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May 24, 2013

Ranking the Big Ten: Tight end

As Nebraska moves into its third season in the Big Ten Conference, HuskerOnline.com will get you ready with ranking analysis pieces breaking down each position in the league. Today, we look at the tight end position in the Big Ten heading into 2013.

1. Jacob Pedersen, Wisconsin, 6-4, 241, Sr.
Wisconsin senior tight end Jacob Pedersen has been a fixture in the Badgers offense the last three seasons catching 65 passes for 843 yards and 14 touchdowns. The 6-foot-4, 241 pound Pedersen saw his touchdowns drop from eight in 2011 to four this past season, but that was due large in part to trying to replace quarterback Russell Wilson. Look for Pedersen to be one of the top tight ends in the country and possibly contend for All-American honors.
2. Kyle Carter, Penn State, 6-3, 240, So.
Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien brought his tight end friendly offense to State College in 2012 and no player benefited from it more than sophomore Kyle Carter. As a redshirt freshman Carter hauled in 36 passes for 453 yards and two touchdowns. Carter, along with Jesse James, Matt Lehman and Garry Gilliam give the Nittany Lions arguably the best overall group of tight ends in the Big Ten.
3. Devin Funchess, Michigan, 6-5, 228, So.
As a freshman tight end Devin Funchess led Michigan with five touchdown receptions in 2012, to go along with 15 catches for 234 yards. With a steady passing presence at quarterback in Devin Gardner the 6-foot-5, 228 Funchess should see his production level go up and could contend for All-Big Ten honors by season's end.
4. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa, 6-7, 265, Sr.
With a brand new quarterback under center for Iowa in 2013, look for senior tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz to serve as a safety valve underneath. The 6-foot-7, 265 pound Fiedorowicz had 45 catches for 433 yards and two touchdowns in 2012. Fiedorowicz needs to become a better red zone option going forward, as Iowa's receivers and tight ends combined for just six touchdown receptions the entire season.
5. Ted Bolser, Indiana, 6-6, 254, Sr.
The spread minded Kevin Wilson has always liked to get the tight end involved in his offense dating back to his days at Oklahoma when he had eventual first round draft pick Jermaine Gresham. In 2012 Indiana tight end Ted Bolser hauled in the 41 catches for 445 yards and three touchdowns and he figures to only see that production level go up in 2013.



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