is an all-conference type of player. At 6’3” and 230 pounds, Smith is a potential thorn in the side of most defenses. For his career Smith has 14 touchdowns and 1,495 receiving yards. The Hoosiers kept Smith quiet in last season’s match-up holding him to just 25 yards on five receptions. It would be a major victory for the IU defense if they can replicate those numbers in 2016 against Smith and the FIU Golden Panthers.
5. Cam Serigne, Wake Forest
This name should be familiar to Hoosier fans as the tight end had a great game when the Hoosiers visited Winsotn-Salem last year with five catches for 72 yards. His performance last season, when Serigne hauled in 46 catches for 562 yards and four touchdowns has earned him third-team All-ACC honors in Lindy’s preseason magazine. In 24 career games Serigne has an even 100 catches for 1,093 yards and nine scores. While Wake Forest’s offense may not be great, they do have one of the better tight ends that IU will line up against.
Other Top 5 Links