Assessment of Grant Stevens, UCF Tight End Recruiting, and the Current Situation of UCF Tight End
Grant stevens will bring versatile abilities to Orlando. Having signed two tight ends of the combined 2020 and 2021 classes with a very good height, Stevens should complement these two players very well. This is good, as the restricted end use of UCF is set to increase dramatically.
In case anyone is wondering, UCF will use tight ends in a very different way under the guidance of the head coach. Gus Malzahn. He’s always proven that he would use tight ends to “leverage” a defense and gain a schematic advantage on either side of the lineup. For this to work, a multitude of tight ends will be needed in Orlando so the Knights can mix and match the tight end staff for every play call they want.
Coach Malzahn also likes to use the tight ends as extra blockers for good old school, powerful football. For this reason alone, limited recruitment will be essential to move forward. Now here’s a look at how Stevens is playing, as well as how the Knights can build the tight depth board now that Stevens is in the fold.
Vital: 6’4 “, 230 pounds
Position: Tight end
High school: Ponte Vedra Beach (Florida) Nease
To classify: 2022
Recruitment: Engaged with UCF on Sunday August 22.
What Stevens does best
Catch soccer and play games in space. Unlike many other tight ends, Stevens will function in space more like a wide receiver than a traditional inline tight end which is a better blocker than the receiver, and he is a capable blocker with the benefit of improving. in that area of ââhis game. More importantly, Stevens will engulf the receiving yards and keep the chains moving. Think of it as a great receiver of possession.
Stevens as a blocker
Able to stay with blocks and push her man back, Stevens showed tenacity. He’s solid keeping a low base to help keep his power up, but there’s still room to improve there. He should also keep his arms inside to emphasize the power that comes from his hips and legs after contact. This will be the area where Stevens needs work the most, but he’s a willful blocker and it’s duly noted.
Playing for Nease High School, Stevens performed outdoors as a traditional tight end, H-back and tight end. Based purely on the film, he’s a nightmare for linebackers and safeties when lined up as the traditional H-back or tight end. When the offense performs a play action on its side of the formation, it gains an advantage.
Acting like he was going to block and then come out for a pass gave Stevens extra time to grab passes regardless of the route type. He’s a good athlete, so adding an extra stop to his itinerary before a defender realizes it’s a pass can be fatal.
While he’s not physically ready to intimidate linebackers outside of college while blocking the run, Stevens’ athleticism and tenacity will at least give him a shot at playing as a rookie for the Knights. He’s a tight end, and this is precisely the type of tight end that coach Malzahn has found several roles for during his coaching days for Auburn. Now a look at how Stevens fits into UCF’s last two tight ends.
Build the Tight End Depth Graph
It is best to assess a position’s recruitment efforts over two or even three years to better understand recruitment needs. Stevens will be added to the next two tight ends for an average of one tight end per recruiting class from 2020 to 2022.
The 2020 high school recruit who is still enrolled at UCF would be Jordan davis, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound freshman in a red shirt from Sanford, Fla. Seminole. The 2021 recruiting class brought UCF a first recruit with Charlie browder, now up to 6’7 “, 260 lbs.
With the size Davis and Browder bring, each could afford Coach Malzahn and UCF’s leading edge blockers, as well as Davis potentially used as a fullback, and of course, both playing traditional roles as than tight ends. Having their height and physical stature is one thing, but it’s questionable until UCF fans see every tight end come into the game and contribute for the Knights. Let’s see how well they’re playing this fall, as it could help determine if UCF takes a tight second end in the class of 2022.
UCF 2022 Tight End depth chart provides experience, lack of depth
Senior tight end Jake Hescock will probably be gone after this season, and there is a chance that the backup Zach Marsh-Wojan will also be leaving after the 2021 season. With COVID-19 eligibility at stake, it’s hard to project right now. For now, it’s best to assume that at least one of the youngest close-fins is going to play a big role for the Knights in 2022, if not sooner.
With Stevens added to UCF’s recruiting class, the Knights are close to where they need to be with tight numbers. Depending on transfer options at the end of the fall semester, maybe the chance of getting another tight high school end will be too much to pass up.
Honestly, it’s too early to predict if the Knights will even add an extra tight end, honestly. That’s what the season is for – to find out where the depth board is – in an effort to better understand tight recruiting needs. Then again, if Davis and Browder show great promise this fall, then Coach Malzahn and his staff will likely move this scholarship to another position.
Regardless of the progress of the tight winged youngsters, Stevens represents the type of tight end who is excellent for Coach Malzahn’s quick offense. He could possibly play the final tight line, H-back, fullback, or flex tight end position. Tight trainer Brian Blackmon can keep Stevens in the game when the Knights get up to speed and put their foot on the gas because he’s versatile.
While some may not understand how important Stevens is and how coach Malzahn wishes to use his roster, this is a really important chess piece for the future offensive depth charts of the UCF. Stevens is a very good pickup for UCF Football.
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