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Penn State Class of 2012: Tight ends hope to emulate success of Rob Gronkowski

As previously mentioned, Penn State made a push to add some depth to the receiving game by adding four wide receivers in the Class of 2012. That philosophy extended to the tight end position as well. Here is a run down of the tight end position. Tomorrow we will take a look at the defensive side of the football with some key positions seeing some more depth added in the Class of 2012.

Tight Ends

Jesse James

  • McKeesport, PA
  • South Allegheny
  • 6′-7″ 248 pounds

Brent Wilkerson (pictured, right)

  • Hyattsville, MD
  • DeMatha
  • 6′-4″ 245 pounds

Jesse James was already enrolled on campus and will benefit from getting to practice and work out with the team this spring, and perhaps get a chance to play in the Blue White Game, but both players are rated as three-star prospects. Under Bill O’Brien’s offense, these two players should be studying now if they want to emulate the success of New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.

Penn State currently has two redshirt freshmen for 2012 (Kyle Carter and Jordan Kerner) and Kevin Haplea and Gary Gilliam each have two years of eligibility remaining. The tight end position has also been a bit of a weak spot on the offense, right behind offensive line, for Penn State in recent seasons, and with a new coaching staff on board no starting job is a given heading in to the new season. Still, do not expect either Class of 2012 tight end to be competing for a starting job next fall, but also do not be surprised if either makes a case for some playing time on a rotational basis by the end of the season if the upper classmen are inconsistent.

Tight Ends on Scholarship

Junior Eligibility (2): Kevin Haplea, Gary Gilliam

Redshirt Freshmen (2): Kyle Carter, Jordan Kerner

Class of 2012 (2): Jesse James, Brent Wilkerson


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