When Mel Tucker came to Michigan State football, he made it known that the tight end position would be one of the most important in his offenses.
Jay Johnson reiterated that, calling the position the “MVP” of the offense.
But through three seasons, the production hasn’t lived up to the talk. There have been solid tight ends on the past three teams, but none have truly lived up to their potential, especially one in particular: Maliq Carr.
However, tight ends coach Ted Gilmore told reporters on Monday that the junior tight end is finally realizing that he can be dominant at the position. It’s taken three years, but Carr is embracing his role and he realizes that he needs to be a leader on this team.
Hearing Gilmore praise Carr is a good sign, especially when it comes to his blocking. He could be one of the most improved players on the team in 2023.
Carr is also up to 272 pounds (Gilmore wants him at 265) and he stands 6-foot-7 now after being listed at 6-foot-5 on Michigan State’s official site. He has gotten even bigger and he should be a legitimate red-zone threat this season.
But he’s not the only one.
Other tight ends stepping up for Michigan State football
Tucker reached into the portal to land guys like Jaylan Franklin (Wisconsin) and Tyneil Hopper (Boise State) this offseason and both have impressed Gilmore in recent weeks.
It’s good to see the new guys playing well and making moves on the depth chart. The depth in this tight end room is truly astounding.
Gilmore mentioned that Evan Morris is the toughest tight end he has and he also mentioned Carr as the starter with Hopper and Franklin playing well, but there are also guys like Michael Masunas, Jack Nickel, and Brennan Parachek who all have bright futures ahead of them and could begin contributing in 2023.
This tight end room is the deepest and most talented that it’s been under Tucker and Gilmore. Will that mean that it finally becomes the MVP of Jay Johnson’s offense? Let’s hope so.