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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Banks believes tight ends will make presence in 2017

Photo by By Lawrence Smelser

Special teams coach Jeff Banks blows the whistle after a player makes a mistake.

Tight-end is a unique position in this age of football.
With spread offenses swarming the scene, the once sure receiving/blocking spot has slowly disappeared from formations over time.
Texas A&M, however, is trying to utilize the old-school unit this year and has a diverse and deep group to do so.
“We’ve got a couple guys that have different skill sets at that position,” A&M tight ends coach Jeff Banks said after Wednesday’s practice. “We’ve got five guys at that spot which has been good for competition. You’ve kind of got to package it that way which is what we’ve been figuring out. We’ve been putting them all in the same positions, making them be attached, flexed, everything and then we grade and evaluate them and say, OK, he’s not good at this, but he’s really good at that.”
The Aggies return three players at the position, all of whom Banks is keen on.
“We cross-trained Aaron Hansford as a thicker or bigger, faster wide receiver that could also be a flex-player, which is a little bit closer to the box. He had a good freshman year, got injured game four and had a really good spring and he’s having a really good fall camp,” Banks said. “You’ve got Kalvin Cline who’s now a whole year in the offense instead of just a summer and he’s made some plays in the red zone and done some really good things. Tanner Schorp started every game really in short yardage last year and really came on and his best football was at the end of the season.”
Banks believes that with his group’s experience added with Christian Kirk being the only returning receiver, the tight ends can make a major impact on the A&M offense this season.
“With those three guys, they give us a lot of options,” Banks said. “I also think because we’re so young at receiver, Tanner and Kalvin are both seniors and Aaron’s a second-year player, and we have so many young receivers that those guys, the quarterbacks are going to be able to lean on them in the middle of the field in certain routes that are designed for them.”
While the experienced tight ends hope to help the talented, but youthful receivers, Banks is high on his own newcomers in the unit and is optimistic about what the future holds at the position.
“We’ve got two good young prospects in the future with Camron Horry being the attached, traditional tight-end and [Keynel] McZeal being Hansford’s kind of double, he looks almost identical to him, has the same skill set catching the ball,” Banks said.
Still, Banks said the offensive goal is to get the best 11 guys on the field, but is firm saying that one of them lies in the tight ends room.
“We’ve got several different guys and they can all catch. They can all catch different types of routes which I think are cool,” Banks concluded. “You’ll probably see those first three, Hansford, Schorp and Cline play in the first game and rotate through based on the package.”

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