Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

WVU Tights Ends Looking for Depth

We round out the offensive side of our West Virginia Spring position preview series by focusing on the WVU tight ends looking for depth.

We continue our Spring position preview series for the West Virginia Mountaineers with our final preview on offense. We see the WVU tight ends looking for depth behind Kole Taylor.

WVU Tight Ends Looking for Depth

If Head Coach Neal Brown‘s comments the last several seasons did not make it clear that West Virginia would be focusing increased effort on the tight end position, the numbers in the room should clue fans in. Indeed, the Mountaineers enter Spring practice with seven tight ends on scholarship. The room’s leader, Taylor, will not be practicing this Spring due to injury. This leaves the Mountaineers with a golden opportunity to build depth in the group. How much depth they can build, and how they go about it will inform the staff whether their efforts in over-recruiting the position will pay off.

The truth about the tight end position is simple. College programs that can throw a big-bodied tight end into a position to both assist in run blocking and run a seam route for a big play win more games than they lose. At this level, opposing defenses find trouble defending a playmaking tight end. Look at Taylor’s 2023 performance as an example. Taylor accumulated 444 yards on 35 receptions. Mountaineer fans have not seen that level of production from the tight end position in more than a decade (though Trevon Wesco came close in 2018). Behind Taylor, West Virginia runs into trouble developing a second playmaking tight end.

Treylan Davis, to be sure, has evolved into a formidable sixth blocker. The Mountaineers, however, want to see more from him. Davis certainly has the opportunity to progress, as he has been running with the first team this Spring. He will need to build heavily on his seven career receptions to realize his full potential in this offense.

Who Finds Time Behind Taylor and Davis?

Behind Taylor and Davis, West Virginia has five more bodies in the tight end room. Victor Wikstrom has the most experience but with few snaps to show for it. Will Dixon, TJ Johnson, and Noah Braham also return to the team. In open practices, Johnson seems to have the edge taking most of the snaps with the second team. Of the group, Wikstrom probably has the most impressive frame to play the position at 6’4″, 263 lbs, he really stands out among the group. That said, he came to West Virginia from Sweden, and his athleticism simply has not yet translated onto the field. As a junior heading into 2024, this may be his last chance to prove he can contribute.

With the WVU tight ends looking for depth they probably need to look more at Dixon, Johnson, and Braham unless Wikstrom surprises. Dixon arrived in Morgantown with plenty of potential. His experience on the defensive line in high school should make him plenty capable of handling blocking assignments at the position. For Johnson, this is just his second Spring with the program, but the fact that he is earning reps with the second team speaks well to his chances to develop as that second playmaking tight end behind Taylor.

Behind this group, the Mountaineers also added Jack Sammarco, who is just a true freshman in 2024 but enrolled early. Sammarco likely will not be counted on for depth in 2024, but he certainly offers competition to the others in the room and could always surprise.



We round out the offensive side of our West Virginia Spring position preview series by focusing on the WVU tight ends looking for depth.
Photo courtesy: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports


More Posts

Send Us A Message