Ranking the Big Ten: Tight end
As the 2019 season draws nearer by the day, it’s time to start taking a look at some of the top players to watch in the Big Ten Conference.
We continue our annual Ranking the Big Ten series today with the tight end position, as the league must replace three tight ends that were drafted in 2019, including two in the first round.
1. Pat Freiermuth, Penn State
The Big Ten's tradition of producing great tight ends continues. Penn State's Pat Freiermuth had a monster freshman season, ranking second nationally for FBS tight ends with eight touchdowns.
He finished 2018 with 26 catches for 368 yards, 14 of which went for 15 yards or more. He's not a big play threat, but at 6-foot-5, 262 pounds he has one of the best red zone receiving bodies in all of college football.
Freiermuth was also a unanimous Freshman All-American, and will probably garner a lot of looks for preseason All-American in 2019.
2. Brycen Hopkins, Purdue
Purdue's Brycen Hopkins gives the Boilermakers one of the league's best tight ends to go along with what wide receiver Rondale Moore can provide on the perimeter.
Hopkins had 34 catches for 583 yards a year ago to go along with two touchdowns. He has 69 catches for 1,115 yards and nine touchdowns over the course of his career. His biggest game of the season came against Michigan State, where he had four catches for 80 yards.
He's looked at as a future NFL draft pick, and he's the son of former NFL and Illinois offensive lineman Brad Hopkins.
3. Jake Ferguson, Wisconsin
Wisconsin tight end Jake Ferguson is the son of former Husker Brad Ferguson, and he's the grandson of former Nebraska linebacker and current Badger Athletic Director Barry Alvarez.
As a redshirt freshman, the 6-foot-5, 247 pound Ferguson was second on Wisconsin's team in receiving with 36 catches for 456 yards and four touchdowns.
With three more years left in Madison, Ferguson should blossom into a future NFL tight end in their offensive system.
4. Jack Stoll, Nebraska
Junior Jack Stoll leads a veteran group of Nebraska tight ends. As a sophomore, the 6-foot-4, 260 pound Stoll started all 12 games for the Huskers at tight end.
He led NU's tight ends with 21 catches for 245 yards and three touchdowns. Stoll will be looked at as one of the leaders on the Huskers young offense in 2019.
5. Tyler Mabry, Maryland
Maryland added Tyler Mabry as a graduate transfer this off-season. As a junior, Mabry was a first-team All-MAC selection and gives the Terps a solid red zone threat in 2019.
Over his three year career at Buffalo, Mabry had 60 catches for 567 yards and three touchdowns. He's not a big play threat, but should be good for 20 to 30 catches this season for the Terps.